Jackson Burnett is a mysterious guy. He’s also the best kind of person to write a mystery. THE PAST NEVER ENDS is his first novel. Below is an anecdote from his road to publication.
A Funny Thing Happened on My Road to Publication
By Jackson Burnett
"Finally," the respected New York agent wrote in her rejection note, "I don't find the important roles Marylin and Shawn play in the story to be very credible."
Marylin and Shawn are featured characters in the recently published legal mystery, The Past Never Ends by Jackson Burnett. Marylin works as Attorney Chester Morgan's legal secretary and Shawn, as his receptionist/office manager. Marylin is experienced, professional, subtle and intuitive; Shawn is youthful, brash, and fearless. Marylin is the yin to Shawn's yang. Both are dedicated to their boss. Without them, Chester Morgan would never solve the mystery of Tanya Everly's death.
Readers, as it turns out, love these two characters.
When Alan Kinman, a pathetic, young man, shows up at the law office of Chester Morgan upset at the death of his only friend, sex worker Tanya Everly, Marylin persuades Morgan stay with the case and not turn it away. When Morgan needs information otherwise unavailable, Shawn uses any and all means to get it.
The Past Never Ends is my first published novel. I like mysteries but generally find legal mysteries and thrillers lacking. Few attorneys solve cases by their own brilliance or incur the fatal wrath of some huge syndicate. I wanted my readers to have an authentic experience, what they might find if they practiced law as I do. Chance, hard work, and those you work with play critical roles in the success of any attorney.
Marylin and Shawn are strong and resourceful women, just like the women I've lived with and been around my entire life here in Oklahoma.
After Jackie King read the book cover to cover, I asked her what she thought about New York agent's remarks.
"She obviously doesn't know Oklahoma women," Jackie replied.
When I later asked my wife the same question, she gave the very same answer.
Luckily, another publisher, Deadly Niche Press, agreed with them.