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Banned Book Week – Guest Blog by Author Jeri Westerson


Jeri Westerson is one of our very favorite authors here on the PBS Blog. She writes medieval mysteries with an enigmatic, flawed, sexy, and very different protagonist. His name is Crispin Guest and he’s a disgraced knight turned detective on the mean streets of fourteenth century London. Her latest book, Blood Lance is due out in October.


Banned Books by Jeri Westerson

Banned books got me my first book blurb, and I didn’t even have a contract yet.

Let me explain.

I was on my way to my first mystery fan convention, the kind of place I had hoped to someday be on panels once I was a published author. I had just signed with my agent and he was going to be there and suggested I go, too, to schmooze with editors at some of the parties. That sounded like a plan to me. But I also had my own agenda. I was going to talk myself up to as many published authors as I could so I could get a pre-contract set of blurbs to show to prospective publishers. I thought a few well-chosen words from established authors would help editors make that much-needed decision to sign me up.

And surprisingly, it started on the plane ride to the conference (that would ultimately end up in Madison, Wisconsin). I was switching planes in San Francisco. I was wearing a shirt that proclaimed loudly “I Read Banned Books!” Well, sitting there with this billboard on my chest caught the attention of an author who was going to the conference and ended up as my seat mate. We got to chatting and before the end of the flight, award-winning author Cornelia Read had offered to blurb my book. I was off and running.

One more author had given me a blurb at the conference and we had some promising schmoozing with a few editors that led to my agent shipping the manuscript—blurbs and all—to a few publishers. Ultimately, it was St. Martin’s who made the offer and we are ready to release the fifth book in the series together.

And just what was that marvelous blurb that Cornelia gave my first medieval mystery? Here it is:  “Jeri Westerson’s Veil of Lies is a great read, through and through. Her finely wrought portrait of gritty Medieval London is imbued with great wit and poignancy, establishing Crispin Guest as a knight to remember.”

Cornelia is still a fan, and I’ve added such authors as Julia Spencer-Fleming, John Lescroart, Rhys Bowen, and William Kent Krueger to the Crispin blurb list. And there’s more to love with the release of the fifth book in the series, BLOOD LANCE.

If it wasn’t for banned books, where would I be now?


You can read more about Jeri’s books (and see all the blurbs) as well as book discussion guides and the series book trailer on her website at www.JeriWesterson.com

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3 Responses to “Banned Book Week – Guest Blog by Author Jeri Westerson”

  1. Judy Donofrio says:

    I’m ready for a Crispin t-shirt, Jeri. With the latest book cover featured or maybe those cute knights (as above), if Crispin wouldn’t feel slighted. They’d be great giveaways, but I’d be one of the first to buy one of you on horseback. Maybe it could read: “I read banned books!”

  2. It’s an interesting thought, Judy. I used to make just one book cover t-shirt for myself as a walking billboard, but…hmm.

  3. ANNA S. (SanJoseCa) says:

    I would buy a Crispin t-shirt too…..or one of Jeri on horseback!!

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