S.R.Claridge writes Mystery and Romantic Suspense novels. Her work has been said to have the energy of Dan Brown, the mystery of Mary Higgins Clark and the humor of Janet Evanovich. Claridge novels will take you to the edge of your seat, keep you guessing until the very end and ultimately warm your heart. It is on the pages of every S.R.Claridge novel that Mystery and Sensual Suspense collide.

For more information on bookings, interviews and upcoming releases, please visit the author website and Facebook fan page.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Mystery We Write Tour: Jean Henry Mead

It is my honor to introduce Author Jean Henry Mead.  Jean is a national award-wining photojournalist as well as a mystery/suspense and historical novelist. Her articles have been published domestically as well as abroad and she's served as a news, magazine and small press editor.   She writes the Logan & Cafferty mystery/suspense series, of which Gray Wolf Mountain (her latest release) is the fourth novel. Her Hamilton Kids’ mysteries and Wyoming historical novels have been written along with her history books (one of which became a college textbook) and her five books of interviews, 18 in all.  Aside from all of that, she is a very interesting, fun and dynamic woman, as you will see in my interview with her.


When you were a child, what did you want to "be" when you grew up?

A writer. I wrote my first novel when I was nine. A chapter a day to entertain classmates. The title was Janie's Adventures in Pinedale and it was written with pencil on notebook paper. Fortunately, it was never published. :)


If we were to poll people from your high school years, how would they have described you? If we were to poll people in your life now, how would they describe you?

My classmates would probably have described me as a tall, shy scarecrow who loved to read, sing, play music and draw. Also a good student who skipped the fifth grade. I'm not sure how I would be described today. Hopefully a compassionate, caring, helpful person who spends too much time at the computer.


At what point in your life did you decide you wanted to become a published author?

When I was eight or nine. I wanted to write fiction but in high school I wrote for the campus newspaper and served as editor-in-chief of my college paper while working for the local daily newspaper. It was many years before I wrote my first novel, after publishing five nonfiction books.


Tell us about one of your most embarrassing moments in life.

I crashed a cocktail party held in honor of internationally known sportscaster Curt Gowdy. It was held at a local bank. When he agreed to an interview for my first book, we sat in the bank president's office where the batteries fell from my tape recorder and rolled under the massive desk. It was ten o'clock at night with poor lighting, so I was unable to find the batteries. I had to return the following day and attempt to interview him in the middle of the bank lobby with dozens of people talking to him and asking for autographs. (I repeated the same scenario a year later with well-known attorney Gerry Spence in the lobby of the Ramada Inn, with plenty of spare batteries.)


If you could have one last meal, what would it be?

Good question. I think I would probably have roast beef, mashed potatoes and gravy, a veggie medley, chef salad and large piece of chocolate pie. If it's my last meal, I won't have to worry about gaining weight or my allergy to chocolate.


Name three things on your bucket list.

I've done nearly everything I've ever wanted to do, but if I could afford it, I would take my entire family on an extended cruise to Australia and New Zealand. I'd then visit the British Isles, France and Italy. And I'd get the MFA in creative writing that I've never had time to earn. (This is more of a dream list than a bucket list.)


In what genre do you write? If you were to choose another genre, what would it be and why?

I write mystery/suspense novels: the Logan & Cafferty series and Hamilton Kids' mysteries, as well as Wyoming historicals and nonfiction history and interview books. I'm nearing the conclusion of my 19th book and it's one I've been researching and thinking sporadically about for some 20 years. I think I've reached my limit as far as genres are concerned. My next planned mystery series will feature an alternative medicine practicioner because I've studied in that field.


Describe yourself in only three words.

Determined, conservative (as I grow older) and interested (in nearly everything).


What is the most adventurous thing you've ever done?

I drove a 36-foot motorhome and towed my car on a 20-ft. trailer around the Southwest (Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado and Texas) to research some of my Logan & Cafferty novels.My first trip was over the Guadalupe Mountains around midnight and I thought I'd never reach the summit. It was a very long, narrow, steep road and I'd never driven anything larger than a pickup truck. I also drove the motorhome through a Wyoming blizzard and in near hurricane speed winds in Phoenix during the monsoon season. I decided that I could do anything that I set my mind to after those harrowing experiences.


What made you choose to write the particular novel(s) you have written?

I have a best friend whom I've known forever, who can still make me laugh on the worst of days. My Logan & Cafferty series is based on our friendship, which has evolved into two sixty-year-old feisty widows who travel in their motorhome, in some of the books, while solving murders. I've been criticized by a couple of readers for inserting too much humor in the series, but more people say that's the reason they read my novels. You can't please everyone.

My recent release, Gray Wolf Mountain, is set here in the Laramie Mountains and concerns the unwarranted mass killings of wolves, which upsets the balance of nature.

 My children's novels are based on my own experiences growing up in the Los Angeles hills, and on our small ranch here in Wyoming. They're probably a little old fashioned for most modern kids but they contain plenty of humor, mystery, spiders and wild game animals.


What is something you wish you could do better?

Everything. I've spread myself so thin with writing, art, music, marriage, raising five children and news reporting that I don't think that I've really excelled at anything.


If you were going to be stranded on an island all alone for a year, and you could only take three books with you...which three would you choose? Why?

1. The bible because I'd be doing a lot of praying to be rescued

2. A book about how to make food from anything you can find

3. An unabridged edition of Webster's Dictionary so I could improve my literacy and learn new words to curse the person who caused me to be stranded on the island. :)


Where can readers find out more about you and your books?

