Featured Author – Dana Stabenow

Dana Stabenow is an Alaskan writer, best known for her mystery series about Kate Shugak. The author’s love affair with her home state is evident in every page; the gorgeous setting, the quirky individualists, and the wildly variant activities, which range from making moose stew to building a house to crewing a fishing boat. Her writing is fast-paced, her characters have serious grab and are generally extremely sexual individuals, and despite the awful things that happen (they are murder mysteries after all) there is an exuberance and joy that comes through in the writing very strongly.

I don’t really read mysteries. My mother is a huge mystery reader, and recommended these to me as a way to experience Alaska without actually going there. I found it to be exactly that, and enjoyed the characters and the stories very much. In addition, Stabenow does what I’ve always thought would be the very best way to research your work: when she is, for example, going to write about oyster shucking, she will go out and do it for a while. I approve of that and wish I could do it more.

Obviously, there will be times when you want to research something you absolutely can’t do yourself–modeling, for example, for me, or paragliding–and you will have to talk about it as if you’ve done it yourself. In that case, talking to someone who has done that a lot will probably help. Watch their hands as they gesture while talking… watch their faces… ask them what it feels like. Anyway… I digress.

While not a big mystery reader, still, I do have a few authors who write mostly in that genre that I really enjoy. Dana Stabenow is definitely one of them!


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