Folger Library as Inspiration for Fiction

My guest today is Quintin Peterson and I asked him to tell me what inspired him to write Guarding Shakespeare.

Introducing my friend and fellow PSWA member, Quintin Peterson.

I retired from the D.C. Metropolitan Police Department on April 23, 2010, after more than 28 years of public service. When I started working at the Folger Shakespeare Memorial Library as a Special Police Officer (SPO) and issued Badge #28 on December 14, 2010 (BTW: I was sworn in as a police officer on December 14, 1981 and issued Badge #2807), I learned that April 23rd is Shakespeare’s birthday. The coincidences were not lost on me.

It didn’t take long for the plot of a noir story using the Folger Library as the backdrop to occur to me – The Maltese Falcon meets The DaVinci Code I thought – and on January 27, 2013, a short story version of Guarding Shakespeare, a caper about a plot to heist a priceless artifact from the Folger Library, was published in eNoir Magazine Issue No. 2. On March 24, 2013, the novella Guarding Shakespeare was published in paperback and Kindle Edition by Ram Press.( The short story version has a different ending from the novella, only so far as that I picked an appropriate section of the whole story to stop telling the tale.)

Although the works listed below have scenes that occur within the Folger Library or mention it, I am not aware of any work of fiction other than Guarding Shakespeare that is actually about the Folger Shakespeare Library. At any rate, the novella Guarding Shakespeare is now part of the Folger Shakespeare Library’s Special Collection, which also contains the following works of fiction that mention the Folger Library:

The Adventure of the Global Traveler by Anne Lear, which was first published in Isaac Asimov’s Science Fiction Magazine (Sept.-Oct. 1978) and reprinted in the anthology Laughing Space, edited by Asimov and J.C. Juppson, published by Houghton Mifflin, 1982.

Renaissance Summer by Clare Richards, published by Harlequin imprint Silhouette, 1985.
Interred with Their Bones by Jennifer Lee Carrell, published by Dutton, 2007.
The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown, published by Doubleday, 2010.
The School of Night by Louis Bayard, published by Henry Holt and Co., 2011.
Robert Ludlum’s The Bourne Dominion by Eric Van Lustbader, published by Grand Central Publishing, 2012. 

Quintin Peterson 

Blurb for Guarding Shakespeare:

The Folger Shakespeare Library is the world’s largest repository of Shakespeareana and English Renaissance books, manuscripts, and objects d’art. Nobody alive knows the library better than Special Police Officer Lt. Norman Blalock; he’s been guarding it for 25 years. That’s why he is the perfect candidate to pull off an inside job and heist from the library’s underground bank vault a priceless artifact that can rock the foundation of English Literature.

Quintin Peterson’s Bio:

Native Washingtonian Quintin Peterson is a retired D.C. police officer who served the public for more than 28 years. He is an artist and an award-winning writer who has authored three DC-based crime novels, a book of poetry, several short stories available via Amazon Kindle and Nook Books, and has contributed to five crime fiction/noir anthologies and two magazines. His latest offering is the noir novella, Guarding Shakespeare, a story about a plot to heist a priceless artifact from the Folger Shakespeare Memorial Library in Washington, D.C., which is where the author is currently employed. (For complete bio and links to author’s web pages go to

Thanks for visiting, Quintin.

Marilyn aka F. M. Meredith


M.M. Gornell said…
Great getting to know more about Quintin, and Guarding Shakespeare sounds really interesting! Much success, Quintin! I like the premise of your story, and also getting to learn more about the Library.

Simon Grewster said…
You have got a great blog.Hope to see the next post soon.

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