Another Day in Paradise - Laurie Hanan
This is a delightful and intriguing mystery that really makes you crave a tropical vacation. While normal mysteries tend to be on the gloomy side, Hanan's is based in Hawaii and the sunshine and vibrant colors of the land can't help but shine through her words.
I love the main character, Louise. She's fun, charming, and tackles each day with an energy that I find not only inspirational, but I'm also envious of.
The story moves along at a great pace and I really didn't see the twist coming until the very end. It had a great progression that kept me guessing. Hanan gave away just enough for me to form my own opinion, but not guess the ending. I love that in a mystery. Not predictable, but I was still able to read a little bit between the lines.
Overall I thought this was a wonderful book and I look forward to reading about more of Louise's adventures.
Some Bio Information
I grew up in the picturesque islands of the South Pacific. My father pioneered air travel to much of Micronesia, and I inherited the travel bug from him. After studying art at the University of Washington. I set off on my world travels. I met my husband in Israel, married him in Cyprus, and we settled in Hawaii. I retired after a career with the Honolulu Postal Service and started writing my Louise Golden mysteries. My husband and I live on Oahu with our two youngest children, an overweight Westie, and a bipolar cat.
1. Who is your favorite author?
There are so many wonderful authors whose books I enjoy immensely. But if I am forced to narrow it down to just one favorite, I must say it’s Bryce Courtney. Besides being a fabulous storyteller, he was a wonder, dear man. I had the privilege of making his acquaintance before he passed away and he left an indelible mark on my life.
2. Tell us a little bit about your writing process.
I start with a premise, then work it into a loose outline, leaving a lot of room for the plot to take shape as I write. I update to the outline as I go, asking myself after each scene, “What has changed? What new conflict has arisen because of the change?” If there is no change or conflict, maybe the scene doesn’t need to be there. Readers tell me they’re always surprised by the turns my stories take, and that’s probably because as I write I never know what’s going to happen next.
3. What do you have in store for Louise? Will we be seeing a lot of her?
There are four novels in the Louise Golden mystery series. I do intend to keep writing about Louise, but I am currently taking a detour. Writing a novel is always a huge challenge, but I want to stretch myself in a new direction. My work in progress is a young adult novel. The main character is Louise’s neighbor, Emmeline, who my readers have watched grow from a delightful ten-year-old into a surly teenager. Writing from the perspective of an eighteen-year-old is the most challenging thing I’ve taken on as a writer.
4. Describe your favorite place.
There’s no place on Earth like the Big Island of Hawaii. You can still find something of the ‘Old Hawaii’ in the lifestyle there. The landscape ranges from snow-covered mountains, to rain forest, to miles of bleak, arid land, to sandy beaches. The volcano spills out lava that carves a path through towns and countryside and cascades in to the ocean, to form into solid rock. There’s something so primal, so elemental, about watching Earth give birth to itself.
5. Is there such a thing as the perfect writing atmosphere?
I need to be alone to write. I can’t concentrate when my husband and kids are home because they constantly interrupt my thought process, even if they aren’t talking directly to me. I like sitting at my own desk by my back door, with plenty of fresh air but no distracting view. It’s only here that I’m bored enough for my imagination to kick into gear.
6. Was there a deciding point in your life that made you want to be an author?
I think I always wished to one day be an author. As I got older, I thought when I retired from my job at the Honolulu post office, I’d sit down and try to write a mystery. And if that was successful, maybe even a series. I was struck by illness and forced to take a medical retirement much earlier than planned. But I wasted no time starting that first novel.
7. What’s your ultimate writing goal?
Ultimately, I’d want to make as many people as possible happy with my stories. That’s what it’s all about, isn’t it?