Oline H. Cogdill

Like many of us, I miss in-person book events. But I am finding that virtual events can allow us to see and engage with authors we may not normally be able to.

After all, publishers cannot send their authors to every place to talk to readers. It isn’t economically feasible. (Here’s a link to the three-part story I did on virtual book tours).

And while there is cost involved with virtual events, they do allow authors to visit more bookstores, events and separate panels.

And readers discover something new at each event

During a recent Back Room event, I did indeed learn something about how Julia Spencer-Fleming titles her books.

Spencer-Fleming, who is an Agatha, Anthony, Dilys, Barry, Macavity, and Gumshoe Award winner, writes about a series about Episcopal priest Clare Fergusson and her husband, Russ Van Alstyne, police chief of Millers Kill, N.Y.

Hid From Our Eyes is her ninth novel about the couple. Although it has been seven years since her previous novel, Spencer-Fleming seamlessly picks up the story of this couple.

In the Back Room discussion, Spencer-Fleming mentioned how her novels receive their titles from lines in hymn.

Fitting, given Clare’s occupation.

“The alphabet was already taken,” said Spencer-Fleming referring to the late Sue Grafton’s series about Kinsey Millhone.

“And the numbers had been taken,” said Spencer-Fleming, mentioning Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum series.

So that left hymns.

And readers won’t have to wait another seven years for the next novel about Clare and Russ.

Readers can expect her 10th novel in 2021.