Today I'm fortunate to talk with Jeanette A. Fratto.
“NO STONE UNTURNED” and “NO GOOD DEED”
Jeanette: I grew up in Michigan but have lived in southern California most of my life, graduating from California State University at Fullerton, with a B.A. and M.A. I’ve always loved to write short stories, articles, and essays, and have won awards for some of them. It wasn’t until I retired from a 26-year career in probation that I wrote my first novel, NO STONE UNTURNED. The sequel, NO GOOD DEED, has just been published.
What made you decide to write a novel?
Jeanette: It seemed to be a logical extension of my writing experience, and a challenge for me to develop a plot and characters that would engage readers. I’m an avid reader, and love mysteries. I decided that would be the genre for me.
Was it difficult to come up with a story line?
Jeanette: Yes and no. I knew I wanted my story to unfold through the inner workings of the probation department for two reasons. One, when I worked, I realized that few outside the field understood what probation officers did, and what the department did in general; two, mystery writers rarely mention probation, which is an important aspect of the criminal justice system, and if they do, they usually get it wrong. I wanted probation to have its own audience. The harder part was coming up with a plot where my protagonist becomes a probation officer and have it be believable.
How did you finally get there?
Jeanette: I thought about the many people who want to make a change in their lives and used that premise to bring my protagonist from Michigan, where she was a school teacher, to California, with the promise of a job in publishing. Unfortunately the position doesn’t work out. She decides to stay in California and job hunting leads her into probation, where she finds more than she bargained for. The reader will learn a great deal about a very interesting component of law enforcement, while following an engrossing story line.
Jeanette: The sequel, NO GOOD DEED, is the result of suggestions by many of the readers of my first book for me to continue writing about my main characters. They said they wanted to know more. I listened to them and came up with NO GOOD DEED, which begins about six months after NO STONE UNTURNED ends. It has just been published and is available in paperback, Kindle, the Nook, and an e-book. A synopsis and ordering information can be found on my website: http://outskirtspress.com/nogooddeed Through this website readers can also click on my other title, NO STONE UNTURNED, and proceed to that website for that book’s synopsis and ordering information.
What’s next for you?
Jeanette: For the next few months I’ll be busy promoting NO GOOD DEED, with book signings, blogging, and any other promotional opportunities that come along. I’m also thinking about whether I want to turn this into a series, in which case I’ll be trying to plot the third book.
Anything else you’d like to let my readers know?
Jeanette: I’d just like to thank them, and you, for the opportunity to share my writing, and encourage anyone who likes a novel with mystery and romance to check out both NO STONE UNTURNED and NO GOOD DEED. Both are set in southern California, and my probation experience ensures that the reader will get an accurate glimpse into this segment of the criminal justice system. I encourage feedback and can be reached at Bjfratto@aol.com.