Mystery We Write Tour: Jean Henry Mead

Jean Henry Mead has published 18 books, including the Logan & Cafferty mystery/suspense series, Hamilton Kids’ mysteries, and historical fiction and nonfiction. The national award-winning photojournalist has been published domestically as well as abroad. Her latest novel is Gray Wolf Mountain and she's also edited The Mystery Writers, an anthology of interviews and writing advice from bestselling authors such as Sue Grafton and Lawrence Block. To find out more about Jean, visit her blog

What have you learned from writing your novels?
I’ve learned that it’s not easy to earn a living from writing, although ebook sales have increased my income. Writing is also a great catharsis, which helped me through my daughter’s death from cancer four years ago. Because I then immersed myself in writing, my fiction career began to take off.

Do you have a "day job?" What is it and how do you write around it?
My day job is writing, but I’ve had other jobs along the way, such as secretary, office manager, sales clerk, and business owner. I started my writing career as a news reporter while in college and worked for three newspapers as well as serving as a news, magazine and small press editor. One of my least favorite beats was that of border patrol reporter in the area south of San Diego, although I was the second journalist to ride in the Border Patrol’s first helicopter in 1977. Seated behind an NBC-TV cameraman, I saw hundreds of alien trails and wrote about the experience. That I enjoyed and there were nearly a hundred reporters lined up from all over the country to do the same.

Do you have a writing routine or ritual?
I learned to write as a journalist in a very noisy press room, so I could probably write in the middle of a traffic jam. I don’t need music, candles or wine to write. There’s no such thing as writer’s block for a journalist. You simply sit down and write.

Leave a comment to win a copy of Jean's latest novel, Gray Wolf Mountain – the fourth novel in the Logan & Cafferty series. Also be sure to visit Patricia Gligor's Writers Forum blog to read my essay on how I created the character of Irène Laureux, the protagonist of both Conquering Venus and Remain In Light.


Jean, I so enjoyed your answers to Collins questions and feel like I know you a bit better now.
Earl Staggs said…
Jean, you have a lot of interesting life behind you and even more still ahead. Best wishes, my friend.
Jean Henry Mead said…
Thanks for hosting me today Collin. I've enjoyed all your own posts.
Jean Henry Mead said…
I've also enjoyed your posts, Marilyn. Thank you for the kind words.
Evelyn Cullet said…
You've had a long line of interesting and exciting jobs, Jean. They make mine seem so ordinary. I envy you.
Jean Henry Mead said…
Thank you, Earl. I'm lucky to have had so many opportunities to do unusual and, often exciting, things.
Jean Henry Mead said…
Evelyn, I was fortunate to interview some fascinating people but reporting on train wrecks and deadly car crashes wasn't much fun, especially back in the days when we women reporters had to wear dresses and heels to rush to the various tragedies. (No jeans or slacks allowed.)
Rionna Morgan said…
I love it! You simply sit down and write. I married a journalist. So very true!! :) Thank you for sharing pieces of your world with us.

All the Best,
Jean Henry Mead said…
I can imagine that it could be maddening for a novelist with writer's block to be married to a journalist, Rionna. I hope that hasn't happened. :)
M.M. Gornell said…
Jean, I really like what I call your level-headed down to earth approach to writing. You've often inspired me, and have done so again today. I'm sure it's come from your Journalism background. Excellent post,

Jean Henry Mead said…
Thank you, Madeline. I'm afraid that fledgling writers don't always take my publishing advice seriously, although many years ago, when I began writing, I probably didn't like the rules and guidelines either. :)

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