October 13, 2021
A note to librarians, from author Gregory Galloway
by Melville House
Many of you might already know how important libraries have been in my life—I grew up in a town that didn’t have a bookstore until I was a teenager, so our weekly trip to the local library was the most important day of the week. It was at the library where I was first introduced to Enyclopedia Brown, Raymond Chandler, Agatha Christie, Arthur Conan Doyle, Edgar Allan Poe, and all the others who entertained, educated, and influenced me.
Later, I worked at the University of Iowa library to help pay for my tuition, shelving books, returning microfiche, and talking to enthusiastic librarians about the amazing treasures that were at the library, stuff no one else seemed to know about. I spent more hours at the library “off the clock” than paid.
And then, of course, my first novel, As Simple As Snow, would not have found so many readers if it had not been for librarians. I’ve been told that by countless individuals who were handed a copy by a librarian. Being recognized by librarians with the Alex Award remains an important, heartfelt achievement.
For those of you who still remember As Simple As Snow (and I’m not sure if I still do), the plot of my new novel, Just Thieves, may seem familiar—someone goes missing at a crucial part of the story. But this is not a high school mystery. This is the adult world, with a pair of 20-something thieves involved in a world of crime they think they can handle, but they have no idea of the forces that control them. It’s a book Anna Cayne would probably enjoy (and don’t worry, the missing person in Just Thieves is found quickly, relatively).
It’s also a book about books (it’s all that cross-referencing I loved in the card catalog)—I allude to, reference, and directly lift from other books and film noir in a number of places, some subtly, some obvious.
In many ways, you are my key audience, not only people who love books, but know how they connect to each other, and connect to readers in profound ways.
I hope you enjoy Just Thieves and sincerely thank you for your support over the years.