Today I am pleased to welcome Reed Farrel Coleman to my blog as we discuss Jesse Stone from his novel, Debt to Pay.
When did you create Jesse?
Oddly enough, I didn’t create the character, but I wish I had. Jesse Stone was the creation of Robert B. Parker, one of the deans of American detective fiction. Bob created Jesse as a counterpoint to his most famous creation, Spenser. Even Bob thought Spenser was a little too perfect and wanted to try his hand at writing a protagonist with big faults and blind spots. Jesse Stone first appeared in 1997 in the novel Night Passage. Bob wrote nine books in the series—the inspiration for the made for TV movies starring Tom Selleck—Michael Brandman—who writes the screenplays for the TV movies—wrote three novels and I’ve written four.
Did you write the book to accommodate Jesse or Jesse to accommodate the book?
In this series, I feel I must write the book to accommodate the character. In series that I have created, I feel I have more freedom. But as this is really someone else’s series, I feel I owe it to the readers not to take Jesse too far afield from their expectations of him.
What do you like most about him?
Jesse is everything I am not and it’s exciting to write a character who is your opposite number. Jesse was a professional athlete. He is very self-contained, a loner, single-minded. He’s also an alcoholic and has difficulty having fully realized relationships with women. Although I’m fairly athletic, I was never close to being a professional. And I share almost none of Jesse’s other traits. It’s kind of great to live through Jesse’s strengths and foibles.
What do you like least about him?
Jesse isolation is disturbing to me and his tendency to act out by diving into the bottle saddens me. Funny how I write those scenes, but they still affect me as if Jesse was real.
Does he have any similarities with anyone real?
Although I didn’t create Jesse, he no doubt resonated with people Bob Parker knew. I know that there are echoes of his own relationship with his late wife, Joan, in the relationship between Jesse and his ex-wife Jenn.
What are your plans for Jesse?
That would be telling!!
Would you be friends in real life?
I don’t think so, although I have many cop friends. Jesse might not trust my friendly accommodating nature. And I would have trouble maintaining a conversation with a guy whose favourite phrase is “Uh-huh.”
Thank you so much for joining me today, Reed. The series looks amazing!
Here’s the blurb …
No Exit Press (21 Sept. 2017)
All is quiet in Paradise, except for a spate of innocuous vandalism. Good thing, too, because Jesse Stone is preoccupied with the women in his life, both past and present. As his ex-wife, Jenn, is about to marry a Dallas real-estate tycoon, Jesse isn’t too sure his relationship with former FBI agent Diana Evans is built to last. But those concerns get put on the back burner when a major Boston crime boss is brutally murdered. Despite all evidence to the contrary, Jesse suspects it’s the work of Mr. Peepers, a psychotic assassin who has caused trouble for Jesse in the past.
Peepers has long promised revenge against the Mob, Jesse, and Suit for their roles in foiling one of his hits – and against Jenn as well. And though Jesse and Jenn have long parted ways, Jesse still feels responsible for her safety. Jesse and Diana head to Dallas for the wedding and, along with the tycoon’s security team, try to stop Peepers before the bill comes due. With Peepers toying with the authorities as to when and where he’ll strike, Jesse is up against the wall. Still, there’s a debt to pay and blood to be spilled to satisfy it. But whose blood, and just how much?
Now this is one series I’ll certainly be adding to the TBR!!! I suggest you do too if you haven’t already 🙂
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About the author …
Called a hard-boiled poet by NPR’s Maureen Corrigan and the ‘noir poet laureate’ in the Huffington Post, Reed Farrel Coleman is the author of novels (including the acclaimed Moe Prager series), short stories and poetry. He is a three-time Edgar Award nominee in three different categories – Best Novel, Best Paperback Original, Best Short Story – and a three-time recipient of the Shamus Award for Best PI Novel of the Year. He has also won the Audie, Macavity, Barry, and Anthony Awards. A former executive vice president of Mystery Writers of America, Reed Farrel Coleman is an adjunct instructor of English at Hofstra University and a founding member of MWA University. Born and raised in Brooklyn, he now lives with his family in Suffolk County on Long Island.