By Paty Jager
Okay, I don’t really SEE it. But in my mind when I travel or go about my day, if I see a potential for a body to be hidden or an unusual death, my writer mind starts going over the what if’s. It must be something genetic because my younger brother is always texting or calling me and saying, “Hey, I found a great place to hide a body.” LOL We’ve always been siblings who helped each other…hmmm… I just thought of an idea for another book! Sibling murderers. I know it’s been done before, but I haven’t written a book like that. I’ll add it to my list of book ideas.
A year ago June, I went on a once in a lifetime trip to Iceland through The Authors Guild. When I received the information about the trip and discovered it was during my birthday week, I asked hubby if I could go on the trip as my birthday present. He said yes. Points scored for hubby!
The trip was 6 days of packed tourist and literary events. There were ten of us on the tour. The perfect size to have gathered for meals and riding around in a small bus. The other authors wrote mostly non-fiction and here was little ole me, looking for a place to hide/murder a body so I could set a book in Iceland.
I’d read several of Yrsa Siguroardóttier’s crime fiction books set in Iceland before I went because we had an afternoon with her. While other author’s in the group had read her books, Yrsa and I actually started talking about the craft of writing a mystery. That was so much fun talking with an international author about the craft we loved to write. However, I felt like I was taking up all of her time and apologized to the others. One author told me she enjoyed watching us talk about the genre we both loved writing. That was the second best thing about that day!
On the day of my birthday, we loaded up into the bus and headed for Lake Kleifarvatn. It had been used in a couple of movies as the surface of the moon. It is an extraordinary landscape void of vegetation and in most places solid rock. My writer brain said, “This would be a challenge for Hawke to track someone. But why would he be here?” Which was a question that had been going around and around in my mind the whole time. How do I get Hawke to Iceland and make it realistic?
I asked our guide if they had a strong Search and Rescue organization in Iceland. He said yes. Very active. We continued down the road from the lake and discovered Kŕysuvik. This is a tourist site where you inhale sulfuric steam from boiling mud pools. As I walked among the pools, staying on the trails and bridges, I knew the body would be found half in and half out of one of these pools. I took lots of photos of the area and wrote my reactions to the landscape in my little research book.
Back home, I looked up Iceland’s Search and Rescue and discovered they hold a worldwide SAR (Search and Rescue) conference every two years. Bingo! I had my realistic way to get Hawke to Iceland. He is teaching a 2-day pre-conference tracking workshop. And that is how I came up with Fox Goes Hunting Book 5 in my Gabriel Hawke novels.
Fox Goes Hunting can be pre-ordered at all ebook venues and releases June 1st.
About Fox Goes Hunting:
While teaching a tracking class at a Search and Rescue conference in Iceland, Oregon State Trooper Gabriel Hawke discovers a body in a boiling mud pool. The body is the young man Hawke’s class is tracking.
Unable to walk away from the gruesome death without helping to find the killer, Hawke follows the clues and discovers the victim had few enemies, and all of them have alibis. The killer is cunning like the fox, but Hawke is determined to solve the homicide before the conference attendees head home in five days.
Universal buy link: https://books2read.com/u/3yEjKv
Paty Jager is an award-winning author of 44 novels, 8 novellas, and numerous anthologies of murder mystery and western romance. All her work has Western or Native American elements in them along with hints of humor and engaging characters.
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