Today I’m happy to be hosting Jean Rabe as part of the blog tour organised by Let’s Talk! Promotions. Her new book The Dead Of Summer is due to be released on the 5th August.
Jean talks about the inspiration behind her characters and her perfect day.
When I was a newspaper reporter out of the Evansville Press Kentucky Bureau, I covered a lot of stories at the Fort Campbell Army base. On one occasion I was there for a week straight. I learned a lot about the base, training, and the Screaming Eagles, and I figured if I ever got around to writing fiction, I’d have a character from Fort Campbell.
Eventually I left the news industry and got around to writing fiction. I settled on a young main character who had her training at Fort Campbell, worked in their MP division, and had a few tours in the Middle East. The public information officer and some of his staff helped me build Piper so her background, training, and down range assignments would feel authentic.
Going back to those newspaper days, I covered a lot of courts and cops. I met some sheriff’s deputies that had Oren Rosenberg’s traits. He’s basically a meld of some law enforcement types I met through the years.
Other characters are also inspired by real people in my lives. The coroner, Annie Neufeld, is a blending of my great aunt and my childhood doctor. Nang is loosely based on a Chinese restaurant owner in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin. Wrinkles, the pug in my books, is literally curled up between my feet right now.
The cases in the books are inspired by real news stories that I’ve twisted and folded and put my own spin on. Sometimes I get inspiration for scenes from specials I’ve watched on Discovery, National Geographic, or the History channels.
My perfect day would be writing a story on my back porch, a nice breeze blowing through the windows, my dogs in the yard playing, train whistles accompanying everything.
I’m a pretty simple soul. I would rather be writing and playing with my dogs than doing just about anything else. And I love summer.
So the ingredients of a perfect day: summer, back porch, laptop, dogs and dogs, and maybe a cold lemonade.
About the Book
Shouts of delight turn to screams of terror when a carnival ride goes berserk at the Spencer County Fair. Sheriff Piper Blackwell must contain the chaos and investigate the possible sabotage, even as she tries to solve a local businessman’s horrific murder.
But managing two investigations with at least one killer on the loose pushes the young officer and her tiny staff to their limits. Can Piper catch the murderer, or will the summer’s body count continue to rise?