I’m so excited to welcome Randee Green to the blog today! Her debut novel, Criminal Misdeeds released last month and put her right at the top of my list of favorite humorous mystery authors.
Here’s my review of Criminal Misdeeds:
The Shatners of Wyatt County Texas have a hard time staying on the right side of the law, though it might be a little easier if they actually tried. They deal in illegal moonshine, illegal pot, illegal fireworks, and an array of other petty criminal activities. It falls to Detective Carrie Shatner to keep them from straying too far out of line and ending up in jail. So when she finds a dead body at the county fairgrounds where the whole Shatner clan have been celebrating New Years’ Eve, it’s her job to prove a Shatner wasn’t responsible.
If you love a little (okay, a lot of) humor mixed into a complex, twisty mystery, this is your book. Carrie Shatner is not just a good detective, she’s the straight man to the quirky cast of characters she calls her family. Just as quickly as they cause trouble, she comes along behind them to clean it up with a wry resignation and down-home wit that will make you wish she were a real person and living next door. Well, sans the family. I can’t wait for the next book in this series.
DF: Criminal Misdeeds is so twisty and quirky, how did you come up with the idea for the story?
RG: I first came up with Carrie Shatner when I was a senior in high school. This was way back in late 2005/early 2006. At that time, I was reading a lot of mystery novels starring strong, female sleuths, and I decided I was going to attempt creating one of my own. I also liked the idea of writing a series. Even as a teenager who was still trying to figure out this novel writing thing, I instinctively knew that, once I’ve created a character, I am invested in his/her life. I want to give my characters more than one book to tell their story.
I don’t really remember when or how Carrie Shatner exactly came to life. Like Athena, who came kicking and screaming into the mythological world directly from Zeus’s forehead as an armed, adult woman, one day Carrie Shatner was there. And I immediately knew that she wouldn’t be leaving anytime soon. This kick ass woman had a story to tell, and it was up to me to put that story into words. Basically, it was a hostile takeover of my brain…
Over the years, Carrie Shatner has gone through many transformations. In every version, she was in some form of law enforcement, but her job and place of employment changed more times than Cher would change outfits during her shows.
If this all sounds really confusing and frustrating, trust me, it was. At this point, the only thing about Carrie that hasn’t changed is her name.
DF: How long did it take to write the book?
RG: I worked on writing CRIMINAL MISDEEDS off-and-on for three-and-a-half years. I began writing CRIMINAL MISDEEDS in January 2011 when I was in grad school working on my MA in Creative Writing. It wasn’t until the summer of 2014 that I felt that CRIMINAL MISDEEDS was ready to be submitted to agents. I was almost immediately signed to BookEnds LLC. After some revisions, my agent began sending my novel out to publishers in the fall of 2014. It wasn’t until January of 2017 that CRIMINAL MISDEEDS was picked up by Coffeetown Press. Then it was another year of edits and revisions before the novel was published on July 1, 2018
DF: Your characters are quite talented at stirring up trouble, are they based on real people, or do they all come from your imagination?
RG: – Honestly, it’s a little of both. My main characters mostly come from my imagination, but real people have been the spark that ignited ideas for certain characters. Once that spark is ignited into a fire, the character I come up with in no way resembles that real person that got the process started. As for minor characters who appear once or twice and only play a small role…I’ve been known to base some of them on real people.
DF: If you could spend the day with one of them, who would it be and what would you do?
RG: I would love to spend the day hanging with almost all of my characters, but Carrie Shatner would have to be my first choice. She and I share a lot of similar interests and traits, so I’m fairly certain we would get along quite well. If I could spend the day with her, I think I’d just want her to take me on a tour of Wyatt County. I invented her world, but I’d love to have her show it to me. And maybe Carrie could take me to a Shatner family gathering so I could meet all of her crazy kin and pass the homebrewed moonshine around with them.
DF: What are you working on right now?
RG: I’m currently working on a new mystery series idea starring a spunky, strong, amateur female sleuth. I also have an idea for a historical novel that I’ve been doing some research on.
DF: Wait a minute! Please tell me there’s another Carrie Shatner book in the works.
RG: And I’m also working on the second book in the Carrie Shatner series, Criminal Chokehold.
DF: Yay! I can’t wait to read it!
Randee Green’s passion for reading began in grade school with LITTLE HOUSE IN THE BIG WOODS by Laura Ingalls Wilder. She has a bachelor’s degree in English Literature, as well as a master’s and an MFA in Creative Writing. When not writing, she’s usually reading, indulging in her passion for Texas country music, traveling, or hanging out with her favorite feline friend, Mr. Snookums G. Cat.
You can purchase Criminal Misdeeds Here
If you’d like to connect with Randee here’s where you can find her: