The Free Press, Mankato, MN

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August 22, 2013

Wells resident achieves dream with debut mystery novel

Wells resident achieves dream with debut mystery novel

WELLS — Julie Seedorf has always wanted to be a writer.

Even when the 63-year-old Wells resident was told as a young girl that writing for a career was "frivolous" and she was encouraged to pursue more practical, domestic applications of her ambition, she harbored a secret desire to someday write a book.

She kept her hope alive through the decades, even as her careers as mother, wife, non-profit organizer, bartender, waitress, office manager and computer technician took precedent. During that time, she rarely had time to write, let alone contemplate a career.

But a broken leg in 2006 afforded her a chance to take a risk. With six weeks of bed rest ordered by her doctor, she took the occasion to query the Albert Lea Tribune about writing a column. They accepted, and her "Something About Nothing" column has been widely read ever since.

Last year, an extended illness — and another round of doctor-prescribed rest — provided Seedorf with yet another opportunity. She seized it, writing a short mystery novel that eventually earned her a one-year contract with Illinois-based Cozy Cat Press. Her debut novel, "Granny Hooks a Crook," hit bookshelves last month.

"I spent a lot of time not doing what I love," said Seedorf, who still operates a computer repair business from her home (which she insists she enjoys). "All the while, my dream was to write. But I always needed a crisis point in life to get going."

Of course, her only crisis now is writing the next book.

"Granny Hooks a Crook" introduces readers to Granny, a lovably eccentric resident of Fuschia, Minn. Besides her racy nighttime attire, all-junk food diet and superb acting skills, Granny is also an undercover cop who prevent thefts from local stores. When a series of brazen burglaries shake the town's security, Granny's wits are put to the test.

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