Jerol Anderson crafts
mystery and intrigue. Her first book The Queen Anne Fox, received
an Eppie nomination for best mystery of 2006. The story began
when the author resided on Queen Anne Hill, where she took delight
in the quaint neighborhoods of Seattle and actually encountered
the real Queen Anne Fox.
In March 2007 the second of the Jessica Tyson, Special Agent Mysteries,
Gone Missing in the Underground, will be released. Jesse searches
for missing persons through underground tunnels and in the twisted
minds of suspects above on the history-filled streets of Seattle’s
Jerol Anderson lives in Cambridge, Wisconsin with her supportive
husband, Doug, and cockatiel, Tonto, and near her two daughters
and their families. When she is not intrigued with bringing fictional
characters out of memory and into the light of day, the author
enjoys absorbing energy from her family and flowers.
author's site here
book covers for more information
Both The Queen Anne Fox (Eppie Finalist for Best Mystery
in 2006) and my new release Gone Missing in the Underground deal with
crime and suspense, entangled with a love story.
Plots and people for my stories jump out at me from real life. An idea
for a story rolls around in my head with 'what if's' for six months
to a year before anything goes onto paper and the writing process begins.
Once an idea is formulated I create a rough idea of a beginning, end
and middle, but the first writing is dialog between the main characters.
I believe that dialog is the ‘stuff of life’. When I finally
sit down in front of the computer screen, whole scenes of dialog fly
onto the page. Through intense dialog, I feel I can get under the skin
of characters to understand and portray their emotions more clearly.
I call myself a free-flow writer. The first draft of a scene is rough,
but it contains all the high points and immediacy of what is happening
or about to happen. To critique a first draft, I often find I must convert
from a vocabulary that is painfully personal into a more universal language
so the reader can 'get it'.
Early in the morning is my most alert time of day. If I can get up before
the hustle and bustle of the real world creeps into my mind, then I
can more easily stay in the imaginary one I have created.
Settings are as important to me as character and plot. I firmly believe
that setting should come across to the reader as a character, so the
reader walks away from the book feeling like he/she has been there.
Setting and the development and growth of characters are key. I want
the characters to draw my reader into the story and leave answers as
to where they are headed.
It is important for me to share critiquing with other writers. Helping
them with their manuscript helps me to learn.
When my manuscript is finished and has been through a critiquing process,
it goes to the critical eye of my husband, who is an insatiable reader
of all genres. He gives the manuscript a 'yes' or 'no'. Then just prior
to submission each manuscript goes to two neighbors who are retired
school teachers with sharp red pencils.
I would like to address ‘writers' block’. I don't believe
in it. I will remain in full denial. Writing is like any other activity.
There are days when one has the ‘dropsies’, days when one
can’t sort papers alphabetically, just as there are days when
appropriate words will not come forth. When I can't get into a character
or am having trouble finishing a scene, I give my characters a rest
and work on submission letters or promotional pieces or journaling.
I keep writing.
My advice to beginning writers is write, write, and write some more.
There are eight to ten re-writes of each of my manuscripts hidden within
my hard drive. And, a couple of beginner manuscripts that may never
find their way out of my closet. Each successive re-write shows improvement.
And I'm always working on two or three stories at one time.
The other advice is to find a critique partner or critique group or
both. These are caring writers and readers who can give a kind and constructive
critique of your in-progress writing while you do the same for theirs.
Though we work in a solitary world, the finished product must appeal
to a wide audience.
The Queen Anne Fox
A Jessica Tyson Mystery
Eppie Finalist for the Best Mystery in 2006.
Ideas for The Queen Anne Fox came to me while I was living in the Queen
Anne neighborhood of Seattle . One night, as I was walking on the hill,
a red fox pranced across the street in front of me. (Having worked in
the fur industry earlier in life, I knew the gait and bushy tail of
a fox.) The next morning I called the local newspaper and their comment
was, "Oh, so the Queen is roaming her hill again." Words like
that are magic to a writer's ears.
I'm a people-watcher and I write about people and real life. There are
some pretty creepy characters in The Queen Anne Fox. But, actually I’ve
met most of them face to face.
When I finished The Queen Anne Fox, many readers responded by saying
it was sad when the story ended. They didn't want to leave Jesse and
David. I decided I didn't want to leave them either and created Gone
Missing in the Underground
Gone Missing in the Underground
A Jessica Tyson Mystery
Prior to this story I had an idea. What if Jesse’s powers for
sensing where a murder has occurred are completely blocked? What if
she believes they are blocked due to her own emotions over life changes?
Gone Missing in the Underground is very much about setting. Seattle
has the fabulous underground tour into the past with fun and entertaining
When I was about half-way through creating this story, I realized I
could not reach the depth I wanted for my characters. The story needed
someone who could throw fresh ideas into the mystery and act as a sounding-board
for Jesse and David's emotions as they considered sharing a life together.
Melinda, a fourteen year old in the story, throws a monkey-wrench into
the relationship of two working professionals, but she also gives fresh
insight into the case and into the emotions of all of the characters.
There are fewer creepy characters in this story. Instead there are more
people like you and me, searching for our own life’s meaning.
The creepy characters re-appear again in the third novel of this trilogy,
Emma’s Garden, hopefully to be released within the next year.
I am very grateful to Whiskey Creek Press and the wonderful people who
work with me there for helping these characters find their way into
More intriguing plots roll around in my head, but it takes me about
a year to develop each into a polished novel. For upcoming events and
release information or to comment on The Queen Anne Fox and Gone Missing
in the Underground, please see my website at www.jerolanderson.com.