Author Guest Post
What do you do if you’re a writer having a wonderful time on vacation, especially if you’re a mystery writer? Your mind gets moving, and you come up with a plot. Several plots, possibly for a series. A series in which you murder people in the delightful setting that inspired you!
Well, you don’t exactly murder people, but characters in the books you write do. And that’s what happened to me when I was on an Alaska cruise several years ago and took a boat tour off the coast of Juneau and into the nearby fjords.
I love animals, and the guides on this tour pointed out many kinds of local wildlife as we sailed on the smooth water and between amazing shoreline views. Those guides were kind and knew their stuff. And they were my primary inspiration, how my protagonist Stacie Calder ultimately slipped into my mind.
Not that we ran into any dead bodies, nor did anyone disappear from our boat, or no one that I heard about. But my mind nevertheless started wondering what kinds of mysteries could occur in this kind of situation.
Fictional mysteries and murders that I could write about.
And that was how my Alaska Untamed series idea originated.
Stacie’s a naturalist, by love and by career. That’s why she gives tours the way she does on that kind of boat in Alaska. She loves pointing out wildlife.
She loves her dog Sasha, a husky, too, and she’s glad Sasha can accompany her on her tours.
She never anticipates she’ll have to solve even one murder, let alone more as the series progresses. But, heck, she’s the protagonist in a mystery series, so you can guess what happens.
She doesn’t love the guy who gets killed, but neither did she hope that would happen to him. And she’s not happy at all that a person she really admires, the captain of her tour boat and boss, winds up as the main suspect.
Did I anticipate any of that while on that wonderful tour? Not really… but hey, I’m a writer and I’d already written several published mystery series. And I started asking the guides and others on the boat lots of questions.
So, yes, in some ways I did anticipate the idea would turn into a mystery and more.
A fun trip in many ways!
About Bear Witness
Bear Witness (An Alaska Untamed Mystery)
1st in Series
Setting – Alaska
Hardcover : 320 pages
ISBN-10 : 1643858963
ISBN-13 : 978-1643858968
Digital ASIN : B09CD3RWVD
Alaska tour boat guide Stacie Calder faces the deep freeze in this scenic cozy series debut perfect for fans of Paige Shelton.
No nine-to-five cubicle career will suit Stacie Calder—the naturalist much prefers working in the great outdoors. Specifically, the spacious and spectacular Alaskan wilderness, whose rugged charms she shares with sightseers on the top deck of the tour boat where she works. But one May afternoon, Stacie’s passengers see more than glittering glaciers, frolicking harbor seals, climbing bears and soaring seabirds…they also witness a man lying dead in the frigid Alaskan waters. And it seems likely that someone gave him a fatal push.
Stacie didn’t know the unfortunate victim, but he sure wanted to know a lot about her. He spent most of his final afternoon bombarding her with questions quite awkward to answer. And when he wasn’t in her hair, he was arguing incessantly with the boat’s beleaguered crew. Which makes for a suspect list about as long as the passenger manifest. Furthermore, as police helicopters relentlessly circle her boat in search of any clues, Stacie is shaken to find herself on that suspect list.
Before the tour boat reaches shore Stacie—accompanied by her beautiful blue-eyed husky, Sasha—must deduce just who sent the testy tourist tumbling into the turgid waters and have the authorities take custody. Because if she can’t, then the killer might aim a fatal ice-cold stare at Stacie.
About Lark O. Jensen
Lark O. Jensen is the pseudonym of Linda O. Johnston, a former lawyer who is now a full-time writer. Lark has written Bear Witness, the first Alaska Untamed mystery for Crooked Lane. Linda has written the Barkery & Biscuits Mystery series and the Superstition Mysteries for Midnight Ink and the Pet Rescue Mysteries and Kendra Ballantyne, Pet-Sitter mysteries for Berkley Prime Crime. Linda also writes for Harlequin Romantic Suspense, and her stories often involve dogs.
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