Jean Henry Mead , like us, writes mysteries for adults. But she also writes mysteries for kids, western historical novels and nonfiction. And one of the latter, a history of Wyoming, became a college textbook. She's been a reporter, a magazine and press editor, a correspondent for the Denver Post, and has won national awards for her photojournalism.
This book, hot off the press, is her latest project - and here's Jean to tell you all about it:
When I began collecting interviews for the book I titled The Mystery Writers, I had no idea that such informative and disturbing articles would be coming my way. By disturbing, I’m referring primarily to my interview with Roger Smith, a writer of noir mysteries. The South African former filmmaker-screenwriter writes about the brutality of life in his native country following Nelson Mandella’s departure from government.
Smith has been called the Elmore Leonard of South Africa and the shooting star of the crime scene by reviewers. He says that American readers are fascinated by his depiction of life in his country as well as shocked and appalled by its brutality.
“South Africa went from being pariah of the world to everybody’s darling under Nelson Mandela, but the bubble burst when Mandela moved on. Crime and corruption replaced apartheid as our number one social ill.”
Most readers will find it hard to believe what he has to say about life in the nightmare society that he bases his novels on.
On the opposite end of the crime spectrum, Geraldine Evans of London writes two light-hearted crime series featuring Detective Inspector Dafyd Llewellyn and Sergeant Joseph Rafferty, a working-class “copper” who provides a bit of levity and has an Irish mother who tries to “imping on every aspect of his life.”
And then there’s Martin Edwards, another Brit who writes police procedurals. A member of the “Murder Squad,” he’s also chairman of the subcommittee for the most prestigious crime novel award, the CWA Diamond Dagger, and is an archivist for the Crime Writers Association. Edward’s protagonists are not working class stiffs. His day job is that of a Liverpool solicitor and his protagonist, Harry Devlin, is a fellow lawyer who works his cases in the Lake District series.
Bestselling Canadian author Cheryl Kaye Tardif was fed-up with her New York publisher and decided to self-publish on her own. The result was Imajin Press, which publishes a number of other writes in both Canada and the U.S. Her first book, Whale Song, placed her on the bestseller list and her unique way of promoting herself and her authors has made her a winner not only in her native Alberta, but an international bestseller.
Another Canadian, Joan Hall Hovey, lives and writes suspense novels from New Brunswick. She also teaches writing at the University and tutors with Winghill, a distance education (correspondence) school in Ottawa. She appears a proper lady you’d find at your neighborhood church, and some of her suspense novels will scare the devil out of you.
And last, but never least, among the "international" group are two of my favorite authors, Tim Hallinan and Leighton Gage, who, as regular visitors here know, live (at least part-time) and write from Thailand and Brazil. Tim’s Poke Rafferty thrillers are among my favorites as are Leighton’s Chief Inspector Mario Silva novels, which keep me enthralled.
Add fifty writers from the U.S., including Sue Grafton, Lawrence Block, J.A. Jance, Bruce DeSilva, Vicki Hinze and Vincent Zandri to the mix; and you have a book worth reading.
Fifty-eight of the sixty novelists have written articles on writing that every novice and veteran writer should enjoy. But, as the editor, I confess to a little prejudice.
Footnote: The Mystery Writers can be found, among other places, on both Amazon and Barnes and Noble, and is available both in print and as an eBook.
Leighton - Monday