I’d like to extend a warm welcome to Jeri Lynn Stone, author of Shadow’s Justice.
What kind of research did you have to do to bring this story to life
on the page?
On my Romantic Suspense novel, Shadow’s Justice, a story about Shadow’s father being unjustly accused, sentenced and executed for a murder he didn’t commit, I researched New Orleans, the swamp regions and the Louisiana court system. On my short story Tangle with Tara, I researched the New York City area and Law enforcement.
When you start a new book, do you like to outline the entire story or
fly by the seat of your pants?
Oh, I’m definitely a Pantser. I do a short outline to develop my major scenes, plots and conflicts. Then, I do a Character Analysis to thoroughly develop all of my main characters.
What about your characters? Do you figure them out entirely before you start writing or do they reveal themselves to you along the way?
I do try to figure them out before I start writing. I have to know my people from the very beginning, what makes them tick, why they act the way they do, their likes and dislikes. I do a Character Analysis and a Character Interview to find out everything I can about them. I’m a firm believer that a person’s past develops their future and makes them who they are today.
What scene or bit of dialogue in the book are you most proud of and why?
This is a long scene, but it happens after Shadow’s father was buried. She has asked the Hero, Raven to help her find the killer. ***
Raven leaned forward and clasped his hands on top of the table, all teasing gone. “Rose is very worried about you, Shadow. She’s afraid you won’t let it go.”
He reached out and covered her hand, deep sympathy evident in his eyes. “Your father is dead. Trying to find the killer and getting yourself killed in the process will not bring him back.”
Shadow jerked her hand back and all but snarled. “No, but it will give me great satisfaction to know the bastard ends up in hell. He’s not going to win. I won’t let him. I will clear my father’s name if it’s the last thing I ever do.”
“It may very well be the last thing you ever do if you keep on. This killer is no amateur. Only a professional can cover his tracks as well as he did. In all these years, there hasn’t been one substantial clue found pointing toward the real killer. What makes you think you can find anything, now? Hell, the killer’s probably long gone or dead by now.”
Shadow was thankful the waiter picked that moment to bring their food. She sat back while the dishes were set in front of them. Picking up a fork she began to eat, giving herself time to decide on how much she could tell Raven.
She glanced up to see him watching her as he ate. She swallowed her food and put her fork down. Taking a sip of wine she set it back on the table before finally answering. “The killer contacted me on the day of Dad’s funeral and warned me to back off.”
Raven’s fork clattered to his plate. He exploded. “Why in the hell haven’t you said something before now? That does it. No more playing at being Nancy Drew. Are you crazy, woman?” His voice rose.
“Shhhhhhhh.” Shadow gave a quick look around the room. “Why don’t you tell the whole world?”
Raven took several deep breaths. His look spoke volumes, like he wanted to reach across the table and strangle her. Instead, he picked up his wine glass and took several large gulps of the calming liquid before he sat back and continued. With clipped words he asked, “Exactly, what did he say?”
Shadow had gone through a full day and night of worry and fear after the dreadful phone call, but her nerves had settled somewhat. She was able to think about it without wanting to throw up.
She answered. “He told me if I didn’t back off he would make sure he dealt me a fate much worse than what he had my father and then he hung up.”
“Did you recognize the voice?”
“No. It was very muffled and distorted.”
“Did you call the police?”
“Shadow. What have you done?”
“Relax Raven. I’ve done nothing more than to take measures to protect myself.”
He didn’t want to ask. He didn’t want to know. He really didn’t. “Shadow?”
“I bought a gun. Okay?”
If you could have dinner with one of your characters who would it be?
My hero, Raven Deveroux. He’s a mercenary ‘bad boy’ who, with just one touch can make a girl crave another.
Which fictional character do you have a secret crush on?
Ranger, in Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum Series. He’s mysterious, dangerous and sexy.
Who’s your favorite character in the book and why? Who was the most
fun to write?
Shadow. She’s sassy and witty. She’s a kick ass when it comes to finding her father’s killer and going after the one man who makes her life complete.
When you set out to write a book, are you usually sparked by a story
idea or a character?
The story idea. Then I bring in the best character for the story.
Which came first, the title or the novel?
I usually come up with the title while I’m doing my short outline at the beginning.
How do you come up with your characters and their personalities?
I do the Character Analysis and Interviews to find out everything about them before I start writing. The heroine is usually a witty, kick ass type of woman and the hero is alpha male.
How do you come up with your character names?
I try to come up with a catchy first name. And believe it or not, I have been known to look in the phone book.
About the Book
Two days after the State of Louisiana executes her father for the murder of a prominent banker, Shadow McClane buys a gun and vows revenge against the real murderer and on the same day, her stepbrother’s best friend Raven Deveroux pisses her off.
Raven flat out refuses to help her in her dangerous quest. The murderer still roams the streets a free man and the law considers the case officially closed. He calls her a fool for putting herself and her family in further danger.
Embittered and abandoned, Shadow is determined to prove to every last one of the arbitrators that her father was not a murderer, but a falsely accused man of honor. She renews her vow to find the real killer and shove him and the town’s corrupt court system right smack into their self-righteous faces. When Shadow probes her father’s case she discovers her gun is useless against car bombs and she welcomes Raven’s reluctant help after he realizes she’s determined to continue her risky probing without him.
A long-standing attraction eventually reaches new heights between Shadow and Raven, but who in the heck has time to fan the sheets when cars and bulldozers blow up around you, bullets fly over your head and family members and friends interrupt every intimate moment between you? But, they try.
With sheets a ‘floppin.
Twitter : @jerlynstone.com