Darlene Quinn writes books for people like herself — people who enjoy reading page-turning thrillers with bite-sized chapters.
Loyal fans complain that they can’t put her work down. In the words of an online reviewer, “you will not be disappointed … but you may lose sleep!”
This Sunday, Nov. 11, Quinn is hosting a book launch for the sixth and final book in her Webs series, "Webs of Perception." The event will be from 2 to 4 p.m. at Barnes and Noble in the Marina Pacifica Mall at 6326 E. Pacific Coast Highway.
In "Webs of Perception," twin sisters set out to spend a Semester at Sea; however, a natural disaster leaves one girl with amnesia and the other one missing. Things only get more complicated as the characters work to unravel the mystery.
Like Quinn’s earlier Webs books, much of the story takes place in Long Beach, with characters complaining about traffic on the 405 and enjoying views of the Queen Mary. The setting is appropriate, since the 81-year-old author was born and still resides in Long Beach. Quinn said she regularly dines with friends from Wilson High’s Class of 1955, three of whom were her kindergarten classmates.
“You write what you know,” Quinn said. “It’s easy for me to describe this area because it’s where I’ve always lived.”
Quinn said she did not start out intending to be an author. In fact, her journey was quite circuitous. Originally hoping to become an airline hostess, she enrolled in classes at Long Beach City College. Before long, she decided to focus on education. Quinn became an elementary school instructor, teaching until her 1-year-old daughter was diagnosed with deafness.
While caring for her daughter, Quinn led a number of self-improvement classes at Bullocks in Lakewood. Later, she parlayed this experience into a leadership position as the Corporate Training Director for all of Bullock’s 26 stores. Eventually, Quinn became the director of Organizational Development and Personnel for the Bullocks Wilshire stores.
Life in the corporate world gave Quinn great insight when she retired, 10 years later. After being asked to write a series of articles for Savvy Magazine, she decided to take a course on fiction writing.
“I didn’t know how to write a book,” Quinn said. “In fact, I didn’t even know how to use a computer. I was used to typing on a typewriter. But I borrowed my daughter’s floppy drive computer and figured it out.”
Combining her business knowledge with lessons from her writing course, Quinn began to create a cast of characters and weave a realistically dramatic tale of department store mergers, acquisitions and hostile takeovers.
Her first published book, "Webs of Power," took nearly 10 years to move from concept to completion. It came out at the end of 2008 and won the 2009 Indie National Award for Fiction. When her next work, "Twisted Webs," came out in 2010, it won national and international awards. "Webs of Fate," "Unpredictable Webs" and "Conflicting Webs" followed at regular intervals, along with multiple additional literary accolades for Quinn.
It took Quinn three years to complete her sixth and final book. She said it has been a long road, but she is very pleased with the final product. Advance readers have already given the work high praise.
To learn more about Quinn and her work, go to www.DarleneQuinn.net.