Known for Deep Dish, Savannah Breeze, and other light-hearted novels featuring sassy southern women, New York Times best-selling author Mary Kay Andrews will appear at the Champaign Public Library on Thursday, September 30. At 7 p.m., the author will give a talk entitled “My Fixer-Upper Life,” sharing her enthusiasm for cooking, junk collecting and fixing up old houses, as well as her evolution as a writer. A book sale and signing will follow at 8 p.m. Both will be in the library’s Robeson Pavilion Room A & B, and will be free and open to the public. The library is located at 200 W. Green Street.
A native of St. Petersburg, Florida, Andrews notes that she has a diploma from the Maas Brothers Department Store Charm School, along with a degree in journalism from the University of Georgia. She started her writing career as a reporter in Savannah, Georgia, where she covered the real murder trials featured in the book Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil. After 14 years as a journalist, most of them at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the author shifted to fiction, writing 10 critically acclaimed mysteries under her real name, Kathy Hogan Trocheck. The first, Every Crooked Nanny, was published by HarperCollins Publishers in 1992 and introduced Callahan Garrity, a feisty ex-cop turned house-cleaning entrepreneur. This popular character appeared in seven additional books. A second mystery series featured crime-solving retiree Truman Kicklighter.
Andrews adopted her current pseudonym, a combination of her two children’s names, when she moved from mysteries to novels, starting with the 2002 release of Savannah Blues. Her most recent book, The Fixer Upper, was published by HarperCollins this year.
Andrews lives in a 1926 Craftsman bungalow in Atlanta and vacations in a restored cottage on Tybee Island, Georgia, that was featured in the June 2010 issue of Better Homes and Gardens magazine.
Andrews has a particular interest in book clubs and will participate in discussions of her books remotely, via telephone. Details are available on her website at http://www.marykayandrews.com.
For more information about the author’s appearance at the library, call 217/403-2070.