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.
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.
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?
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