Hello, all! I’m Jade Blackwell, the protagonist in the new cozy mystery series, The Jade Blackwell Mysteries by Gilian Baker. Gilian asked me to drop by and introduce myself to her fans, so here we go.
I gave up my life as a college English professor four years ago. By the time I had clawed my way up the tenure ladder, I was sick of the whole sorted mess. Now, instead of lecturing, I teach other writers how to make a living as freelancers. Instead of grading poorly-constructed college essays, I run a successful ghostwriting service. I love my new life as a online solopreneur! But I certainly never thought I’d be the heroine in a new cozy mystery series!
I grew up in Aspen Falls, Wyoming where I still live, happily married to my childhood sweetheart, Christian. We have one child, a daughter named Penelope, Ellie for short. She’s a freshman in college now and away from home most of the time. My days are spent writing and talking to Tommy and Tuppence, our two cats. I named them after Agatha Christie’s famous husband-wife amateur sleuth team in her Partners in Crime series. Yes, I love a good cozy mystery series, and Christie started it all!
Everything about me is medium–medium build, medium height, medium looks, medium length hair–except for my eyes. My eyes are the brightest green you’ve ever seen; they are my one distinguishing feature. I’ve been told they turn a deep green when I’m brooding or pensive and sparkle like emeralds when I’m feeling mischievous. (Yes, they sparkle often.)
I have an aquiline nose and ivory-peach skin tone thanks to my Irish ancestry. Luckily I don’t blush as easily as some auburn’s do. That would have been a killer in my previous profession. (You never know what is going to come out of a college kid’s mouth!) I have a smattering of freckles across the bridge of my nose and cheekbones. My hair is deep, rich auburn, and yes, now has some specks of gray (okay, more than specks, jeez) that Mandy over at the Hair Hut keeps hidden.
I like to think I’m smart and sassy. Tough when I need to be, I still use my “teacher look” to show disapproval-my family knows it well. I pride myself on being an excellent judge of character and extremely intuitive. I’m acutely analytical and notice the smallest of details. I try to be friendly and have been told I’m easy to talk to. Many a time, strangers have told me their deepest secrets—I guess I just have a trustworthy, kind vibe about me.
As a literature professor, my guilty pleasure was reading cozy mystery series. How could I let anyone know that during my free time instead of the classics I read Elizabeth Craig’s Myrtle Clover series (she’s a retired English teacher, you know) and Susan Wittig Albert’s China Bayles series (I love to garden)? I see myself as a mystery book aficionado, and above all, adore Agatha Christie’s characters. As I go through my day, I often wonder WWPD–What would Poirot do?
I must admit to being as surprised as you that I ended up being the focus of a new cozy mystery series! All I was trying to do was help a friend and fellow blogger out of a jam. But I unintentionally figured out whodunit, which has lead to gaining status as an amateur sleuth, just like my personal heroes! I credit my lifelong study of the mystery genre for guiding me to discover who the real murders are.
I hope you will enjoy following my exploits as I continue to try to earn a living online while intermediately cracking cases that only a true cozy mystery series fan could!