I asked her here today to talk about her latest non-fiction book. Over the years, she has interviewed so many authors that she decided to compile some of their words into a book.
Please welcome Jean Henry Mead.
H: When you had all these authors guesting on your blog, you hadn’t planned on compiling a book. How did you approach these authors to get their approval once you decided to put together a book from those visits?
I emailed each writer and asked if they would like to appear in my book. No one turned me down and only one writer asked to share in the proceeds. Unfortunately, not all of over a hundred mystery writers interviewed were included in the book because of space restrictions, so I plan to include some or all of them in my next book.H: Did Poisoned Pen Press approach you or did you approach them with the idea for the book?
I approached them after two smaller presses showed an interest in the collection. One of PPP’s authors suggested that I contact their publisher, Robert Rosenwald, to ask whether he was interested. I also asked a couple of writer friends which publisher they thought I should go with. They all agreed on Poisoned Pen Press, which is the second largest mystery publisher.H: How involved were you in getting the book ready for e-publication?
I first made a list of each writer’s subgenre and grouped them accordingly: cozies, historicals, niche mysteries, suspense, thrillers, police procedurals, etc. I then copied and pasted each interview from the blog site to a Word file and began the process of editing the 150,000 word manuscript down to size. I also had to copy and paste each photo separately into a special photoshop file, making sure they they were all the same size—all 75 of them. I then submitted the manuscript via the Internet. We had some problems with Word and they eventually had to send written proofs in the mail, which pushed back the release date by over a month, but it eliminated all the electronic glitches.H: Since Mysterious Writers is an ebook, how have you been promoting it and getting out the word on it?
Strictly on the Internet. I’ve promoted it on great sites like yours although I haven’t had time to conduct another blog book tour because I’m proofing my children’s mystery and finishing the third book in my Logan & Cafferty mystery/suspense series. Facebook and Twitter have also been good places to promote the book as well as my own blog sites. I’ve also done some online speaking engagements on sites for aspiring writers.H: You’ve interviewed so many authors, you couldn’t get them into one book. When will the next edition be out?
I’m tentatively planning another interview book next spring after I interview Sue Grafton. I received a very nice reply to my interview request from her, via snail mail, asking that I wait until she finishes her latest novel, V is for (Victim?) in six to eight months. She and her husband are also in the process of changing residences. My letter to Janet Evanovich, however, has gone unanswered, but J.A. Jance, Lawrence Block, Vicki Hinze and others have been gracious about being interviewed, so I’ll have another good group of writers in my fifth collection. Next time in a print edition. I’ve learned a great deal from the writers interviewed and hope that others writers—especially those struggling to publish a first book—will learn from the book as well.Thank you Jean!
Mysterious Writers: The Many Facets of Mystery Writing and includes interview with, among others, Carolyn Hart, Nancy Pickard, Jeffrey Deaver, Rhys Bowen, C.J. Box, Elmore Leonard and Louise Penny.
If you’d like to ask Jean a question of your own or to say Hi to her, head to the Comments section and leave a shout-out.