Welcome to Jean Henry Mead

December 6, 2011

Mystery We Write Blog Tour

Jean, thank you for visiting my blog today and sharing your thoughts on Inspiration, Author Enjoyment, &  Reader Wishes

Jean Henry Mead is the author of 15 books, eight of them mystery novels and historical fiction. Murder on the Intestate is the third novel in her Logan & Cafferty mystery/suspense series and she writes the HamiltonKids’ mysteries for 9-12 year olds. She’s also an award-winning photojournalist who has been published domestically as well as abroad.

Jean Henry Mead

What inspires me? People I’ve met and interviewed, news events and life experiences have inspired me to write both fiction and nonfiction. I once read 97 years’ worth of microfilmed newspapers to researchCasper Country, a central Wyoming centennial history book, which eventually became a college textbook. The stack of leftover notes have since served as research for some of my historical novels. Also, one mycharacters is an investigative journalist, as I was for eight years, and elements of some of the stories I covered have found their way into my mystery novels.

I most enjoy editing and polishing my work and of course holding the print copy in my hands when it’s finished. I also like hearing from readers who say they enjoyed my books and ask when the next one will be available. My series characters are like old friends, whom I enjoy visiting each day. I especially like Dana Logan and Sarah Cafferty, two 60-year old amateur sleuths who are not only feisty and adventurous, they drive a 37-foot motorhome around the West (as I once did) solving murders. Sitting down at the computer each day I look forward to eavesdropping on their conversations and activities. Non-writers laugh when I tell them that I just type as fast as I can to keep up with my characters, but it’s true.

Probably because I started my writing career as a news reporter, I always include interesting bits of research in my novels so that I inform as well as entertain. But I’m careful not to load the reader up with paragraphs of research, which might bore them to tears. That reminds me of something one of my favorite authors, Benjamin Capps, once said, “No reader of mine ever felt so strongly or dropped a tear unless I did so in the writing.” Eliciting emotion is the most important ingredient in fiction, and I’m sometimes moved to tears while reading certain passages of my books, but the most comments I receive are usually, “What a fun book that was to read.” Humor is a main ingredient in my books, although subtle, not slapstick. I found plenty of humor in the old newspapers, including a story about three young boys who stole watermelons from a boxcar. When the arresting officer was asked about the disposition of the case, he said the melons were mighty tasty.

I want my readers to smile when they finish one of my books and feel satisfied that it was a good read. And, along the way, I hope they learn something they didn’t know before, even if it’s just something about human nature.

Jean’s latest Logan & Cafferty mystery/suspense novel, Murder on the Interstate, is available at:
Amazon.com: http://tinyurl.com/6znjvsa (print and Kindle) and
Barnes and Noble: http://tinyurl.com/3vxzppy (Nook)
She’s giving away one of her mystery ebooks at the end of each of her 14 blog appearances as well as three print novels at the conclusion of the tour. Be sure to leave a comment and email address to be eligible for the drawings. Her blog tour schedule is listed at: http://jeansblogtour.blogspot.com/

Also, to Purchase, just click on Book Cover

Thank you, Jean, for your thoughtful comments and generosity!

If you leave a comment, your name will go into the drawing for a free copy of Reticence of Ravens (three copies in total, randomly selected by Buster!) .


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14 Responses to “Welcome to Jean Henry Mead”

  1. Great post, Jean, plenty to think about.

    Marilyn

  2. “I want my readers to…learn something they didn’t know before…”

    Well said, Jean. One tip I took away from a writing course was to do just that. Provide the reader with some interesting tidbit–a pearl of non-fiction info in a fictional work!

  3. mmgornell said

    Jean, thanks for visiting today–it been an informative and pleasant tour stop. You’re welcome anytime!

    Madeline

  4. Hi Jean, I agree with you about editing and polishing!

  5. W.S. Gager said

    I think that is why I hate editing so much. Wham, bam and done. Novels don’t work so well that way!
    Wendy
    W.S. Gager on Writing

  6. Who has time to edit a news story, anyway, Wendy? For me it was first draft and a quick check for typos. I, too, enjoy writing fiction much more than journalism.

  7. W.S. Gager said

    Nice post Jean. I worked at a newspaper but liked getting the story. I wasn’t so fond of editing although it was a necessary evil. I’m the same way with mysteries. Love the writing, hate the editing.
    Wendy
    W.S. Gager on Writing

  8. Thanks, Alice. Putting the finishing touches to a manuscript is a reason to celebrate!

  9. Oh, boy, Jean, I can certainly relate to editing and polishing your novel, ’cause it means you’ve FINISHED it! Great post.

  10. Thanks, John. I’ve worked as a news, magazine and small press editor so it’s become second nature to edit my own work, which I really do enjoy. The hardest part for me is the first draft, although I enjoy writing dialogue and probably write too much of it, so editing the rough draft borders on fun.

  11. Jean, I’m impressed by the fact that you enjoy the editing and polishing phase of writing a book. For me that’s a difficult task, like pulling my own teeth and then taking out the trash. But it must be done, and I’m always pleased with the results. Good interview, Jean and Madeline.

  12. Fine interview, Jean and Madeline. Jean, I admire the fact that you enjoy the editing and polishing phase of writing a book. I wish I could say the same. For me it’s like pulling teeth and then taking out the trash. But then, but then, but then—I’m so glad I did it. Maybe that’s what pleases you, too.

  13. Good early morning, Madeline. Thanks for the invitation to visit you in the desert. It may be chilly but we had a -35 degree chill factor here last night in the mountains, so I’m enjoying the desert air. Thanks for the cup of chai. It’s my favorite. I hope you enjoy cozying up with Dana and Sarah. I know they’ll enjoy spending time with you. 🙂

  14. mmgornell said

    Good morning, Jean! It’s another chilly morning here in the desert, so I made you a pot of tea. I understand you wanted to try some Chai?

    I think I already mentioned–as soon as our tour is over, I’m planning on cozying(sp) up with Dana and Sarah–they sound like my kind of heroines.

    Welcome, Jean!

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