Jenny Adams Releases Her Debut Historical Mystery, A DEADLY ENDEAVOR

Throughout my life, I’ve especially admired and been inspired by folks who are librarians, and those who are authors. Jenny Adams is both, so it is a special pleasure to interview her about the debut release of A DEADLY ENDEAVOR. Below are her responses to my interview questions, followed by her bio and contact/buy links:

First off, congratulations on the release of your debut historical mystery, A DEADLY ENDEAVOR. Can you share with our readers a bit about the book and what inspired it?

Thank you so much, Lynn! I wish this was an easier question to answer – the truth is that this book is actually completely different from anything I imagined when I first sat down to write it. Back then, it was a YA historical fantasy set in 1918, starring a young suffragette and a young man recently returned from the Western front. Within a few chapters, it was clear that Edie and Gilbert were adults, not teens, and by the time it sold to Crooked Lane, the magic was gone and it was firmly a historical mystery. I like to joke that I’m an accidental mystery writer, but I think Edie knew all along the sort of book she wanted to be in.

Tell us about your protagonist, Edie Shippen. What is she like, and how does she grow and change during the course of your novel?

Edie appeared in my brain like a freight train, and completely took over everything I had planned. She’s definitely not for everyone, and is a sort of Jazz-Age Elle Woods; unabashedly feminine, a little shallow, and wickedly smart, despite the fact that no one around her sees that about her. Both Edie and Gilbert, my two main characters, start the novel as deeply broken people dealing with their own near-death experiences, and over the course of the novel, they find their way to each other and risk everything to save each other and the people they love.

I love that you set your novel in 1921 in Jazz Age, Philadelphia. What kinds of research did you do to bring this era and setting to life

So much research! I was living in Philadelphia when I wrote the early drafts, and based so much of it on the neighborhoods I frequented. I pored over digitized trolley records and photos from the Free Library and Temple Univeristy’s Urban Archives, and I found as many primary sources as I could. My library skills definitely came in handy!

You are also a librarian with a family. How have you managed to balance your work as a librarian and family life with your writing? Has it been challenging for you to find time to write?

It’s not easy. Especially while working on a tight deadline, as I am for the first time right now! I am a school librarian, so I have summers off…but I am also the primary caretaker of my elementary aged daughter during the summers, so it’s a lot of early mornings and late nights and occasional weekends where I book myself a hotel room and write until my fingers go numb. My partner is a saint, and had to similarly balance things while writing his dissertation for his PhD, so he is very supportive and understanding of everything. Currently, my alarm goes off at 4:30 and I try to squeeze in a few hundred words before work every day, and a few thousand on the weekends.

Did you always know that you wanted to become a writer?

I’ve always written, but I don’t think I thought about it seriously until after college. I didn’t know any authors or novelists, and it didn’t seem to be a thing that real people actually did!

What led you to decide to write seriously for publication?

In 2010, I read over 300 books – including Laini Taylor’s DAUGHTER OF SMOKE AND BONE, which is one of my all-time favorite books – and decided that I wanted to do this, too. I wanted to write books that other people would read. It just took me a really, really long time – 14 years and seven books! – to get here.

What is your writing process like?

I’m a total planner. I can’t sit down to write without at least a synopsis, but preferably a huge, detailed outline that serves as a kind of rough draft.  I also draft lean – I’m not a writer who has to do a lot of cutting, but I always end up adding 10-30k in every round of revisions! I love watching the story deepen and get more complex with every pass!

I was fascinated that you earned a degree in medieval studies. Any possibility you’ll write a story set in the Middle Ages?

Perhaps! My undergrad research was centered on monstrosity and liminality in 14th century French Romances, and I think most of my fantasy work touches on themes I researched all of those years ago. Several of my now-shelved YA novels were set in the Middle Ages, but I didn’t have much luck finding homes for them. But I’ll never say never!

What’s next for you writing-wise?

Edie and Gil’s next adventure! It’s been so much fun dipping back into their lives.  I can’t say much more, but I am SO excited about the setting of this one (just outside of Philadelphia) and the historical research I’m doing. I am so thankful that I get to continue their stories, and I hope there will be even more to come.

Outside of Edie and Gil, I’m also working on an adult speculative romance novel set in the Poconos, where I grew up, and a YA romantasy that leans heavily on my family’s Basque heritage.  I have about a third of each written, and I’m not quite sure which one I’ll finish first!

Anything else you’d like to add, or wish I’d asked that I didn’t?

Thank you for hosting me!


Jenny Adams has always had an overactive imagination. She turned her love of books and stories into a career as a librarian and author. She holds degrees in Medieval Studies and Library Science from The Ohio State University and Drexel University. She has studied fiction at Johns Hopkins University and is an alumna of Blue Stoop’s 2019 YA Novel Intensive and the 2021 Tin House YA Workshop, and was a 2021 PitchWars Mentor. Jenny currently lives in Alexandria, Virginia with her husband and daughter, and can be found on Twitter, TikTok, and Instagram as @JAdamsWrites

Contact Links:

Mailing List


Buy Links:


PRH Website One More Page – Signed Copies Old Town Books
The Ripped Bodice Scrawl Books Politics & Prose
Bookshop Libro.FM Barnes & Noble
Amazon Goodreads Storygraph




  1. Pamela Ruth Meyer on March 7, 2024 at 11:12 am

    Thank you for this post, Lynn and Jenny. I had a blast learning more about Jenny’s journey, life, and writing process. Her absolute love for her characters comes through beautifully. I can’t wait to dig into A DEADLY ENDEAVOR.

  2. Lynn Slaughter on March 7, 2024 at 3:44 pm

    I loved learning about Jenny’s journey, too! Thanks for your lovely comment, Pamela!

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