News Flash: Our lucky winner of Edith’s books is Vida A-J! Vida, congratulations, and please check your email.
Hi Wickeds. We’re celebrating the release yesterday of Jessica Ellicott’s second WPC Harkness mystery, Murder on the Home Front. Read down for a giveaway from Edith.
In this second book in Jessie’s wonderful World War II series, Billie Harkness continues her journey from daughter of a church rector in a small English village to WPC (Woman Police Constable) in the war torn city of Hull. It’s a enormous transition for anyone, much less for a young woman, facing disrespect and suspicion for doing a “man’s job,” in a big city that doesn’t yet feel like home.
Since it’s our tenth anniversary, Wickeds, tell me a little about your writing journey over the last ten years. Have you ever felt like a stranger in a strange land? Have the inhabitants ever been hostile or disrespectful? With your current perspective, how do you feel about the journey?
Edith/Maddie: So many congratulations on the new book, Jessie! You’ve found a great niche in writing historical mysteries, one I also love. As for my writing journey, it has been varied and involved a lot of sweat and worry. Along with dozens of other authors – Julie among them – I did feel disrespected when the publisher of my historical Quaker Midwife mysteries, Midnight Ink, was deemed irrelevant by its parent company. Still, I pulled up my socks and kept going. Like all of us, I’ve had rude or misguided reviews. Failed to earn a starred review here. Was turned down for a contract there, or had one not extended. But I have to say, I have so appreciated this journey. The negatives have been far, far outweighed by the positives, from generous and helpful mentors to adoring fans to supportive blogmates like the Wickeds. And my love for creating stories means I’m living my dream. What’s not to like?
Liz: Super congratulations, Jessie! So happy for you with this new series. I think for all of us the writing journey has had its ups and downs, like Edith said. There are days when everything feels like magic, and others when I’ve wondered, What the heck am I even doing? But overall, it’s been the experience of a lifetime. I’ve made lifelong friends, got to put my words out into the world, have gotten wonderful (and sometimes not so wonderful) reviews – but the bottom line is, I made my childhood dream come true. How can you not love that?
Julie: Congratulations Jessie! What a great question, Barb. I feel so blessed, now more than ever, to be on my writing journey. I’ve accomplished some things, but have so many other goals I want to reach. I continue to endeavor to be a better writer, and gain inspiration from other writers. My life in general is SO MUCH better because of the writers I know, especially my dear Wickeds. This journey isn’t easy, and isn’t always happy, but there’s joy.
Sherry: Jessie, I’m so happy there’s another Billie book out in the world! I can’t believe we’ve been on this journey together for TEN years. I’ll never forget the joy and anxiety of my first book, Tagged for Death, coming out. I don’t know if I would have made it through without all of you. The whims of the publishing world is the hardest part and it’s something we don’t have any control of. Writing, seeing books in the hands of readers, and hearing from them — that makes any frustrations worth it!
Barb: Congratulations, Jessie! And best wishes for success with Murder on the Homefront. Over the past ten years, I’ve felt like a stranger in a strange land frequently. Publishing is such a weird business, not like any business I recognize after thirty years in the business trenches. And it’s particularly weird being on the outside, after being an insider all those years. BUT, I’ve had my friends, and supportive fans, and organizations like Sisters in Crime with me on the whole ride, which has made it not only bearable, but truly wonderful.
Jessie: Aww, thanks everyone for the well-wishes and kind words! For me, the journey has been so engaging and educational. I have learned so much worth knowing along the way about others as well as myself. As has been remarked upon by other WIckeds, it hasn’t all been easy, but I wouldn’t have had it any other way!
In keeping with celebrating Jessie’s latest historical mystery, Edith will send one commenter a copy of her new Quaker Midwife short story collection, A Questionable Death and Other Historical Quaker Midwife Mysteries, as well as an advance copy of Murder at a Cape Bookstore, the fifth Cozy Capers Book Group Mystery.
Readers: Same questions for you. Have you ever felt like a stranger in a strange land? Have the inhabitants ever been hostile or disrespectful? With your current perspective, how do you feel about the journey?