Author name: Jennifer S. Alderson
Genres: Mystery / Thriller / Historical Fiction / Travel
Books: Marked for Revenge, Rituals of the Dead, The Lover’s Portrait, Down and Out in Kathmandu, Holiday Gone Wrong, and Notes of a Naive Traveler
What’s your story and how did you become a writer? Thanks for inviting me to your blog, Book Club Mom!
I am an American currently residing in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. My passion for travel, history, and art inspires my novels. I have been writing for as long as I can remember, but until my late twenties, it was all non-fiction for newspapers and magazines. After an incredible trip to Nepal, I wrote a fictionalized version of my adventures but didn’t know what to do with it. The sudden death of a close relative was the catalyst to get it published.
How do you balance your work with other demands? Balancing my roles as writer, business owner, wife, and mother is an enormous challenge! My focus shifts weekly, depending on the current needs of my family and business. However, my writing time is well-guarded!
Name one of the happiest moments in your life: Aside from meeting my husband or the birth of my child, I think it was receiving my Dutch passport. It has been a long and sometimes difficult transition into expat life, but I am so glad to be in the Netherlands. It feels like I’ve come home.
What’s your approach to writing? Are you a “pantser” or a planner? Planner all the way. Without a concise outline, I am completely lost! However, once I start writing, I allow myself to listen to the story and follow the path it takes me on, even if that means deviating from the outline.
Could you write in a café with people around? I love writing in busy cafes! Silence reminds me too much of my former corporate life. I write faster and better when surrounded by fairly loud music that turns surrounding conversations into white noise. Otherwise, I would be eavesdropping instead of writing. J
Have you ever written dialogue in a second language? If so, how did you do it? I have included Dutch, German, and Italian phrases in my novels. Honestly, I am quite nervous about getting it wrong every time I do. One great advantage of living in such an international city is that I know native speakers who I could double check my translations with.
What’s your favorite book and what are you reading now? There are so many great books to choose from! I am a huge fan of Donna Leon and just finished rereading By Its Cover. I admire her ability to bring Venice to life in each and every novel.
What’s your favorite way to read a book: hardcover, paperback, eReader? I used to read exclusively paperbacks but in the last few years I have transitioned to eBooks. I read so many, it makes it a whole lot cheaper to stock up and take them with me!
Do you think print books will always be around? I hope so. There is nothing more wonderful than holding a paperback in your hand. I do still buy paperbacks of my favorite reads, as well as give them as gifts.
Would you ever read a book on your phone? I have not. I am not a fan of smart phones and try to use mine as little as possible.
What’s your go-to device? iPhone, android or something else? I do read eBooks on my iPad and have reading apps installed for iBooks, Kindle, Bol, Kobo, and my local library.
How long could you go without checking your phone? Days, possibly weeks! I am not good about checking messages or calling people back straight away. Since becoming an author, I check my email and social media much more often than I used to, but it is still a challenge to stay on top of all of the messages I receive!
Do you listen to audiobooks? If you do, what do you do while you’re listening? I have recently discovered audiobooks and enjoy listening to them when working on marketing and social media.
Do you like using social media to promote yourself and your book? If so, what’s your favorite platform? Connecting with readers is one of the most enjoyable things about this job! When you write a book, you have no idea if anyone will be able to relate to the characters, setting, or plot. Publishing a book really is a leap of faith. Chatting with readers who enjoy my work or share the same interests I do, really makes it fun. Facebook is my favorite platform, though I am also often on Twitter and Instagram.
Website and social media links:
Goodreads Author Page: Jennifer S. Alderson
Amazon Author Page: Jennifer S. Alderson
Awards/special recognition: My novels have won several readers awards, including 5 star medals from Readers’ Favorite, Chill with a Book, and indieBRAG. They have also been included on several Recommended Reads lists on websites such as The Displaced Nation, TripFiction, and Women Writers, Women’s Books.
About the Author: Jennifer S. Alderson was born in San Francisco, raised in Seattle, and currently lives in Amsterdam. After traveling extensively around Asia, Oceania, and Central America, she moved to Darwin, Australia, before finally settling in the Netherlands. Jennifer’s love of travel, art, and culture inspires her award-winning, internationally oriented mystery series—the Zelda Richardson Mystery Series—and standalone stories. 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.
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