Kinx's Book Nook: Author Spotlight: Lane Stark

Monday, August 20, 2012

Author Spotlight: Lane Stark

Lane Stark has had three enduring passions through her life: travel, art, and the written word. She has traveled the world, lived abroad in both Europe and Asia, and experienced many cultures. She holds a B.A. and M.A. in linguistics, has studied eight languages, and recently ended a career as a graphic artist. She has now turned her creative attentions to full-time writing and leisure-time photography. Travel provides a wealth of inspiration for books, and she finds herself weaving tales around the people she meets and the places she explores. She and her husband have indulged their love of the vagabond life by moving into an RV full-time and following the roadways to new adventures. She is currently working on a second novel featuring RCMP Inspector Marcus Chao, A Premature Death.

Interview with Ms. Stark:

1. Why did you decide to be a writer?

I never decided to be a writer. I've been making up stories since I was old enough to have the words, and I've been writing them down since I learned to write. I'm an only child and natural introvert, so I spent a lot of time in my imagination. I've always wanted to write novels and about fifteen years ago started the attempt, through trial and error, to learn the craft.

2. What authors do you look to for inspiration?

My favorite author is John Irving, who is the master wordsmith, and his books are exquisitely plotted. Reading an Irving novel is a creative writing class. My favorite mystery writer is Elizabeth George, whom I try to emulate. Her mysteries are always character-driven and written with thoughtful intelligence.

3. How many book do you plan to write for Marcus Chao? Will it be a series?

Marcus will definitely return - again and again, I hope. I like the character, and I want to get to know him better.

4. Why did you choose Bella Coola for the setting of your book?

When I was working on my B.A. and M.A. in Linguistics at Rice University, I had the good fortune to know and learn from Dr. Phillip Davis, an authority on the languages spoken by tribes of British Columbia. He has spent a lot of time in Bella Coola, studying the language of the Nuxalk, and he shared many stories. When my husband and I found ourselves wandering around British Columbia on vacation one summer, we decided, on a whim, to turn off the main highway and drive on a mostly unpaved mountain road into the Bella Coola River valley. My first impression was that it was the perfect setting for a murder mystery. I finally put the story together a few years later.

5. What kind of research did you conduct to learn about the Nuxalk?

Most of the initial research was related to the language, which reflects the culture in many ways (or maybe the other way around - a continual linguistic debate.) When I decided to write the book, I called the Bella Coola RCMP office, and they generously provided information about police procedures, the local office, etc. For Nuxalk culture and traditions, I read several books written by anthropologists and the people of the valley. Then I let my imagination take over.

6. Are you currently writing? If yes, what?

I'm always writing! I'm well into the next Chao mystery, A Premature Death. Simultaneously, I'm working on a rewrite of a paranormal suspense novel I wrote before that was the popular genre it is now. I haven't decided which book will be published first.

7. What are your aspirations as a writer? 

To have any many readers as possible enjoy my books, with each project, to improve and get closer to a mastery of writing, an unachievable goal, probably, but the challenge is half the fun.

The Hour of Predators
Self-published on November 18, 2011

"It is the hour of prowling bears, circling night owls, vengeful spirits, and savage hearts. It was the hour of predators."

Two murders have shocked and divided the community of Bella Coola, a small, isolated village in a remote river valley on the coast of British Columbia. The evidence points to a teenaged Nuxalk boy, and the simmering tension between whites and tribe members heats up. To find the trusth RCMP Inspector Marcus Chao must sort through misleading clues, cultural conflicts, tangled relationships, sexual scandal, and even indications that the crimes might have been committed by a sorcerer. 

Marcus is a man whose life has skidded into remorse and misery. His own infidelity has ended his marriage to the woman he still loves, and now he finds himself with only two things to keep his sinking spirits afloat: the need to serve justice and his eternal fascination with solving the mystery of the crime. This latest puzzle, however, is proving to be a maze of intrigue and suspense, and his mettle as a detective as well as his principles will be tested.

Contact Info:
Lane Stark

Buy The Hour of Predators at Amazon.


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