Big time author in small town

Linda Castillo speaks to the crowd about her ventures at the Portsmouth Public Library Saturday.

Linda Castillo signs a book for a fan at her book signing held at the Portsmouth Public Library Saturday.

It’s not every day that Portsmouth’s Public Library welcomes a New York Times best-selling author. However, this past Saturday, that’s exactly what happened. So many people visited the library for her book tour/signing, that extra chairs had to be brought out to accommodate that patrons.

Linda Castillo is an Ohio native who writes Amish thriller mystery novels. She is very well-known by many people in this community, which is why the publicity/program manager, Katie Williams reached out to Castillo to possibly visit Portsmouth.

“A few patrons and some staff had recommended Linda Castillo who is a very popular author,” Williams said. “Having an author visit engages our patrons in a hands-on experience. It can enhance their love for books, and it adds a whole new level of connection between the author and the reader. They might love those books and read them all the time, but then they actually get to meet the person who created these characters.”

Everyone who had contact with Castillo spoke of her down-to-earth nature, and genuine spirit. Williams even had a chance to give Castillo a tour of Portsmouth.

“We showed her around Portsmouth, went to get coffee, drove down by the river, and since she loves trees, we visited some of the oldest ones in town,” Williams said. “She really loved our community. I mean, I have a love for this community, but it’s amazing when an outsider comes in and has many positive things to say – especially when they’ve been all over the place.”

Castillo appreciated Portsmouth because she too is from a small town.

“I am from Ohio, and most of the people I work with are from New York,” Castillo said. “So, when I tell them I’m from Ithica, they think Ithica New York. I then tell them ‘no, Ithica Ohio, population 79.’”

Meeting the friendly faces of this town is something Castillo seemed to enjoy.

“They stopped everything and took a quick tour of the town, and I was even five minutes late to my own event,” Castillo said. “This is a very interesting place. And the dome ceiling in the library is beautiful.”

The director of the library, Paige Williams, spoke about how the library has been trying to do more to have community involvement.

“The library lost about 1/3 of our funding from the government a while back, and we continue to lose funding. In 2010, the people of Scioto County stepped up and passed a levy to help fund us. They’re supporting us, so we’re going to reach out into the community to offer more in-house, as well as out in the community.”

Be sure to visit the Lucasville branch next Saturday at 11 to meet Batman and see his Bat-mobile.

Getting involved with your local library is incredibly easy. You can stop in and receive information, sign up for a monthly newsletter that highlights activities, join their Facebook page, visit them online at, or give them a call.