An unintentional legacy in writing

Published 10:00 am Saturday, June 28, 2014

Julie Seedorf, local author, has written four books, two of which she self-published. – Hannah Dillon/Albert Lea Tribune

Julie Seedorf, local author, has written four books, two of which she self-published. – Hannah Dillon/Albert Lea Tribune

Wells woman fits into her new skin as a mystery author

Julie Seedorf never intended to become a writer.

Now she has two ongoing book series and even more writing ventures in her future.

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Seven years ago when she wasn’t feeling well, Seedorf began to write. She said that she always had been a writer and said in her youth one of her friends constantly told her she should become an author.

Before she started writing books, Seedorf entered the professional writing world as a columnist. She writes columns for the Kiester Courier-Sentinel and for the Albert Lea Tribune. She said writing a column gave her a way to be creative.

Seedorf recently reconnected with that friend, and that’s one thing that pushed her to send a manuscript to a publisher, she said. She said she started writing to be silly and said she had no plans to get published.

Using her friend’s encouragement she sent her manuscript for her first book, “Granny Hooks a Crook,” to Cozy Cat Press, a small publisher in Illinois. Seedorf expected rejection. What she got was a letter saying that they liked her book, but it just needed to be a little bit longer.

Now, Seedorf has just signed her second year’s contract with Cozy Cat Press and has four published books, two of which are self-published.

Cozy Cat Press does a lot of the work with cover design and printing, and Seedorf said that she just gets the royalties. She also likes Cozy Cat Press because it is a small publisher — they publish books from just 45 authors.

Her “Granny” series has gotten a good, if slightly mixed, response, Seedorf said.

“People either love it or absolutely do not like it,” she said.

Seedorf writes cozy mysteries, a genre typified by the fact that it has no swearing, no graphic violence and no adult themes.

Seedorf said that one of the biggest reasons she writes cozy mysteries is that she wants to write books her grandchildren will read. She has four grandchildren between the ages of 6 and 11, and Seedorf said that they help her with her other book series, “Granny’s in Trouble,” which is aimed for young readers.

This series is self-published through Amazon. Seedorf said she wanted to write a legacy for her grandchildren as well as a book that explains what grandmas were like when they were younger.

She said that what makes her books a bit different from the normal cozy mystery genre is that her books are “strange.”

The “Granny” series features an over-the-top grandma in Fuchsia, Minnesota, a fictional town that Seedorf says is satire on small town Minnesota.

After her first book, Seedorf wondered if she should conform her writing to fit other books in the cozy mystery genre. However, she said that she realized she conformed her whole life and that she had to write how she wanted.

“It’s ok to be who I am,” Seedorf said.

Her second “Granny” book, “Granny Skewers a Scoundrel,” was released this March. It was in the top 100 Kindle books for cozy mysteries shortly after its release, which Seedorf found interesting as she hadn’t done much publicity at that point.

Seedorf said that she notices when she is active doing publicity on her blog, Facebook, Twitter and other social media, she ends up selling more books.

“It’s so important to stay out there,” she emphasized.

Seedorf’s newest book is “Snicklefritz,” the second in her “Granny’s in Trouble” series. She’s also planning out her next “Granny” book, a book of her columns and another children’s book separate from her first two series.