Julie Kramer will be conducting an author talk and book signing in Chatfield on Thursday evening.
Julie Kramer will be conducting an author talk and book signing in Chatfield on Thursday evening.

Julie Kramer is stalking Susan, missing Mark, silencing Sam, killing Kate and shunning Sarah at the Chatfield Center of the Arts.

This journalist turned author is simply treating her characters the way she knows will make a good story.

She writes a mystery series set in the desperate world of television news - a world she knows well from her career working as a freelance news producer for NBC and CBS, as well as running the WCCO-TV I-Team in Minneapolis, where she won numerous national investigative awards.

Kramer will be visiting Chatfield this Thursday and will be speaking in the American Legion Room at the Chatfield Center for the Arts. The Chatfield Library is hosting the event and will provide refreshments for those attending the author talk.

Kramer has written thrillers, "Stalking Susan," "Missing Mark," "Silencing Sam," "Killing Kate" and "Shunning Sarah." The books take readers inside how newsrooms make decisions amid chaos.

According to Kramer's website, www.juliekramerbooks.com, "Julie grew up along the Minnesota-Iowa state line, fourth generation of a family who raised cattle and farmed corn for 130 years. Her favorite childhood days were spent waiting for the bookmobile to bring her another Phyllis A. Whitney novel. An avid reader, she tired of fictional TV reporters always being portrayed as obnoxious secondary characters who could be killed off whenever the plot started dragging, so her series features reporter Riley Spartz as heroine."

Kramer lives in White Bear Lake, Minn., with her family, writing more mysteries.

She has been honored with the Daphne du Maurier Award for Mainstream Mystery/Suspense, Minnesota Book Award and the RT Book Review's Best First Mystery. She has also been a finalist for the Anthony, Barry, Shamus, Mary Higgins Clark, and RT Best Amateur Sleuth Awards.

Kramer's upcoming appearance in Chatfield is made possible through Southeast Libraries Cooperating (SELCO) and the Minnesota Arts and Cultural Heritage Legacy Fund, according to Chatfield Public Library Director Monica Erickson.

"SELCO has been sponsoring Minnesota Book Award (MNBA) author tours featuring winning and nominated authors of the Minnesota Book Awards the past few years," Erickson added. "Each year, the Friends of the St. Paul Public Library award the Minnesota Book Awards to Minnesota authors, illustrators and book artists in eight categories...children's literature, general non-fiction, genre fiction, memoir and creative non-fiction, poetry, young people's literature, Minnesota, novel and short story - and a people's choice award is also given."

Author fees and travel expenses for the tour, as well as posters and brochures, are covered through funding from Minnesota's Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund. Interested libraries are encouraged to partner with other groups in their community to host an author event and request the authors they would like to visit their library from the list of the previous year's Minnesota Book Award authors, both winners and nominees.

"We requested Julie Kramer and were very pleased to learn that our request would be granted," said Erickson. "The Chatfield Public Library is partnering with the Friends of the Library and the Chatfield Center for the Arts to host this event."

Erickson also related, "I honestly don't know what she'll be presenting, for sure! I'm assuming she'll be talking about her books, becoming an author, and how her background as a journalist impacts her writing. It is exciting to have an award-winning mystery author come speak to us! Julie is garnering more and more attention with every book she writes. Chatfield has a large fan base of dedicated mystery readers who will be pleased to have first-hand access to a writer they enjoy or in discovering a new one that they may not have discovered yet."

The library director added, "Adults who enjoy reading mysteries, especially those that are set in Minnesota, book clubs and folks with an interest in TV journalism and investigative reporting" will most enjoy Kramer's stop in Chatfield.

"After reading her books, I personally think it will be the background in TV news and investigative journalism that she brings to her novels that will make a program by Julie unique from other mystery writer author programs," Erickson said.

Kramer's books are in the Chatfield library's collections and Erickson shared that "they've been going out like crazy already."

She added, "Julie sets her crime fiction in Minnesota. When you read her books, you will recognize places, events and perhaps even some people. These elements of familiarity bring an added sense of realism to her stories."

One can picture the places and imagine passing some of her characters on one's very own street. Considering some of her characters . . . that can be both creepy and exciting at the same time.

"Wouldn't it be fun to learn about and talk to someone who can do this so well?" Erickson continued, "I hope people will enjoy this opportunity to sit in the same room as an award-winning mystery author, learn about where she gets her inspiration, and ask any burning questions they might have. She has been described as 'wonderfully approachable,' so it seems that interaction will definitely be welcome."

Erickson speculated that Kramer will have books available for sale and signing, and she invited attendees to enjoy a cookie and coffee with the library board members, library staff and Friends of the Chatfield Public Library, who will be providing refreshments for the evening.

Stop in and shun Sarah, silence Sam or make Mark go missing - then have a brownie - with Julie Kramer this Thursday, Nov. 8, at 7 p.m., in the American Legion Room at the Chatfield Center for the Arts on Chatfield's Main Street.