Why I Set Mysteries in Wild Places - by Pamela Beason
My Sam Westin novels are set mostly on public lands, some fictional and some real, in the United States and in the Galapagos Islands of Ecuador. Public lands include national parks, national forests, Bureau of Land Management properties, marine reserves, etc.; all those places that the citizens of a country are supposed to own jointly. Some might consider it a challenge to set a mystery in a place where there are so few services and perhaps, so few suspects. Why I love to set novels in wild places:
Reason #1 - I am an avid hiker, kayaker, and an occasional scuba diver, so I have to do my book research by visiting the trails and islands and wilderness preserves I love.
Reason #2 - I want to share my passion for natural areas and wildlife with all my readers. Nothing makes my heart sing louder than being out in the wild, and I want future generations to have the same opportunities to experience nature.
Reason #3 - My characters can't solve their problems by summoning help or flipping on the light switch. Even if a hiker can call 9-1-1 on a cell phone, assistance may be hours away. That adds to the suspense.
Reason #4 - I love the surprises of interacting with wildlife. I have startled and been startled by marmots, pikas, toads, frogs, lizards, snakes, deer, elk, ptarmigans, and bears (Ack!), and I have great fun just watching wild animals going about their lives.
In Botswana, I had to wait for an elephant to finish his breakfast before I could walk to mine. In Kenya, a rock hyrax hopped uninvited into my lap (I just stared at it until it hopped off) and I wrestled a Colobus monkey for a spoon (I won). In Roatan, I hung out underwater with a whole flotilla of squid. In Peru, a giant anaconda tracked me across a mud flat (ACK! ACK!). (Note to self: Never accept an invitation from a seemingly friendly guide to get close to a humongous snake.)
This is such a beautiful planet, and we share it with so many amazing creatures. I want to experience all the natural wonders I can.
So I kidnap and kill off a few humans to make that all happen. But only in fiction. So far.
Freebie! Because I write multiple series, I often have one or more ebook specials running on Amazon and elsewhere. If you like fast-paced action/adventure with a gutsy teen protagonist (think Hunger Games) and a background mystery, you might want to try Race with Danger, the first of my Run for Your Life trilogy. The ebook is free through July 14 in Kindle, Nook, and Apple versions.