After over three decades as a Fine and Graphic Artist, a musician, songwriter, and poet, Jean tried her hand at writing fiction and fell in love. In 2008, she published ‘The Woman in the Wing,’ a historical mystery involving women pilots and riveters in World War II. The next book, ‘Seven Cities of Greed’ took a group of ‘women of a certain age’ on an adventure in New Mexico. ‘Mrs. Quigley’s Kidnapping’, presents Mattie Draper, a Chicago female detective circa 1968. ‘Flowers for Her Grave,’ an old fashion whodunit followed, and then ‘An Uncluttered Palette,’ a mystery about forgery and oil painting. In 2013 ‘She Overheard Murder’ introduced the characters of the new Nic & Nora Mystery series. A native Chicagoan, Jean has lived in Illinois, Wisconsin, Colorado, New Mexico, and Oregon, all of which she considers home.
What inspires you to write?
Probably the most wonderful thing about writing is that everything inspires it. What you see, what you hear, what you smell, taste, feel, love, hate…all those things inspire. An endless supply of ideas, ours for the taking. See, even writing about inspiration inspires!
Tell us about your writing process.
Generally, I’ll start with an idea and write the story in around 50,000 words, letting it flow as quickly and smoothly as possible. That is the easy part. When I first started writing fiction, a friend warned me that it was rewriting that ended most authors careers. It is painful, arduous work, but it is when I bond with my characters and my voice comes through. The key for me is to keep writing. Even if I throw paragraphs, chapters, or entire stories away, I’ve learned and improved my skills.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
My characters don’t start out in charge, but they usually end up running the show. Their personalities become completely their own as they grow in the story. If I try too hard to make them behave a certain way, they rebel, as fully developed people often do.
What advice would you give other writers?
Write. Learn. Write more. Learn more. Take a break and continue.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
I have been involved in publishing since the 70s. When self publishing evolved, it seemed only natural for me to follow that path.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
There could not be a better time for small and independent publishers. We have every opportunity to compete with larger organizations and make a difference. I hope as we continue this growth that we keep in mind the importance of writers and readers, not just to our bottom line, but to our future.
What do you use?
Professional Editor, Beta Readers
What genres do you write?
Mystery, Historical Mystery
What formats are your books in?
Both eBook and Print
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