Episode 53: Jeri Westerson

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I didn’t believe in ghosts or the supernatural…but that weird noise in the wall was testing my convictions. The unpleasant scratching sound that made the hairs on the back of my neck stand at attention had been going on for days. Look, I’m not some scaredy-cat to jump at every sound…But this? Ever since I moved into my shop-slash-house two weeks ago, this noise had been coming from inside the walls. -- Jeri Westerson, Booke of the Hidden I am so excited to let you all know about Jeri Westerson's latest series. It's a departure from her Crispin Guest novels in that it's urban fantasy and modern day, but it has the same terrific writing, intricate plotting, and spellbinding characters as her Medieval Noir series. Plus humor! A snarky heroine! A deliciously handsome demon! A Scooby Gang of misfit friends! My friends, this series is candy. Booke of the Hidden has its own website, and you can preorder your copy right here. It comes out on Halloween. I don't know what spell was cast to make that happen, but it's perfect. Multi-talented as she is, Jeri put together her own Scooby gang and the team created a book trailer for Booke of the Hidden. We chat about the trailer, this new series and also about her Crispin Guest historical mystery series, her standalone historicals, and her lighthearted LGBT modern mysteries, the Skyler Foxe series, which she writes under the name Haley Walsh. When does this woman sleep? Oh, never mind. Jeri actually comes up with plots for new books in her sleep, as she mentions in the interview. I am officially jealous. Jeri gives a shout out to the historical fiction writers who sparked her passion for the genre, including Anya Seton and Thomas B. Costain. Of course, the noir feel to the Crispin Guest series was influenced by Chandler and Hammett, masters of the genre. Booke of the Hidden, meanwhile, has a definite Buffy flavor (although with grown-ups; this is not YA) and reminds me in the best possible way of Charlaine Harris' wonderful Sookie Stackhouse mysteries. You can check out Jeri and keep tabs on all her releases (a new Crispin Guest is out January 1st! Happy New Year to us!) on her website. You can also find her on Facebook. As always, if you'd rather read than listen, the transcript is below. Enjoy! -- Laura ******************************************************************************************************** Transcript of Interview with Jeri Westerson Laura Brennan: When Jeri Westerson combined her love of historical fiction with complex characters and tantalizing mysteries, her Medieval Noir Crispin Guest series was born. Not content to murder people in the middle ages, Jeri also writes a lighthearted LGBT mystery series, historical fiction and short stories, and is about to launch a new paranormal series with her latest novel, Booke of the Hidden. Jeri, thank you for joining me. Jeri Westerson: Well, thanks for having me. LB: I want to talk about all your series and especially Booke of the Hidden, which I enjoyed so much. But first I want to talk about how you got started as a writer. I understand your family was very into history? JW: Oh, my, yes. My parents were rabid Anglophiles. They just had all these great books on the bookshelves at home: histories and historical fiction, just anything you could want. In those olden days of yore, TV wasn't on 24/7 and so you had to read if you wanted to be entertained. So we would pull down the books from the shelves and there were all sorts of marvelous things, and I got into reading historical fiction quite early and read all kinds of things. Anybody who likes historical fiction probably knows the name Anya Seton, Thomas B. Costain, so many other authors out there who became favorites of mine. So it was easy. We also had conversation at the dinner table about the monarchy of England, medieval history, so I probably know far more kings and queens of England than I know American presidents....

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