Like many people who experience a health challenge, Fran Stewart now claims that what she went through six years ago turned out to be one of the best things that ever happened to her. “I must be a slow learner,” Ms. Stewart says with a laugh. “Here I’d had a dream of writing murder mysteries for years, and I’d ignored it.” She knows now that ignoring your dream not only gets you nowhere, it can get you into trouble with your body and with your entire being.
The three and a half months she spent recovering was the time she finally sat down and let the story of Biscuit McKee, a small-town librarian, and Marmalade, the orange and white library cat, pour out of her into what eventually became her first novel Orange as Marmalade. Her characters wanted to tell more about themselves, though. “I had to find out what all their stories were,” Stewart chuckles. “In fact, I’m still finding out.” With at least six more books planned for the series, she’ll have time for the whole town history.
Fran Stewart grew up in an Air Force family, and Martinsville, the town she created for her mystery series, is the home town she never had but always wanted. Except for the murders. Her books are what the industry terms “cozies,” which means there is no gratuitous sex, violence, or offensive language. But there is plenty of humor, always a good puzzle, intriguing characters, and some surprising plot twists along the way.
Her published books are:
- The Biscuit McKee Mystery Series
- Orange as Marmalade
- Yellow as Legal Pads
- Green as a Garden Hose
- Blue as Blue Jeans
- Resolution, a book of poems, and
- From the Tip of My Pen: a manual for writers
Her upcoming books are:
- As Orange as Marmalade / Tan naranja como mermelada, a bilingual book for children, based on the main characters in her mystery series. Sales of this book will benefit The Hope Clinic, a non-profit family medical facility in Lawrenceville GA,
- The Mystery of Soup, a cookbook featuring soup recipes from mystery writers and their favorite independent bookstores, and
- Indigo as an Iris, the 5th Biscuit McKee Mystery.
Ms. Stewart is a firm advocate for the understanding and gentle treatment of animals, and she donates a portion of all proceeds from her book sales to the Humane Society and the Gorilla Foundation. She is a frequent speaker at women’s organizations and book clubs.
Other Events from the Robeson County Public Library:
Other events held at the library include our ever popular story time for toddlers and preschool aged children. Recently we held a princess story hour where we read books about how to be polite like a princess. All our little participants arrived dressed in their favorite princess costumes. We will be adding other themed story time hours for many other well-loved children’s themes including pirates, super heros, and dinosaurs for boys and fairies, mermaids and ballerinas for girls.