By Katy Savage
RUTLAND—Lisa Mancini was bored with the the mystery novels she was reading, so she wrote her own.
Mancini, 50, who grew up in Rutland, wrote two books in 18 months. She recently self published her second book in a mystery series, called “Murder on Main Street,” which will be available in October.
“I was inspired by all the Agatha Christie books I read as a child,” said Mancini, who calls her books “old fashioned mysteries.”
Her books are based on city of Rutland and surrounding towns. Mancini has a chapter devoted to the Wilson Castle in Pittsford. She mentions the Paramount Theatre and parks and ponds she grew up visiting.
The protagonist, Freya Barrett, is a college student and young reporter who finds bodies at her college and links it back to a murder.
“I wanted her to be a competent woman,” said Mancini of the protagonist. “I wanted her to go against the grain.”
Mancini, who grew up reading and writing stories and fairytales for other people, said she always wanted to be a reporter but never felt bold enough.
Mancini was born in Rutland. She studied business and finance at the College of St. Joseph and traveled all over the world before coming back to Rutland.
Mancini has been a certified medical coder at Rutland Regional Medical Center for about 30 years.
“It’s very linear and there are so many rules to follow,” said Mancini of her day job. “There is no creativity to that. This is a creative outlet.”
Mancini writes in bed before she goes to sleep. She estimates she writes 20 hours a week.
“I don’t write everyday,” she said. “I don’t force it. I see the book in my head like a movie.”
Mancini started writing a year ago. She wrote her first draft by hand in a spiral notebook and typed and edited her book along the way.
“It’s relaxing because you can take these characters and you can control them,” she said.
Mancini tried to get her books published with a literary agent, but was unsuccessful, she said.
“It’s almost impossible to get something published when you’re nobody,” she said. “I don’t have a name and I’m from Rutland.”
Mancini hasn’t let that stopped her. She has devoted herself to her books.
Lorna Davis, Mancini’s friend, said she kept a chalkboard with bullet points to remind her of where to take her books next.
“What a wonderful sense of achievement,” said Davis, who is proud of her friend.
Mancini’s first book, “Agatha Falls,” was released in December. Since then, she’s sold 4,000 copies. Mancini already has her third book planned.
“It’s almost like having a part-time job,” she said.