Please welcome Jamie Lee Scott, author of the Gotcha Detective Agency Mysteries, the Uncertain police procedural series, and the Broken Bones Mysteries.
What’s your idea of a perfect day?
A perfect day would have temps of sixty to seventy degrees, and I’d get to spend the entire day with my horses. It could be competing in a barrel race or rodeo, or just at the barn: grooming, cleaning, and hanging out. Riding, training, and forgetting the rest of the world exists for a few hours, or more. Me and my little miniature Aussie dog, Chica, and life on the farm.
Do you have a signature accessory, color, fragrance, phrase, or meal?
My husband would say my colors would be black or brown, with a splash of color in my accessories. I used to make handmade glass beads for a living, so I’d always wear dark colors, so the jewelry colors would pop. I love the dark colors, though, as I get older, I think the colors are less flattering. I still love the bright colors for my jewelry.
As for fragrance, I love men’s fragrances. If I’m going to wear anything, it’d be Hugo Boss’s original fragrance for men. It’s clean, and not overwhelming.
If you read my books, you’ll realize my favorite word is “sh!t.”
Excluding family, name three people who either inspired you or influenced your creativity.
- I don’t think I’d be a writer today if it wasn’t for the professor of my Critical Writing class, Dr. Burke. She nurtured my writing, and told me I was good. She also taught me to love the word sh!t. Ha! I wish she was still alive, so I could thank her.
- A barrel racer named Fallon Taylor. A few years ago, she was told she’d never walk again, much less ride horses, or complete, and yet in 2014 she qualified in the #2 spot for the National Finals Rodeo. She’s a firm believer in phrases like: She believed she could, so she did. And she’s a cheerleader for the little guy, never putting those at the bottom down , because she was once there. She’s my hero.
- Lanny Bassham, a former Olympic athlete who wrote the book, With Winning in Mind. Reading that book taught me so much about being a better athlete (competing with my horses), and about being a better business person, and a writer.
Do you listen to music when you write?
Sometimes. Many times I want complete silence, so I can get into the other world I need to be in. But when I do listen to music, I listen to movie scores, or jazz. I want to be in the mood of the story I’m writing. Or the character’s mood. If I’m writing very dark, I love to listen to the score from Black Swan. I swear I know every note of every song.
If your latest book were chocolate, what kind would it be and why?
Peruvian chocolate, because it’s a new taste, that leaves you wondering what you just had, and yet somehow wanting more.
What made you interested in writing this particular story?
When I was in New Orleans for the Romantic Times conference, I met the chief of police of the wonderful city of Thibodaux, Louisiana. We had dinner with a group of writers I’d done a collaboration with. He was kind enough to bring along several of his officers, and it was a free for all question and answer session throughout dinner. Well, I was intrigued, to say the least, and I asked if I could ride along with one of his officers. I ended up riding with his female officer, Rebecca Shaver. During that twelve hour shift, I decided, I wanted to write a series featuring uniformed police officers. I researched and realized that in smaller towns, these officers not only do their own crime scene work, they also act as detectives in homicides. And my Uncertain series was born.
What themes do you regularly (re)visit in your writing?
It seems I like to kill off unlikable people. Other than the character in my first novel, most of my victims deserved a nasty, violent death. They’ve mostly been parasites. I need to explore that more. Find out why I do that. Hahaha.
Tell us about your main character’s psyche or personality. What led her (or him) to be the person s/he is today?
In my first series, the Gotcha Detective Agency Mysteries, I played with words for the title, so I carried on the tradition with Uncertain, by naming my main character Harper Leigh.
She’s an officer who was played as a pawn by her previous police chief. But that’s a story in itself. She’s damaged, and flawed, and trying to fix herself as she comes back onto the force.
She’s recovering from a work related injury, and facing the fight of her career, when she thought she’d just fought that fight.
She’s also working for her ex-husband, whom she still loves, and he still loves her. It’s complicated.
Describe your protagonist as a mashup of three famous people or characters.
Uma Thurman in Kill Bill, because she’s hella tough, and both Thelma and Louise, because she’s kind and conflicted, and loves with all her heart.
If you could host an author dinner party, who are the six writers (living or otherwise) you’d include?
I love my friends, so I’d pick Hildie McQueen because she’s hilarious and the life of the party. Scott Silverii because he has the best cop stories ever. Liliana Hart because she’s the sweetest and she spills the beans on Scott. Mike Alber because I love him to death and he writes for TV, so I never get to see him anymore. James Duffy, so I could impress him enough to get him to hire me to be on his writing staff for Major Crimes. Finally, I’d pick Elmore Leonard, because he’s my favorite writer of all time, and he’s no longer living, but he’d be a hoot with the ones I already have assembled at the table.
What’s next for you?
I now have three mystery series going, the Gotcha Detective Agency Mysteries, Uncertain police procedural series, and my newest, Broken Bones Mysteries, which is a cozy mystery series based around a dog bakery, and includes recipes for dog treats. I’m trying to put out three full length novels a year, and hopefully a few novellas in between. I will have a Gotcha mystery, Who Gives a Split coming out next.
Jamie Lee Scott is the USA Today Bestselling author of the Gotcha Detective Agency Mysteries. Originally from the Central Coast of California, Jamie was swept off her feet by a dashing Iowa farm boy and moved to the Midwest. After several years of running a restaurant with her husband, she felt the urge to kill people. Rather than going postal, she decided to start writing fiction. Her new series, set in the fictional town of Uncertain, CA, debuts in 2015. Jamie also writes screenplays for movies and TV. Though she has yet to sell to Hollywood, her short script, No One Knows, was sold in 2012, and made the film festival rounds in 2013-14. No One Knows has been nominated for multiple awards, and won its category at the Bare Bones Film Festival. She lives on a small farm with her family, 2 dogs, 2 cats and 3 horses. When she’s not reading or writing, she’s riding horses and competing in barrel races.