It is a pleasure to be hosting a stop on the blog blitz for Snow Light today! Thanks to Sarah Hardy for inviting me! Author Danielle Zinn joins me on publication day to talk about where the idea for the book came from. But first, here’s what Snow Light is all about.
Author : Danielle Zinn
Title : Snow Light
Pages : 352
Publisher : Bloodhound Books
Publication date : November 15, 2017
When Detective Inspector Nathaniel Thomas encounters a man attacking a young woman in a local park, the DI is unable to save her. Out of guilt, Thomas quits his job at Homicide Headquarters and relocates to the tiny village of Turtleville, where he regains control of himself and begins to enjoy life again.
However, a year later, all the guilt and shame of the park murder re-emerges when a local hermit, Ethan Wright, is murdered with an unusual weapon and left on display in the centre of the village.
For Thomas, the situation gets worse when DS Ann Collins, a colleague from his past, appears to help with the case. But things become complicated when the victim’s identity is put into question.
Who is the victim? And why was he murdered?
Thomas and Collins will find themselves trying to solve a highly unusual case and both may have more in common than they could have ever imagined.
Where the idea for the book came from …
When I told my family and friends that I had written a detective thriller which will be published by a real book publisher, I was met with excitement and a thrill of anticipation. Unfortunately some of those happy faces turned sour when realizing that the book was actually written in English. I was born in Germany to German parents and raised with the German language only. So how come the book turned out to be in English?
This is actually my mother’s fault. She is an English teacher at our local grammar school and at the tender age of six I got my very first Oxford children’s dictionary. So instead of reading bedtime stories about pirates and witches, my mum and I danced through the seasons and the months of the year. I travelled a lot with my parents across Canada and the USA and later was allowed to go on language trips to Devon, studied in Durham and worked in Wales; always bringing as many English books back home as the airline’s luggage restriction would allow. The English language and books, mainly mystery thrillers, were an ever present constant throughout my life so to me there was never the question of which language a book should be written in. This might sound weird but I’m not able to write a book in German, I simply don’t have a feeling for writing in my native language.
Three years ago I came back from a stunning holiday in Australia – of course with a couple of books I had gathered along the way. Immediately I fell in love with the writing style of one of them and with Christmas approaching surprisingly fast, as it does every year, I decided to write a crime novel as a Christmas present for my parents (okay, admittedly rather for my mother as my father is still practicing his English language skills). He’ll get a bottle of good Whiskey as a reward.
I grew up in a small village in the Ore Mountains/Germany on the border to the Czech Republic where winters are long, cold, dark and harsh with lots of snow and low mountain ranges offering alpine and cross country skiing. At the weekends and during school holidays I worked as a skiing instructor for kids at the local ski school. However, our winters are far from depressing and dreary. The area of the Ore Mountains is extremely rich in Christmas traditions, so deeply rooted in the hearts and souls of its inhabitants that they have been passed on through the generations for centuries. There are light arches glowing in every window of every house illuminating the villages like little beacons in the night. There are figurines burning frankincense with the smell reminding me of my childhood days and Christmas time at my grandparent’s house. There are turning Christmas pyramids with wood carved figures standing on it. These pyramids come in different sizes. At the centre of each village and town there is a multi-storey turning Christmas pyramid mounted with wood carved animals, angels, figures from the nativity play or miners, lumberjacks and shepherds. In the living room of every home you can find a much smaller version, often built by great-grandfathers many decades ago.
For all the above mentioned reasons, the pre-Christmas season is and has always been my favourite time of the year which is why my book “Snow Light” is based in my home area in December. Most of the places described are real and as I am very attached to my native soil, its mountains, forests, cold and harsh winters, and the unique traditions that are connected with the area, I hope to pass some of this special atmosphere and feelings on to my readers. It’s a bit rougher and tougher here than in other parts of the country which makes this sanctuary even cosier. Additionally, I realised that no crime novels based in this area have been written yet which makes “Snow Light” unique.
Finally, I will let you in on a little secret about where the idea for the murder came from. The victim is found dead early in the morning after a stormy and snowy night hunched on a Christmas pyramid in the centre of a little village. When I was a kid I had to catch the school bus at six a.m. every morning. In all weathers and seasons. I would walk to the end of our little alley, turn left at the corner of a house, cross a small bridge over an even smaller stream and wait all by myself for the bus at the side of the road opposite the market square. Most of the time I was fine with that. Except in winter. When it was dark and the only light came from a flickering street lamp, the wind was howling noisily in my ears and the snow pelting down so hard you could barely look up. I was usually the only kid waiting at this bus stop. I was up to my ankles in fluffy snow and every time I turned around the corner, I wondered what I would do if instead of a wood carved figure a dead human figure sat silently on the Christmas pyramid. Thankfully this never happened in reality. I guess I was just watching and reading too many thrillers.
This year my mother will get her Christmas present. Finally. Three years later.
Thanks so much Danielle for taking the time to share this with us! I’m sure your mum will be very pleased with her present! Happy publication day!
Snow Light is available for purchase now!
Danielle holds a BA (Hons) degree in Business and Management from New College Durham and after gaining some work experience in Wales and the USA, she settled down in Frankfurt am Main where she works as a Financial Controller at an IT Consultancy.
Born and raised in a small village in the Ore Mountains/Germany, Danielle was introduced to the world of English literature and writing from an early age on through her mother – an English teacher.
Her passion for sports, especially skiing and fencing, stems from her father’s side. Danielle draws her inspiration for writing from long walks in the country as well as circumnavigating the globe and visiting her friends scattered all over the world.
Mix everything together and you get “Snow Light”, her debut detective thriller combining a stunning wintry setting in the Ore Mountains with unique traditions, some sporty action and lots of suspense.
You can contact Danielle via Twitter