Please contact E. B. Davis at for information on guest blogs and interviews. Interviews for July: (7/6) Jennifer J. Chow (7/13) Meri Allen/Shari Randall (Book 1--Ice Cream Shop Mystery), (7/20) Susan Van Kirk, (7/27) Meri Allen/Shari Randall (Book 2--Ice Cream Shop Mystery).

Monday, June 23, 2014

Meet Cari Dubiel, Sisters in Crime Library Liaison

I met Cari at the Malice Domestic Conference and was intrigued: What exactly does the Sisters in Crime Library Liaison do? Read on to find out more about this passionate advocate for writers who makes managing technology, jetting the country for conferences, wrangling a two year old, and meeting Elvis sound as easy as eating a peanut butter and banana sandwich. - Shari Randall

Photo by Ed Dubiel
Tell us, Cari, how did you discover Sisters in Crime (SinC)?
When I started working at Twinsburg Library in 2006, one of our circulation clerks was married to an avid mystery reader.  He put me in touch with all his favorite writers, many of whom were in SinC.  When the group started meeting at my library, it was a no-brainer for me to join.  I ended up on the National board when I met the previous library liaison, Mary Boone, at a conference.  Now I’m active on both the national and chapter levels.

So, what does the SinC librarian liaison do? (and please correct me if I have your title wrong!)
My National title is Library Liaison.  I coordinate the SinC booth at the two big library conferences: the American Library Association conference, which is annual, and the Public Library Association conference, which is biennial.  This helps librarians meet authors and vice versa, creating mutually beneficial connections. 

Not every writers group has a library liaison. Why did SinC institute this role?
Well, I wasn’t there when the role was created.  But last year, we revisited our strategic plan, and one of my goals is to be a voice of the industry and promote the profession.  I think librarians are well-poised to do that, because we get so many books in the hands of readers who might not have the resources to purchase them.  Those readers will talk about what they read, creating buzz, and they will buy books by those authors they really love.  As a writer and a librarian, I feel lucky that I get to see both sides, and I get to be the bridge between the two.

SinC will be at the ALA Conference in Las Vegas June 26-July 1. Tell us about the ALA conference. What do you have planned?
The conference is the biggest gathering of librarians in one place, and librarians of all types are there.  Our booth is on the exhibit floor, which in itself is huge.  Most of the booths in the exhibits are vendors and publishers, who often have freebies and author guests.  Everyone is competing for a piece of your time, so we try to make our booth a welcoming spot for librarians to take a break and get excited about their love of crime fiction.  We do lots of book giveaways, talk about the organization, and offer an iPad mini to one lucky winner who gets on our mailing list.  We also have author signings every hour.  I love that, too, because I get to meet locals from a different chapter every time I go to a new city.

Hoping for Elvis sightings?
Ehhh.  I’m already married, so I don’t really need him for anything.

By day you are a Computer Services Manager at a public library in Ohio. By night you are….
When I’m not working or with my two-year-old son, Henry, I’m either cleaning, writing, reading, spending time with my husband, or playing the bassoon.  That’s about all I have time for!

What do you like to read?
I will read pretty much anything: of course, mystery, but also YA, fantasy, women’s fiction, literary fiction, and any mixture.  I also love nonfiction.  I am the cohost of a podcast, The ABC BookReviews, so there is plenty of babbling on the Internet about my reading habits. And I’m on Goodreads.

When we met at Malice, you mentioned that you are writing. What are you working on? Short stories? Novel? Cozy?
Since I read everything, I find it difficult to choose a genre and category to write in!  Right now I’m working on a light cozy set in a community orchestra, as well as a few short stories.  My last (unpublished) novel was a YA paranormal mystery, so I’ll probably go back to that at some point in the future, too.  I don’t think I’ll ever be able to stick to one thing.

If it is a cozy, will there be a cat?
There is a cat.  I didn’t think I was allowed to write a cozy without one.

Tell us the truth. Which authors make you go all fan girl?
I saw Rainbow Rowell at PLA and was definitely fangirling over her (which is appropriate because the book is called Fangirl).  I have galleys from Hank Phillippi Ryan, Tana French, Jennifer Weiner, and Liane Moriarty burning a hole in my e-reader.  I know Hank from the National board, but I’m definitely still starstruck.  And last month I interviewed Kate Racculia on my podcast.  I was embarrassed at how fangirly I was over our conversation, but I think she had fun too.  I could go on, but we’d be here all day.

There’s a saying: Everyone is a reader. Some just haven’t found their favorite book yet. Do you remember the book that lit that initial spark of book lust and turned you into a reader?
My mom says that I could read from Time at age two, and I was into chapter books by kindergarten.  So I don’t remember a time when I didn’t love to read.  It’s the thing I still love to do best, even after all these years.  It’s probably also the reason I give most books four or five stars – if I don’t like it, I stop.  There are too many good books out there to waste time on the ones that just aren’t for you.  At the same time, I advocate that everyone should read and love the books that resonate with them, and we shouldn’t judge others for loving books that we personally don’t like. 

On WWK, E. B. Davis always asks her interview subjects, beach or mountains? So, beach or mountains?
Beach, as long as I have decent sunscreen and/or an umbrella!

Thank you for stopping by, Cari, and thank you for all you do for Sisters in Crime and libraries.


Jim Jackson said...


Thanks for doing this important work for SinC. If SinC members want to help work with libraries, what do you suggest?

~ Jim

Annette said...

Hi, Cari! Wonderful interview. Keep up the great work!

Sarah Henning said...

Great interview, Cari! Thanks for stopping by!

Warren Bull said...

Charming interview, Thanks, Cari.

Cathy Ace said...

Super interview, Cari. I'm looking forward to spending time with you at the SinC booth in Vegas this coming weekend. Have you packed yet???

Cari said...

Thanks, everyone! Jim, there are lots of things you can do. If you're local to a conference, you can sign in a booth and meet lots of local librarians. If not, you can still get in touch with librarians and offer programs for them, either on craft or signings. I can help arrange those. I can also give tips on how to get a good response from libraries and how to get them to include your books in their collections.

Cathy, I am packed!! And can't wait!

Gloria Alden said...

So good to see you here, Cari. I'm going to post this to our NEOSinc list serve so others in our group can stop by.

For those who haven't met Cari, she's been a wonderful support member of our local Sinc chapter.

Casey said...

Great interview. Thanks for all you do for Sinc, Cari!

KM Rockwood said...

I've been to a couple of ALA confrences, and they are really busy! I'm pleased to hear that SinC has someone who devotes time to establishing a relationship on behalf of SinC.

Thank you, Cari!

Shari Randall said...

Cari, I am so glad that you were able to "stop by" here at WWK. Have a wonderful time at the conference - say hi to Elvis for me if you see him ;)

Gigi Pandian said...

Thanks for the work you do, Cari! Have a great time at ALA!

Kara Cerise said...

Terrific interview! Thank you for all you do for SinC, Cari.

Cari said...

Thanks again, everyone! :-)

E. B. Davis said...

Thanks for your hard work, Cari! Your job is important for writers. Glad to know you're a beach person!