Taught by my dad to ski at Camp Fortune near Ottawa, Canada, I’ve spent a good part of my life on the slopes. Winter is my favorite season. I know that sounds crazy since I’ve spent 9 years living on a sailboat, but I only like warm weather if I’m on the water. If not, the mountains are where I need to be.
Chris asked me to include an author photo – something professional that reflects my writing life – so I thought the photo of me skiing gives you an idea of what kind of author I am. My formal photo shows you what a good photographer can do.
I’m writing this article in August and am dreaming of winter. My skis sit in the garage, waiting for their first tune of the season. I can see the ski lift from my living room window, sitting dormant, having no one to take to higher altitudes.
Death on the slopes can happen at any moment and still, speed is everything to an alpine racer. Olympic skiers attack a run at speeds in excess of 80 mph. The characters in DESCENT demand speed, and this demand causes injury and death.
DESCENT will take you through a journey on the slopes:
When Kalin Thompson is promoted to Director of Security at Stone Mountain Resort, she soon becomes entangled in the high-profile murder investigation of an up-and-coming Olympic-caliber skier. There are more suspects with motives than there are gates on the super-G course, and danger mounts with every turn.
Kalin’s boss orders her to investigate. Her boyfriend wants her to stay safe and let the cops do their job. Torn between loyalty to friends and professional duty, Kalin must look within her isolated community to unearth the killer’s identity.
Where does my inspiration come from?
DESCENT is the first in the Stone Mountain Mystery series. The series takes place in an isolated mountain resort in the depths of the Purcell mountain range in British Columbia, Canada. Before the ski season opened to the public, the resort where I worked rented ski runs to world class ski teams from around the globe.
Part of my role included being the director of guest services, and I was responsible for the ticket checkers. I loved to hang around the lift lines when the racers were heading up the mountain to train. The Canadian Paralympic team arrived at our resort, and I was impressed and amazed at the strength and fearlessness shown by the skiers. The questions began to build. How could someone kill a racer while they were training? Why would someone kill a racer? Donny Morley, one of the characters in DESCENT, owns sit-ski that remains unused in his van. I can’t tell you why or I would spoil the story, but his inability to walk drove the storyline of DESCENT.
With all the forest fires this season, BLAZE, the second in the Stone Mountain Mystery Series deals with a current Canadian and American issue. BLAZE was inspired by an actual fire that took place one midnight while I was the director of security. After spending a night at the site, corralling people, organizing places for people to stay, and arranging for RCMP and paramedic presence, the idea for BLAZE took shape. BLAZE is a mystery and arson is the crime, but this time it looks like Kalin Thompson is the target. BLAZE is scheduled for release before the end of 2015 by Imajin Books.
High in the mountains heli-skiing, I heard an avalanche one slope away from our group. The thundering slide echoed around the peaks and sparked the idea for AVALANCHE. I couldn’t resist sharing a photo of me and guys waiting for our next run. The third in the series, AVALANCHE, has Kalin Thompson searching for a thief and struggling to prove her brother is innocent of the theft. Unfortunately for Kalin, her brother disappears an avalanche hours after the theft and is the prime suspect.
Kristina Stanley is the author of the Stone Mountain Mystery Series.
Her books have 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.
She is published in the Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine.
Before writing her series, Kristina was the director of security, human resources and guest services at a resort in the depths of the British Columbian mountains.
The job and lifestyle captured her heart, and she decided to write mysteries about life in an isolated resort.
While writing the first four novels, she spent five years living aboard a sailboat in the US and the Bahamas.
Thank you for reading…
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