Dana Stabenow: More Cozy Than Hardboiled

Bestselling author Dana Stabenow discusses her latest mystery novel, Spoils of the Dead, and why it leans more toward the cozy side.
Author:
Publish date:

Dana Stabenow, born in Alaska and raised on a 75-foot fish tender, is the author of the award-winning, bestselling Kate Shugak series. The first book in the series, A Cold Day for Murder, received an Edgar Award from the Mystery Writers of America.

Dana Stabenow

In this post, Stabenow discusses her latest mystery novel, Spoils of the Dead, why it leans more toward the cozy side, and more!

****

12 Weeks to a First Draft

Dive into the world of writing and learn all 12 steps needed to complete a first draft. In this writing workshop you will tackle the steps to writing a book, learn effective writing techniques along the way, and of course, begin writing your first draft.

Click to continue.
****

Name: Dana Stabenow
Literary agent: Baror International
Title: Spoils of the Dead
Publisher: Head of Zeus
Release date: February 4, 2021
Genre: Mystery/Thriller
Elevator pitch for the book: Alaskan State Trooper Liam Campbell investigates the death of a young archaeologist, murdered at their own dig site. What the archaeologist claimed to have unearthed has Alaska natives, real estate developers, and oil and gas companies up in arms. Campbell will have to find the killer before the situation spirals out of control.
Previous titles: 22 Kate Shugak novels, four Liam Campbell novels, three Star Svensdotter novels, two Eye of Isis novels, one historical trilogy, two thrillers, one collection of short stories, and one collection of Alaska magazine travel columns.

Spoils of the Dead by Dana Stabenow

IndieBound | Bookshop | Amazon
[WD uses affiliate links.]

What prompted you to write this book?

I wrote a crossover novel between the Kate Shugak series and the Liam Campbell series a few years ago. I enjoyed the return visit with the Liam Campbell characters and I wanted to see what they were up to now.

(How to Write a Mystery Novel)

How long did it take to go from idea to publication? 

About eight months from idea to final. The setting and plot didn’t change from the outline but the characters sure did. It’s always wonderful when your characters begin speaking in their own tongues.

Were there any surprises or learning moments in the publishing process for this title?

I have a hybrid business model that incorporates independent publishing with traditional publishing, and an agent that is slowly but steadily getting me into overseas markets. Every one of the latter is always a welcome surprise. Ahoj, Prague!

(The Differences Between a Crime Novel, Mystery Novel and Thriller Novel)

Were there any surprises in the writing process for this book? 

Somehow, I managed all unknowing to write something more cozy than hardboiled. I don’t think I could bear to stare reality too directly in the face this year.

What do you hope readers will get out of your book?

I hope the book transports them in their imaginations to Chungasqak Bay, Alaska, and I hope they love the characters of Bluejay, Sybilla, and especially Ms. Petroff as much as I do.

Stabenow_2:4

If you could share one piece of advice with other authors, what would it be?

Write every day. Even if it’s only one sentence a day, it will be one more sentence than you had the day before.

What Is a Professional Editor and Why Should Writers Use One?

What Is a Professional Editor and Why Should Writers Use One?

Editor is a very broad term in the publishing industry that can mean a variety of things. Tiffany Yates Martin reveals what a professional editor is and why writers should consider using one.

From Script

How to Find the Right Reader for Feedback, Writing Female Characters and Tapping into Emotionally Authentic Characters (From Script)

In this week’s round up brought to us by Script Magazine, read film reviews from Tom Stemple, part three of writing female characters, interviews with Free Guy scribes Zak Penn and Matt Lieberman, The Eyes of Tammy Faye screenwriter Abe Sylvia, and more!

Writing Mistakes Writers Make: Chasing Trends

Writing Mistakes Writers Make: Chasing Trends

The Writer's Digest team has witnessed many writing mistakes over the years, so this series helps identify them for other writers (along with correction strategies). This week's writing mistake is chasing trends in writing and publishing.

Lessons Learned From Self-Publishing My Picture Book

Lessons Learned From Self-Publishing My Picture Book

Author Dawn Secord shares her journey toward self-publishing a picture book featuring her Irish Setter named Bling.

Poetic Forms

Crown of Sonnets: Poetic Forms

Poetic Form Fridays are made to share various poetic forms. This week, we look at the crown of sonnets, a form that brings together seven sonnets in a special way.

25 Ways Reflective Writing Can Help You Grow as a Writer (and as a Person)

25 Ways Reflective Writing Can Help You Grow as a Writer (And as a Person)

Reflective writing—or journaling—is a helpful practice in helping understand ourselves, and by extensions, the stories we intend to write. Author Jeanne Baker Guy offers 25 ways reflective writing can help you grow as a writer (and as a person).

Plot Twist Story Prompts: Being Followed

Plot Twist Story Prompts: Being Followed

Every good story needs a nice (or not so nice) turn or two to keep it interesting. This week, let your character know they're being followed.

Amanda Jayatissa: On Spiraling Out in Suspense

Amanda Jayatissa: On Spiraling Out in Suspense

Author Amanda Jayatissa discusses the fun of writing "deliciously mean" characters in her psychological thriller, My Sweet Girl.

3 Tips for Writing a Memoir Everyone Wants to Read

3 Tips for Writing a Memoir Everyone Wants to Read

A memoir is an open window into another's life—and although the truth is of paramount importance, so too is grabbing hold of its reader. Writer Tasha Keeble offers 3 tips for writing a memoir everyone will want to read.