What Inspires Me to Write by Jean Henry Mead





I’ve been inspired by many things over the years but the biggest writing project I was inspired to tackle was a centennial history book about my adopted state of Wyoming. I had no idea when I started that I would be spending more than two years behind an ancient microfilm machine at the county library, reading 97 years’ worth of newspapers dating back to 1888. The book was originally published in 1987 and republished in 2004. Surprisingly, Casper Country:Wyoming’s Heartland is still selling on Amazon and other online outlets in various parts of the world. It also became a textbook at Casper College in 2005.

When I first began reading the early newspapers, I was shocked and angry by newspaper reports about a young woman and her husband who were hanged by cattlemen that wanted their homestead land, and I decided to write about it. I’ve researched the true story over the years and I’m just now working on the novel titled No Escape:The Sweetwater Tragedy. I also used some of my microfilm research to write my first novel, Escape on the Wind, which is also set in Wyoming. It’s been published by three companies and is now titled, Escape, a Wyoming Historical Novel. I’ve lived within several miles of the Oregon and Mormon trails for years where so many historical events have taken place practically in my own backyard.

I’m also working on the second children’s book in my Hamilton Kids mystery series. Mystery of Spider Mountain, a semi-autobiographical novel that was released in February and takes place in the hills of Los Angeles where my four brothers and I grew up. I talked about writing it for at least twenty years and finally sat down and did it. I enjoyed it more than any other book I’ve written, with the exception of the second children’s book in the series, The Ghost of Crimson Dawn, which was inspired by the annual summer solstice festival that takes place here on Casper Mountain.

I love to research and I spend entirely too much time reading about a subject before I begin writing the book. My most recent release, Murder on the Interstate, is my 14th book and third in my Logan & Cafferty mystery/suspense series featuring two 60-year old widows who sell their retirement homes in the first book, A Village Shattered, and buy a motorhome to tour the country. They seem to be murder magnets who are continually stumbling over bodies. The books were inspired by my own experience driving a 36 foot motorhome around the Southwest from Wyoming to Arizona to Texas. I listened to truckers on my CB radio and learned their lingo, so I was able to write accurate dialogue for the novel.

I’ve also been inspired to interview close to a thousand people of all walks of life, both famous and ordinary people who have accomplished extraordinary things. The interviews been published in four nonfiction books, Wyoming in Profile, Maverick Writers, Westerners:Candid & Historic Interviews, and Mysterious Writers. Why? Because they inspire me with their successes.

Here's the link to order Murder on the Interstate:


CONTEST:


I'm giving away three copies of my book in a drawing on May 28 and naming a visitor who leaves a comment a character in my next book, Magnets for Murder.


(Jean, thank you so much for this great post. Marilyn)

Comments

Jean Henry Mead said…
Thank you, Marilyn, for hosting my blog tour today. I'm a fan of your own work and marvel at your promotional energy.
Marian Allen said…
Jean, that's wonderful, that you did so much work researching and found so much material in your own back yard. :)

When the Southern Indiana Writers Group was invited to write ghost stories set in Corydon, Indiana for Corydon's 200th birthday, our work had already been done for us by the local DAR, which had collected obituaries and news stories and published them. The town historian, Frederick Porter Griffen, had also published numerous local history books, including a street-by-street history of all the buildings downtown!

Do you follow Pat Bean's Travels With Maggie blog? She really DID sell her house and buy an RV! If I could only talk my husband into doing that....

MA
Cheryl said…
Thanks for hosting Jean today. I love to see writers supporting each other.

I'm the middle of reading this book now. I hope your readers take a moment to check it out.

I look forward to your review later in the month.

All my best,

Cheryl
Jean Henry Mead said…
We found a wonderful RV resort in southern California that's like an oasis in the desert with a golf course running through it. Most of the residents are 50+ and there are all kinds of activities going on there. The owners asked me to do a signing party. What better place when your book has a motorhome on the cover. :)

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