Jennifer S Alderson is my third and final guest author as part of Mystery Thriller Week 2018.
Wonderful news! Jennifer has an audiobook giveaway!
You will find all details of the audiobook giveaway following the interview.
Before we go to the interview, let’s find out a bit more about Jennifer.
About the Author
Jennifer S. Alderson was born in San Francisco, raised in Seattle, and currently lives in Amsterdam. Her love of travel, art, and culture inspires her ongoing mystery series, the Adventures of Zelda Richardson. Her background in journalism, multimedia development, and art history enriches her novels.
In Down and Out in Kathmandu, Zelda gets entangled with a gang of smugglers whose Thai leader believes she’s stolen his diamonds. The Lover’s Portrait is a suspenseful “whodunit?” about Nazi-looted artwork that transports readers to wartime and present-day Amsterdam. Art, religion, and anthropology collide in Rituals of the Dead, a thrilling artifact mystery set in Dutch New Guinea (Papua) and the Netherlands.
Her travelogue, Notes of a Naive Traveler, is a must read for those interested in learning more about – or wishing to – travel to Nepal and Thailand.
When not writing, Jennifer can be found in a museum, biking around Amsterdam, or enjoying a coffee along the canal while planning her next research trip.
For more information about the author and her upcoming novels, please visit Twitter ( @JSAauthor ), her website at http://www.JenniferSAlderson.com or Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/JenniferSAldersonAuthor.
Why do you write?
I write because I enjoy creating stories about adventurous souls. That is why I named my series the Adventures of Zelda Richardson! By setting my novels in places I have visited, it also allows me to ‘revisit’ some of my favorite countries in the world. I am thrilled the series I have written to entertain myself is also enjoyed by others.
What are you currently working on?
I am finishing up a short story about one of my protagonist’s earlier adventures, as well as flushing out the fourth full-length novel in my mystery series. The spectacular theft of two Vincent van Gogh paintings from the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam – and their equally remarkable return – inspired this fourth art-related mystery. This time around Zelda will be visiting Croatia, Turkey, and Italy.
From where did you draw your inspiration to write your latest book?
My latest novel, Rituals of the Dead: An Artifact Mystery, came about because I wanted to write a mystery about an Asmat bis pole. In 2008, I worked as a collection researcher on an exhibition of artifacts carved by the Asmat in Papua. During my work, I came across so many stories about head hunting raids, crazy anthropologists, hapless colonial administrators, and insanely brave missionaries that I knew I had the basis for a fascinating mystery in my hands!
Are you a plotter or pantster?
I have to get the outline perfect before starting. However, once I start writing, I let the characters and subplots influence the outcome. So far, all of my novels have deviated from the original outline, though the storyline and plot structure have remained the same.
Which writers had the most influence on your decision to write?
The Beach by Alex Garland and Backpack by Emma Barr are the reasons I decided to write my first published novel, Down and Out in Kathmandu: A Backpacker Mystery.
What was the last book you read?
To celebrate Mystery Thriller Week, this past month I have read Informium by Dana and Barry Stiller, Smokescreen by Khaled Talib, and Passport to Murder by Mary Angela.
Do you suffer from writers’ block?
No, I don’t have that problem. I am usually working on a manuscript, outlining a future book, and writing several articles related to my novels, all at the same time. If I am having trouble getting inspired to work on one, I move to another.
Biggest frustration as a self-published author?
Discoverability. There are so many talented authors out there, it is incredibly difficult to stand out and attract new readers. That is why cross-promotional events such as Mystery Thriller Week are so important – they are a great way to connect with a different audience and interesting authors.
Reviews for books are vital. Any tips on getting more reviews?
Read, review, repeat. It may seem counter-intuitive, but I have had several readers tell me they discovered my novels because I reviewed a book they loved. Mind you, “great book” won’t suffice. It is the more detailed, analytical reviews of books similar to my own that have unexpectedly led new readers to me!
Do you use social media? If so, do you like using it?
Yes, I do use it; however I am still finding my way. I do enjoy the social aspect of it the most. Chatting with readers and bloggers makes it fun and worthwhile.
Who is your biggest fan?
My father was my biggest fan and continually encouraged me to keep writing. Unfortunately he passed away before my first novel was published. I know he would be extremely proud to see it in print.
Many people have a bucket list. What is #1 on yours?
Going on a crazy adventure with my son – probably to Borneo or Kenya. He’s only six now, so it will be a few years before he’s able to kayak, climb and swim well enough to keep up. But I cannot wait!
Any special message for your readers?
Dear readers, I hope you enjoy your journeys to Nepal, Thailand, Papua, and the Netherlands via book. But beware – you may be inspired to visit one of these lovely countries!
Here is a further message from Jennifer:
For audiobook lovers, I also have two Audible promo codes (UK only, I am afraid) for readers interested in listening to The Lover’s Portrait: An Art Mystery (book two in the Adventures of Zelda Richardson series). Set in present-day and WWII Amsterdam, it is the perfect novel for fans of art, history, and mystery! To win a promo code, please comment on this post and Steve Bentley will kindly choose the winners*. Thank you for your interest and happy listening!
[*Ed. Note – two to be chosen entirely at random. Please leave a comment below the post to enter. Thank you!]
**Tip: Audiobook lovers based outside of the UK can also listen for free by signing up for a FREE 30-day Audible membership. You can cancel anytime and keep the audiobook!
Rituals of the Dead: An Artifact Mystery
Book Three in the Adventures of Zelda Richardson series
Art, religion, and anthropology collide in Alderson’s latest art mystery thriller, Rituals of the Dead, Book three of the Adventures of Zelda Richardson series.
Art history student Zelda Richardson is working at the Tropenmuseum in Amsterdam on an exhibition of bis poles from the Asmat region of Papua – the same area where a famous American anthropologist disappeared in 1962. When his journal is found inside one of the bis poles, Zelda is tasked with finding out more about the man’s last days and his connection to these ritual objects.
Zelda is pulled into a world of shady anthropologists, headhunters, missionaries, art collectors, and smugglers – where the only certainty is that sins of the past are never fully erased.
Join Zelda as she grapples with the anthropologist’s mysterious disappearance fifty years earlier, and a present-day murderer who will do anything to prevent her from discovering the truth.
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