Novelist JANE GOLDEN answers a few questions about her travel mystery books and writing. If you are curious about any other questions related to writing or travel, then feel free to use the “Contact” page on this website to send a message. I love to hear from readers!
Tell us about your writing genre?
Travel mysteries- the latest books are DANUBE DEFIANCE and SECRETS IN THE VINES. Check out my website to read my blog with fun travel adventure stories. Here’s a video that explains more about travel mysteries: https://youtu.be/dRbIjd87fEc
We traveled Eastern Europe as few Americans have done. Then, I came home determined to tell its story. But, quickly I realized it was not easy. How do you describe so much? People typically run for cover when you pull out your vacation pictures, must fewer albums full of them, one more exotic and beautiful than the other. So, I thought about it. What could make me want to read about Eastern Europe? Then I got it – a murder mystery set in the wine country with good friends and humor. That’s what I needed to write.
So, I took my journaling and travel stories and wove them into a mystery set in Romania’s incredible wine country. The first book (SECRETS IN THE VINES) begins, simply enough, when one of the international women dies at a wine tasting. It’s a fake murder, but a very authentic description of life in Romania. My readers fell in love with the protagonist Jeni, and join her as she walks the streets and discovers a new world. This journey continues in the second book, DANUBE DEFIANCE, and two other forthcoming novels within the Eastern European Mystery Series (ADRIATIC ALLURE and THE BULGARIAN BANKER).
Travel! On my first extensive trip to Romania (living there for three years), I discovered that Romania was a hidden treasure- far from the dark Dracula image that is often associated with this incredible place. So I decided to write a book to dispel that image and help people discover its beauty. The story is fiction, but the authenticity of the place is important in my writing. I want anyone interested in mysteries to enjoy my books. But that doesn’t mean that they aren’t very intentional and informative in a fun way. I want readers to feel just like I want to feel when finishing a book – like they have been entertained and learned a bit in the process.
Another note – Travel is humorous. You don’t have to make it up. There is nothing funnier than an American in another country.
Also, being a voracious reader inspires me to want to write. Like many of you, as a young girl, I read and soaked up every book I could because my mother did. She read because her mother did. In fact, we went to the library every week. I loved the touch and smell of books, especially on those rare occasions when I held new books with their papers still stuck gently together and which fanned open to release a perfumed ink smell. But it wasn’t until I was a young teenager that I discovered mysteries set in foreign countries with strong women and great writing. I was hooked! My life was so different from those books – a tiny house in an ordinary town with three brothers and a family budget that allowed only the necessities in life. Travel for us usually meant seeing relatives and sleeping on couches, not cappuccinos and cobblestone streets. I realized quickly that to read was to escape and dream.
Usually writing time is in the mornings, and continues as long as the plotline moves along. Sometimes the afternoons are for edits and correcting the morning’s writing. And if the mood strikes, then I write all day. I’ve found that if I exercise in the morning, then it helps me to think better and to gain clarity about the day’s writing that’s ahead or work out any plot issues before sitting down at the computer.
How do you relax when not working on a novel?
A hot cup of coffee in the afternoon is quite enjoyable, and I like to take simple walks by the lake to check out the birds. Right now I’m enjoying watching the deer eat the leftovers from the summer garden. Ordinary quiet time in the afternoon is most delightful!
What is your favorite thing about writing?
I love the process of writing & watching words become stories. More than that, I love when readers tell me they enjoyed my books and which parts they loved.