Today Lana Hansen from the Travel Can Be Murder Cozy Mystery series is visiting Ascroft, eh? to introduce herself and tell us about Death on the Danube, the first novel in the series.
Welcome, Lana. Let’s get started, shall we?
Tell us about the novel that you live inside. Is it part of a series? If so, please tell us about the series too.
Hi, everyone! I am Lana Hansen, the star of the new Travel Can Be Murder Cozy Mystery series. After my husband – a magician called The Great Ronaldo – left me for his new assistant, I moved to Seattle to start over. Things weren’t quite going as I had hoped, until my landlord and good friend Dotty Thompson offered me a job leading tours through Europe. Since I’ve started working for her, my life has improved dramatically!
These stories are about my travels as a guide for Wanderlust Tours and the cities we visit, as well as my group of well-heeled tourists. Most are lovely people who want to explore the world, but don’t want to travel solo. Others are tagging along for the ride and not as enthusiastic about the cities we are visiting as I would hope. For some reason or another, several guests have died under suspicious circumstances, and I have had to help the police find the real culprit. That’s my least favorite part of these stories!
These stories start and end in my hometown of Seattle, Washington where my best friends Dotty and Willow also live. Without their counsel and support, I doubt I would remain sane.
My ex-husband Ron (a.k.a The Great Ronaldo) is unfortunately still a part of my story and this series. Though I am pleased to see there is a new romance on the horizon for me.
Before falling into this tour guide job, I was an award-winning journalist. At least, until I was wrongly accused of libel and got fired. My life hasn’t quite been the same since. The story I was investigating also runs as a thread through these books.
Does the writer control what happens in the story or do you get a say too?
It is my story that the writer is telling – the books are all about me, my tours, and my good friends. If I was still working as an investigative reporter, or if my husband hadn’t of left me, I doubt you ever would have heard of me! Luckily, fate brought me to Seattle where I made great friends and discovered my passion for travel. The stories follow our trips and the often crazy events that take place on them. But once we are on tour, even I don’t know what is going to happen next!
How did you evolve as the main character?
My life is in constant motion. Every time I think I’ve finally got things figured out, my career or love life take a turn for the worst. Now I’m trying to go with the flow and enjoy the life I have.
Do you have any other characters you like sharing the story with? If so, why are you partial to them?
My two best friends, Dotty and Willow, are part of each story. Dotty is not only my landlord, she is also the owner of Wanderlust Tours. If one of her tour guides hadn’t of gotten sick, I wouldn’t have become a guide for her company. Dotty just turned seventy and her health problems are starting to stack up. I feel responsible for her and spend a lot of time with her when I’m in Seattle. She also takes great care of my cat Seymour while I am working abroad.
I met my best friend Willow when I attended one of her yoga classes. An accident during one of The Great Ronaldo’s magic show’s left me with an injured shoulder and her classes changed my life for the better. Willow is one of the most practical, yet spiritual, people I have ever met. And she is definitely the most flexible! I don’t know what I would do without her advice and occasional kick in the pants. She is a true friend.
What’s the place like where you find yourself in this story?
I love my basement apartment in Fremont – a funky neighborhood in Seattle, Washington. I am most at home with my cat Seymour on my lap and a good mystery novel in hand. However in this series, my travels as a tour guide for Wanderlust Tours keep me off the couch and exploring new destinations.
Is there anything else you’d like to tell readers about you and the book?
If you enjoy heartwarming stories about friendship, travel, and celebrating new experiences, I invite you to follow along on my journeys! The first book – Death on the Danube – is about my New Year’s trip to Budapest and will be released on November 28, 2019. The next three books in the series – Death by Baguette: A Valentine’s Murder in Paris, Death by Windmill: A Mother’s Day Murder in Amsterdam, and Death by Bagpipes: A Summer Murder in Edinburgh – will be released in 2020.
Thanks for answering my questions, Lana, and I wish you and your author, Jennifer S. Alderson, good luck with Death on the Danube, the first book in the Travel Can Be Murder Cozy Mystery series.
Jennifer S. Alderson: Jennifer was born in San Francisco, raised in Seattle, and currently lives in Amsterdam. Her love of travel, art, and culture inspires her award-winning mystery series—the Zelda Richardson Mysteries and Travel Can Be Murder Cozy Mysteries—and standalone stories. After traveling extensively around Asia, Oceania, and Central America, she moved to Darwin, Australia, before settling in the Netherlands. Her background in journalism, multimedia development, and art history enriches her novels. When not writing, she can be found in a museum, biking around Amsterdam, or enjoying a coffee along the canal while planning her next research trip.