Facebook: Senior Sleuth group: http://www.facebook.com/groups/186718304795878/

Facebook main page: http://www.facebook.com/jean.h.mead?ref=ts

Twitter:  @JeanHenryMead


The View From My Mountaintop: http://theviewfrommymountaintop.blogspot.com/


Buy Links for Jean’s latest novels:


Thank you, Susan, for inviting me to your site and allowing me to ramble on . . . below is an excerpt from my latest release, Gray Wolf Mountain.

Excerpt from Gray Wolf Mountain by Jean Henry Mead


Walter’s plane arrived half an hour late, increasing Dana’s anxiety. She had decided not to marry him but wouldn’t tell him until he was ready to leave Wyoming. He was the first passenger off the plane and jogged toward her with wide spread arms. She went into them and accepted his enveloping hug. Closing her eyes, she breathed in his scent and felt comfort in his embrace. She knew she loved him but was it enough? She would worry about his proposal later. They needed to concentrate on solving the wolf killings and the disappearance of Gus and the Tolivers.

During the drive back to the mansion, Dana filled him in on everything that had transpired, from the rollover until the recent hiring of Jeff Mailer. She knew he wouldn’t be happy about Jeff’s involvement but the former police officer’s law enforcement contacts would help with the investigation. Walter, on the other hand, was an out of state sheriff who had no connections in Wyoming. He surprised her by simply nodding and saying nothing. He must have finally realized that Dana had no romantic interest in her former bodyguard.

Jeff’s nondescript car was parked in the driveway when they reached home. Walter smiled when he shook Jeff’s hand, surprising Dana even more. Sighing with relief, she led them into the living room where Tom and the three women were seated. Once the introductions were made, they began a brain storming session starting with the disappearances. . .

Turning to Walter she said, “Would you mind visiting the local sheriff to find out what you can about their investigation?”

He smiled with that lovesick expression she hated. “Glad to, dear.”

Biting her lip, she offered to drive him to the sheriff’s department. The others declined to ride along and she knew they thought she and Walter wanted time alone.




Although I’ve written intimate, not graphic, scenes in other novels, this book is about saving wolves, which are being slaughtered, thus unbalancing nature. So my romantic scenes are sparse and limited. Another such scene occurs when Dana’s journalist  daughter Kerrie is riding with her own bodyguard to interview a witness:




Kerrie discovered early on that Tom was a country music fan. An old cowboy song played loud enough to be heard above the air conditioning unit which rattled in time to the music. Tom was not only handsome, he was well versed in current events as well as history and anthropology. So he was easy to talk to when he wasn’t singing along with Hank Williams or Lefty Frizzell.

When the song ended she reached to turn the volume down. Tom glanced over at her and raised a brow as though to say, “This had better be important.”

“I need some background for my feature story.”

“Such as?”

“I know you keep up on the news and I wondered if crime is a problem in this state.”

“We have an occasional murder, wife beatings, drunken brawls, drug busts . . . but nothing like you have in Denver.”

“That I’m aware of. What I’d also like to know is how environmentally aware people are here and how they feel about wolves and game animals killed needlessly.”

“I can only speak for myself, Kerrie, but everyone I’ve talked to is against slaughtering any animals, unless of course it’s wolves, bears or other wildlife killing their livestock.”

“I’ll have to research Wyoming’s demographics.”

“We have about half a million people although it’s the tenth largest state. And some twenty-five percent of our residents are from other places, so they carry their own opinions about the wolves. Why do you ask?”

“I just wonder if most people here really care about the wolf killings.”

“I’m sure they do. There are several organizations devoted to fighting the current laws that allow shooting them on sight.”

“Half a million people, huh?”

“I’d like to increase the population by two or three. How about you?”

Surprised, Kerrie ducked her head to scribble notes, ignoring his blatant attempt to take their budding friendship to the next level. She knew he expected an answer and mumbled, “Someday, maybe, after I’m tired of working.”


The attraction is there but it hasn’t developed past the flirting stage. Later, near the conclusion, Kerrie breaks up with her finance and tells her mother that she knows that Tom is going to propose. Romance or hints of it in any novel, regardless of genre, rounds out a character and lets us get to know them more intimately.




  1. Jean,
    I enjoyed learning more about you.
    I love your Logan and Cafferty mystery series! How wonderful that the characters are based on your life long friendship.

  2. Thanks for hosting me today, Susan, and thank you for stopping by Pat. Yes, I'm lucky to have such a good, longterm friend to base one of my protagonists on. She has a great sense of humor.

  3. Loved the interview, Jean. Learned more about you--this is so much fun.

  4. Thanks, Marilyn. I love learning more about you and our fellow blog torists.

  5. Liked your last meal, (except for the vegetable medley!)smile. And how nice to have a life long friend that can make you smile. Great interview, your character, kindness, and life-wisdom come through.


  6. Thank you, Madeline! We just left Barstow and are enjoying Route 66 and the Mojave.

  7. A journalist learns to roll with the punches! I thought it was funny that you mentioned you were growing more conservative as you get older. I've found myself becoming more liberal. lol

  8. Jean: I've always wanted to get my MFA. Was even enrolled once. Still thinking about it.
    W.S. Gager on Writing

  9. This comment has been removed by the author.

  10. Collin, I was a diehard liberal until several years ago when I became a moderate independent. :)

  11. Wendy, go for it if you have the time. I can't seem to find enough time to write, promote and market my books, let alone go for my MFA. I hope you're able to do so.


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