My next guest on the Crime Cafe podcast is crime writer Jessie Chandler.
Check out her website! “Where Janet Evanovich meets Scooby Doo!” Sounds intriguing! 🙂
She’s giving away a copy of her latest novel, Quest for Redemption, along with one of her mixed media paintings.
To enter, simply email Jessie at jchandlerauthor[at]gmail[dot]com. The deadline to enter is Sept. 15, 2020, but don’t wait. Enter today!
In the meantime, let’s hear from the author!
Why I Write
By Jessie Chandler
So, I’ve pretty much always hated English, that evil school subject involving nouns and adjectives and prepositions. Hated the subject all the way through elementary, secondary, high school, and college. But, I loved to read. Crime fiction, mostly. Encyclopedia Brown, the Boxcar Children, the Three Investigators, Trixie Belden, Nancy Drew, the Hardy Boys…so many. If that list doesn’t date me, nothing will.
What I loved in school was laughing, throwing the shot put and discus, downhill ski racing, recess, gym, and art. I really, really loved art. In 8th grade I took my first art class and painted a three foot by almost five foot study of a Chinese junk based on a drawing I’d done. It was the first time I’d messed around with acrylic paint, color theory, and gesso. I LOVED it. Of course, I wasn’t well-schooled on perspective, but it was a gallant effort. From that point on, I took art classes. All through high school I swapped out study halls for art. Hello portraits, slalom skiers, and horses. My art teacher (so weird to think about this now) said he’d love to know which college professors I’d sleep with to up my non-art grades. WTF????
Anyway, I digress. Back to art. I lived and breathed all things art.
BUT. Always that darn but.
I come from a very practical family and knew it was very unlikely I’d be able to make a living with my art. So, with great regret, I decided to do what I felt was the responsible thing. I turned away from painting, drawing, and anything remotely arty. Instead, I wound up scoring a BS in Mass Communications (television journalism emphasis) with a minor in Criminal Justice, which is a long story in and of itself.
For a while I followed the path of the responsible. Till I thought I might die. So–you ask–where do words (novels) come into this story, for Pete’s sake? Well, here you go. I shuffled my entire life around. Eventually landed a gig with Borders Books, which for nine years was a dream job. My mom had been an elementary school librarian for most of her teaching life and had instilled in me a huge love of words (of the book kind.) Eventually I stumbled across National Novel Writing Month, (NaNoWriMo,) which was an internet group whose goal was to write 50,000 words of a novel, 1667 words a day, through the month of November. The rest is history.
Enter the Shay O’Hanlon Caper Series. Shay is similar to Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum in that the situations she gets herself in are insane, hilarious, and sometimes explosive.
Enter the Shay O’Hanlon Caper Series. Shay is similar to Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum in that the situations she gets herself in are insane, hilarious, and sometimes explosive. I’m currently working on the sixth in the series. Now, you ask, what the hell does this have to do with art? To you, I say, patience grasshopper. Here’s how. For SO long, I’ve been wanting to write a series about an art thief. Not like Ann Aptaker’s amazing art heister Cantor Gold, but someone whose life leads them to thieving art or historical documents that have been initially swiped by someone else and then she returns the item to the original order. Perhaps with occasionally for a finder’s fee. After a three-year journey, Quest for Redemption was published in March amid the beginning of the Covid pandemic. It’s the start of a new series starring Mikala Flynn. She’s a good person caught in the clutches of PTSD, depression, alcoholism, misplaced responsibility, and lost love. It’s a one-eighty from the lightness and humor of my Shay series, but I was absolutely driven to bring this story to life. Welcome back, art! Welcome back, art world. Welcome back an intense passion I’d lost…and never thought would make a comeback.
After a three-year journey, Quest for Redemption was published in March amid the beginning of the Covid pandemic. It’s the start of a new series starring Mikala Flynn. She’s a good person caught in the clutches of PTSD, depression, alcoholism, misplaced responsibility, and lost love.
Now, along with Shay, Flynn is alive and well, and I’ve finally, finally come back to my art. Mixed media is now my passion, with its acrylics, stencils, spray paint, collage, and incredible freedom of thought. I found my art passion and a passion for writing crime fiction novels. Which, if I may, is a completely different thing than taking English in school. Very different. But I’m so appreciative my path has led me to where I’m at today.
Jessie Chandler is the author of seven mysteries including five books in the Shay O’Hanlon Caper Series. Quest for Redemption, the first in a new series, was released in March of 2020. It’s about art. And a whole lot more.
As a kid, Jessie honed an interest in crime and punishment by avidly reading Nancy Drew, the Hardy Boys, Encyclopedia Brown, and Alfred Hitchcock’s The Three Investigators series under the covers with a flashlight.
She currently lives in Central Minnesota with her family and six four-legged food fiends. Fall and winter finds Jessie feverishly writing, and she spends springtime knee deep in edits and revisions. Summers (when Covid isn’t in charge) are spent selling T-shirts, books, and other assorted trinkets to unsuspecting conference and festivalgoers. Find out more at www.jessiechandler.com