This winter, The Dead of Sled Run hit store shelves, continuing the Piper Blackwell Series with a new murder to solve and gracing websites with giveaways, interviews, and excerpts to this latest release--as well as some insight into the author of the novel's work.
Shots Mag hosted the author for a post titled, "Fire Talks" where Jean Rabe explained how she learned some of the things that made The Dead of Sled Run cut so close to the bone of reality.
“I forgot Larry’s last name sometime in the past thirty years, but I never forgot what he taught me about fire. Larry was the top arson investigator for Kentucky ‘back in the day’ when I ran the Western Kentucky News Bureau for Scripps Howard.” Rabe said. “He taught me that sometimes you can look at a building fire while it rages and tell if it was deliberately set. It’s in how the fire burns, how it travels. ‘Fire talks,’ he told me.”
That wisdom spilled out onto the page of The Dead of Sled Run, pieces of humans bleeding into fictional characters, as they’re sometimes wont to do. A fact she elaborated on in an interview on Stephen D. Sullivan’s blog.
“Are there characters in the Piper Blackwell series that have been inspired by people you know in real life?” Posed the question on Stephen’s site.
“Several. There are pieces of me in Piper Blackwell and Oren Rosenberg.” Rabe answered, “Detective Basil Meredith has ingredients from Bill Gilsdorf and Michael A. Black, retired lawmen who I consult for various aspects of an investigation. DA Scales is based on Robert Scales, an awesome DA in real life, who runs fun Pathfinder roleplaying sessions on the side. Zeke the Geek … ah, he is several of my gaming friends rolled into one teenaged body.”
Rabe is no stranger to fiction, though the contemporary mystery genre is relatively new to her–only the better part of a decade or so. Rather, Jean Rabe's roots are deeply twined within the realms of role playing table top games and high fantasy adventures. Rabe worked with Andre Norton, continuing on some of the illustrious author's posthumous works and created the award-winning Love-Haight series with Donald J. Bingle, alongside her own intrepid novels and anthologies. On Faith Hunter’s website, Jean pondered about what's to come: “...maybe I ought to write another urban fantasy. I’ve been toying with the notion of Benjamin Franklin as a wizard. Have to write some more Piper Blackwell first,” Jean finished, assuring her mystery fans that more Piper Blackwell is yet to come.
We here at Psst... wanted to know how she refills the well, especially when it comes to a series. "I usually take a couple of days off and play boardgames and roleplaying games and read a couple of books at the top of my to-be-read pile. Oh, and toss a lot of tennis balls for my cadre of dogs. Then I’m energized to dig into my next book. I have too many plots and outlines bouncing around in my computer… I have to write."
The first three books of her series remain on sale for $.99 (e-books and select sites only) until January 15th. The rafflecopter for her blog tour giveaway will remain open until January 17th.
Rabe is available for book clubs, signings, and appearances upon request. Find the blog tour schedule here.
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