A Few Words with Jean Henry-Mead

Biography taken from her web page:

Jean Henry-Mead is a novelist and award-winning photojournalist. She began her writing career as a news reporter and photographer in California. She later worked for the statewide newspaper in Wyoming where she also served as a magazine editor, freelance photojournalist and editor. Her magazine articles have been published domestically as well as abroad and have earned a number of regional and national writing awards. Her novels have been published under the name Jean Henry; her nonfiction books and magazine articles as Jean Mead, S. Jean Mead and Jean Henry-Mead. Her latest release, A Village Shattered, is the first novel in her Logan & Cafferty senior sleuth series. Diary of Murder is the second book in the series.

1. Where did you get your education? Did your studies have anything to do with writing?

I've received my education in various parts of the country, including California, Wyoming and Nevada. I concluded at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. I majored in English/journalism and worked as a cub reporter while editor in chief of my college newspaper. My first job out of college was as a news reporter.

2. I see you've written 12 books. What got you started as a writer?

News reporting is a great way to learn to write. You sit down and write, no matter how noisy your environment, and you usually only have time for one draft before your work goes into print. I've been known to say that I could write in the middle of a
traffic jam. In journalism, there's no such thing as writer's block.

I learned to write fiction by reading and rereading Dean Koontz's novels. I like the way he strings his words together.

3. What are the regional and national writing awards that you have won?

Mainly from California and Wyoming Press Women for newspaper feature stories I've written. Also from Wyoming Writers, Inc. for short stories.

4. Which novel are you the most proud of and why?

Escape, A Wyoming Historical Novel. I spent more than two years researching a prior nonfiction book, Casper Country: Wyoming's Heartland, on microfilm and I used my extensive notes to write the novel.

5. What genres do you prefer?

Mystery/suspense and western historical.

6. Who have you published with and what have your experiences been with editors and publishers?

My first publisher was Pruett Publishing of Boulder, Colorado. I've subsequently been published by Caxton Press of Caldwell, Idaho; Medallion Press of Wyoming, and ePress-Online. I've also been published by a number of magazines, including Empire Magazine of the Denver Post, SAGA Men's Magazine, In Wyoming Magazine (where I served as editor), and a number of foreign western magazines in Germany and Norway.

As for editors and publishers, some have been great to work with, others not. It can be very frustrating when an editor or publisher wants to change the concept of your book. I've asked for my manuscripts back from three different publishers and resold them to other publishers who produced them with only minor edits. I've been fortunate that all my books have sold.

7. Can you tell us a little bit about your latest book, Diary of Murder?

It's the second novel in my Logan & Cafferty series and features two sixty-year-old senior sleuths who travel the country in a motorhome, stumbling over bodies. In Diary, Dana Logan's sister dies mysteriously, her husband claiming it's suicide, but Dana and her friend Sararh set out to prove it's murder. In the process they encounter a vicious Wyoming drug ring and more murders. They nearly lose their own lives before they solve the case.

8. What's your philosophy on authors and writers in the modern, electronic world?

Ebooks are gaining ground in the publishing industry. The last I heard, ebook sales comprise more than ten percent of all book sales and are no longer confined to small presses. Major publishers are getting into electronic publishing and travelers realize that they can take multiple books with them in a handheld devise small enough to fit in a purse or briefcase. I don't think they will ever completely replace books in print but they're definitely gaining in popularity. I look forward to the day when ebook readers are standaridzed.

Join Jean Henry Mead's Facebook fan page here and check out her web page here!

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