Avalanche

by Kristina Stanley

It is a true pleasure to be visiting MotiveMeansOpportunity today.

Recently, AVALANCHE, the third in the Stone Mountain Mysteries was published by Imajin Books.

AVALANCHE has a special place in my heart because it is the first novel I wrote. The original title was BENEATH THE SNOW. Somewhere along the journey, the name was changed, which started the branding of the series by giving each novel a one-word title.

After I wrote AVALANCHE, I acquired an agent, and then I wrote DESCENT and BLAZE. We decided together that AVALANCHE fit better as book #3 in the series, so I rewrote it to fit later in Kalin Thompson’s life.

RESEARCHING A NOVEL:

Rewriting the novel gave me time to do more research into avalanches. I met with Andrew Nelson, Association of Canadian Mountain Guides Ski Guide, Avalanche Forecaster and Educator. Andrew not only spent hours showing me videos and explaining the process a ski resort goes through when an avalanche occurs, he read an early version of AVALANCHE to check for accuracy.

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You’ll find his term “Ice Mask” on page two of AVALANCHE.

If I wasn’t frightened enough by talking to Andrew, he recommended I go home and watch Go Pro videos of avalanches.  The videos of a person being buried are so intense, I had to leave the house and go for a walk just to settle down. Do an internet search for Go Pro & Avalanche and you’ll see what I mean.

I went heli-skiing for a day. At one point, an avalanche cascaded down a peak on a nearby mountain.  From a safe distance, I experienced what an avalanche looks and sounds like. I have to say, I was a little nervous.

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The final part of my research included talking with a friend who had been buried in an avalanche.  This is how I got the detail I needed about what it felt like be buried under a mountain of snow.

By writing three novels, I gained the confidence to go out there and talk to people. Somehow with my first novel, I was too shy. I didn’t think I should take up an expert’s time when I was just beginning my career as a writer. What I learned was the most experts love talking about their specific area of knowledge. As they say, if I knew then what I knew now, I would be more assertive about gaining first-hand knowledge and insight. I wouldn’t be shy about getting others involved and excited about what I was writing. So my advice for researching, go out there and talk to everyone and anyone who has knowledge that you need.

So what is AVALANCHE about, you ask?

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 On a cold winter morning, the safe at Stone Mountain Resort is robbed, and Kalin Thompson’s brother, Roy, suspiciously disappears. As Director of Security, Kalin would normally lead the investigation, but when her brother becomes the prime suspect, she is ordered to stay clear.

The police and the president of the resort turn their sights on Kalin, who risks everything to covertly attempt to clear Roy’s name. As threats against her escalate, she moves closer to uncovering the guilty party. Is Kalin’s faith in her brother justified? Or will the truth destroy her?

WHO IS Kristina Stanley?

Kristina Stanley is the best-selling author of the Stone Mountain Mystery Series. Her first two novels garnered the attention of prestigious crime writing organizations in Canada and England. Crime Writers of Canada nominated DESCENT for the Unhanged Arthur award. The Crime Writers’ Association nominated BLAZE for the Debut Dagger. Her short stories have been published in the Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine and The Voices From the Valleys anthology. She is also the author of THE AUTHOR’S GUIDE TO SELLING BOOKS TO NON-BOOKSTORES.

You can find her at http://www.KristinaStanley.com

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11 thoughts on “Avalanche

  1. Hi Kait, very nice post. Avalanches are scary and unpredictable. This sounds like a really interesting topic. Some ski resorts dynamite after fresh snow and before skiing is allowed. They have “no skiing” signs posted in areas where there is danger but lots of skiers like to ski in “clam chowder in the powder” and ski through those signs and run into danger. The powder is so enticing. These books look well researched and well worth the read. Thanks for the information and I like the researching angle that is so important. Best to Kristina Stanley.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hi MJ. Thanks for stopping by and commenting. It was a lot of writing Avalanche. There personal experience helps, and certainly having experts to talk to makes a big difference. You are right about the dynamite. We’ve heard it go off several times. It’s quite the noise. All the best, Kristina.

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  2. Great post, Kristina! Very interesting to see the research “journey” you took with the book(s). Heli-skiing? Uh, no thanks. And what’s up with Andrew Nelson’s hand? Looks like there is a lot of danger on those slopes. I’ve had enough close calls in my time (not skiing-related), so I think I’ll stick to the Bunny Trail!

    So, are there more Kalin Thompson mysteries on the way? It looks like you have a winner there. One more statement from me: I love your hair color. Would you describe it as auburn, strawberry blonde, or? Inquiring minds want to know! Actually, your hair is the color I was imagining when I gave it to a character in my second Mac McClellan Mystery, Deadly Ruse. So, if I’m not being too personal. . . .

    Thanks so much for joining us, and for such an interesting post. And please, feel free to come back anytime. We at MMO really appreciate it! 🙂
    –Michael

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hi Michael, Thanks for having me and for your lovely comments. It’s mystery how Andrew hurt is hand…not really. Mountain biking did its thing. As for hair color, I change it every month. One can’t be boring, you know. Can’t remember what color I used. Heli-skiing is exciting, and I guess that’s why people go. The views are incredible. It’s fun being here today.

    Liked by 1 person

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