ROCCO interviews author Jessie Chandler!
Award-winning author Jessie Chandler lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota with her wife and two mutts, Fozzy Bear and Ollie. In the fall and winter, Jessie writes, and spends her summers selling T-shirts and other assorted trinkets to unsuspecting conference and festival goers. Learn more at www.jessiechandler.com.
- Welcome Jessie! Tell us a little about your background
Thanks ROCCO! I come from a small town of about 900 in Northwest Wisconsin. Circumstances led me to a suburb of Minneapolis, where I went through school. I started writing in 2003 after I read a book series my JM Redmann. At the time there were only four books in the series and I fell in love with the characters. When I closed the cover on that fourth book, you would have thought my best friends had died. I decided that if I wrote my own book, I could keep it going as long as I wanted to play with my characters. So I found National Novel Writing Month, and here we are many years later with two series and the first novel of a third due to my publisher July 1.
- Tell us a bit about your latest Shay O’Hanlon book
Blood Money Murder is the 5th book in my Shay O’Hanlon Caper series. I’m incredibly excited about this book. The story involves Shay’s mother figure, Eddy Quartermaine, who has a secret that’s she’s hidden for the last twenty-five years. Now the secret is being uncovered with deadly results.
- How do you “get to know” your characters before and while you’re writing the books?
Initially I made incredibly detailed character dossiers, including faces I’d clipped out of magazines, character interviews, that kind of stuff. As I moved from one book to the next and one series to another, I realized I’d detailed myself into one of many holes. I found I was trying to fit the character’s backstory into the main body of the book but it just didn’t work. Now I begin with the basics of a character, like what they look like, what they like to wear, general personality, job, and a quirk of some kind, and leave most of the rest open to be molded as the character develops.
- What question do you wish interviewers would ask? (And what’s the answer?)
What my favorite snack food to eat while writing! That would be ripple chips and Top the Tater!
- Where can we learn more about you and your books?
I have a freshly revamped website, and you can find out lots there: www.jessiechandler.com! There are trailers for the books, a snippet of audio from each book so you can get a taste of it, a list of my events, and you can also order autographed copies as well as sign up for my not-very-frequent newsletter!
- What’s your favorite thing to have for lunch?
The buffet at The India House in Maple Grove! YUM!
- Do you collect anything?
I used to avidly collect hockey cards. Then my wife Betty got hooked on Beanie Babies. And all along it’s been books. I LOVE books. Too many books LOL
- What was your favorite book as a child?
Can I have two? Encyclopedia Brown and The Three Investigators.
- What’s something you’re always running out of?
Time! Hands down.
- What is your go-to comfort food?
Aside from the afore mentioned chips and dip, dark chocolate. Or my mom’s stroganoff. Or Betty’s Puerto Rican Rice and Beans. Or my cherished Pasta’s Red Velvet Cake. Yum. I love food!
- If you entered the witness protection program and had to start over, what job would you want to do?
An artist. Or a helicopter pilot.
- What is your most annoying habit
My procrastination problem. I always swear I’m not going to do it again, and then I procrastinate until I’m up against the deadline or due date.
- What would you love to have a never ending supply of?
Pillows and puppy snuggles.
- Whats the last tv show that made you laugh?
It was a movie: Bad Moms! I don’t have kids but I died laughing anyway!
- What store could you browse in for hours?
A bookstore, of course. Once Upon a Crime in Minneapolis or Powell’s Books in Portland or…
- Who is your favorite band?
How about singer? Will singers work? Melissa Etheridge, Sarah McLachlan, Pink, Adele, Sia Avicii, Bond, Rihanna, Beyonce, Coldplay, Shinedown
- How do you rate in the kitchen?
If you don’t want to die, you probably better cook!
- What is always in your refrigerator?
Chocolate milk, whole green olives, maraschino cherries, and cheese. Lots and lots of cheese. What can I say? I’m from Wisconsin!