Award-winning author Jessie Chandler lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota with her wife and two mutts, Fozzy Bear and Ollie. In the fall and winter, Jessie writes, and spends her summers selling T-shirts and other assorted trinkets to unsuspecting conference and festival goers.
The first book in Jessie’s new National Investigation and Protection Unit Operation series, Operation Stop Hate, launched March 2015. Lesbians on the Loose, Crime Writers on the Lam, a mystery anthology co-edited with Lori L. Lake was released in May 2015. Blood Money Murder, the fifth book in the Shay O’Hanlon Caper series, will be out in 2016, and the first book in Jessie’s new Art Thief series will follow. Learn more on her website (LINK)
Social Media Links
Special Agent Cailin McKenna and her National Protection and Investigation Unit partners are drawn into a case that started with a pair of school shootings in Minneapolis. They soon learn that a hate group is recruiting teenagers on school grounds, handing out metal music rife with violent messages, and plotting a terrorist offensive on a major Twin Cities venue.
The case gets personal when the stabbing of Cailin’s brother is linked. To complicate matters, Cailin’s fiery new relationship is threatened by the return of a psycho stalker ex-girlfriend hell-bent on getting Cailin back.
Cailin soon finds herself in a fight for her life. And the clock is ticking–can she prevail in time to stop the worst terror attack that Minnesota has ever seen?
NOW FROM JESSIE
(1) Where did you get the idea for your most recent book?
My most recent book is called Operation Stop Hate. It involves a school shooting, a hate group distributing hate music on school grounds and the investigation into the hate group to stop a terrorist attack on the Twin Cities. The underlying story is the true meaning of family and the many forms it can take. I originally wrote this in 2005, I think it was. In Minnesota we’d had two school shootings–the Red Lake Massacre and the Cold Spring shooting. Both moved me to think about bullying and hate and guns. I pulled the manuscript back out a couple of years ago and pretty much rewrote the whole thing. I was surprised and disappointed we as a society had not moved forward nearly as far as we should have…school shootings are still happening with alarming frequency.
(2) How do you get inspired to write?
Initially, I’d read a series of books that ended, and I was so disappointed! I wanted to know what was going on with my favorite characters. They’d become my best friends. I was crushed. After moping around awhile I decided that if I wrote my own series, I could keep my new friends around as long as I wanted to. Then I stumbled across National Novel Writing Month and the rest is history!!
Now, as soon as I go out and buy a new notebook, I know it’s time to work on the bones of a new book. That alone inspires me to get going!
(3) What are you currently working on?
I’m currently working on the 5th book in my Shay O’Hanlon Caper Series, Blood Money Murder.
This is a story about Eddy, Shay’s mom-figure, and a 25 year old secret she’s got that is about to come back and bite her and those she loves right in the derrière. It’ll be released by Bella Books in 2016.
(4) What’s your advice for aspiring writers?
Take classes. When you think you know what you’re doing, you probably don’t. Don’t give up. Get it on the page and then you can worry about revising and editing. Write the story you want to tell, and give your characters VERY BAD TROUBLES. They need to learn and grow and that’s how you do it. Above all, writing should be fun. If it isn’t, something’s wrong!
(5) What’s the best thing about being a writer?
Writing gives me the ability to express myself in a different way than I do in real life. When I can take someone out of the day they’re having, and distract them…make them laugh, it’s my kryptonite. If I can touch somebody and entertain and perhaps even educate them, it makes my day. Being able to go to work in your pajamas isn’t a bad thing either!
(6) How do you deal with writer’s block?
I’m lucky. I outline my behind off, so I rarely wind up with writer’s block. Outlines don’t have to be the dreaded old school formula. It can be numbered scenes, it could be by chapter, it could be by plot vs subplot. I can always veer off my course and have something happen I didn’t anticipate, but then I have my roadmap so I can get back on the right street that’ll get me where I’m going.