Monday, February 20, 2012

Monday Mystery- Author Jessie Crockett

I found Jessie Crockett's Live Free or Die last fall. After reading the book, she had a fan. The humor and the real people captured me. Thank you, Jessie for accepting my invitation to be on my blog. 

By Jessie Crockett
Writers tend to fall into two camps on the subject of writing or rewriting and which it is they prefer. Lovers of first draft enjoy the unbridled fun of seeing where their thoughts will take them, where the story could possibly go.  Revisers prefer winnowing out the chaff and finding all the good stuff hidden in amongst the junk. The grass is always greener and I find I envy the passion and openness first draft aficionados say they feel.

I’m a reviser all the way.  For me, first draft is about as much fun as a bout of stomach flu on a transatlantic flight. I type with my shoulders creeping up around my ears.  This is probably a defense mechanism attempting to muffle the voice in my head reminding me I have no idea what I am doing or where I am going. Right now I am working on a new series and a new series is about first everything. So, lately, I’ve caught my shoulders up around my ears even when I am not typing.

But last week, out of the blue, a new thought occurred to me.  I love to throw parties; big parties with silly themes, sparkling stemware and elaborate finger food. I realized, just maybe, first draft could be like mailing out party invitations to people I have never met and then finding out who they are once they arrive. 

Now, as I put words on the screen, a scene at a time, it is like opening the door to greet guests and get to know them.  I see how they look, get to know their sense of humor, find out what they prefer to eat.  Do they hug the corners or head for the biggest group of strangers and take center stage?  Do they prefer blue drinks with pink umbrellas or dry martinis with three olives and a whisper of vermouth? Do they have more fun if they help in the kitchen or would they rather supervise the music? 

With this fresh perspective I’ve been learning to enjoy first draft.  I sit at the keyboard each morning with a sense of anticipation and with the expectation of a good time.  I feel like an enthusiastic and experienced hostess instead of a bad driver lost in an unfamiliar city at rush hour.  I may never end up liking first draft as much as I do revisions but if I keep this feeling that working on first draft is like eating a serving of my second favorite dessert I might just make it all the way to the second draft without needing a chiropractor. I may even throw a party.

Author Bio
         A nearly life-long resident of the Granite State, Jessie naturally adores black flies, 98% humidity, killing frosts in August and snow banks taller than the average grandmother. When not working on her next murderous adventure she enthusiastically putters in her greenhouse, designs  bento lunches and throws parties. She delights in mentoring young writers at local schools. Jessie lives with her dark and mysterious husband and exuberant children in a village so small most other New Hampshire residents have never heard of it. Her debut mystery, Live Free or Die, was the 2011 winner of the Daphne DuMaurier Award for Excellence in Mystery. Hearing from readers makes the winters seem shorter so please drop in for a visit at

Live Free or Die by Jessie Crockett-

Life in tiny Winslow Falls, New Hampshire is pretty darn good until an arsonist decides to ruin everyone’s Christmas.

The way volunteer fire chief Gwen Fifield sees it, her life in rural New Hampshire is as good as it can be. Sure, she’s gained twenty pounds and her property taxes have skyrocketed, but her basement didn’t flood this year and the general store started delivering pizza.

All things considered, Gwen’s got no complaints….that is until she finds a body sizzled like a sausage in the smoldering remains of the Winslow Falls museum. When an artifact from the museum is traced to an immigrant family, most local residents are quick to blame the outsiders. But clues from the past convince Gwen that the town she’s always trusted is harboring a home grown murderer.

Live Free or Die is available at:

Indie Bound                            Amazon                                  Barnes and Noble


Marian L said...

I can't wait to read this one. Love Hampton Beach--been vacationing there for over 30 years now.

Judith Ashley said...

Hi Jessie,

I love writing first drafts - getting the story out of my head and on to the computer screen is an exciting adventure. I leave names/places blank if they don't pop into my head because I know I will be going through the story again (well, and again and again in some cases).

Love your analogy of writing first drafts to throwing a party - you really have some creative ideas!

Sarah Raplee said...

Hi Jessie,

Paty's blog took me to your blog. I'm adding your book to my to-be-read list. Sounds like a good one!

Tanya Hanson said...

Beautiful cover, Jessie, and terrific blurb. We had the great pleasure of visiting New Hampshire a few years ago on a leaf-peeper trip, and I adopted the motto for my fantasti football team LOL. What a beautiful state it is.

So good to get to meet you today.