I’m thrilled to welcome author Stacy Hoff to the Power of 10 series. Today, Stacy shares ten “behind the scenes” features of her upcoming release – Desire in the Arctic.
1. DESIRE IN THE ARCTIC takes place in Gates of the Arctic National Park, which is America’s most remote and least visited US Park. It is also the only US Park located in the Arctic Circle. Visitors can only access the park by plane, unless they want to hike five miles from the nearest highway and then cross a raging river. (A plan not recommended by the US Parks Department, by the way.)
This is a photo of Gates of the Arctic National Park. The Brooks Mountain Range is in the distance. Tundra is in the foreground. The stormy weather shown here is accurate—a snowstorm can happen at any time, even in June. (This picture, courtesy of the US Government, is public domain.)
2. Once park visitors arrive, they will find no facilities of any kind and no ranger station. It is advised that only “expert” campers attempt to stay. All campers however, regardless of ability, are asked to check in at the park ranger station in Fairbanks with their camping dates, and further advised to also give their “vacation” information to loved ones. This way, a search and rescue mission can be launched if a camper fails to return. (Which is highly possible.)
The hero in my story, William “Redd” Redding, is a former Special Ops Marine who is an expert camper. He is familiar with all kinds of survival situations, and has spent time in Alaska.
3. My heroine Ana Davis, on the other hand, is a New York City native. The only hiking she’s done is in Central Park.
I grew up in New York City, too, so I can relate to Ana. The below picture is one I took of Central Park, which is not too far from the television station where Ana works. I wrote Ana’s point-of-view as if it were my own. I kept thinking, “what would I experience upon seeing Gates of the Arctic?”
4. I researched all the wildlife in the Arctic Circle for story authenticity. To do this, I traveled back to my old home in New York City to the American Museum of Natural History. Here I visited the exhibition hall of North American Mammals. Below is my picture of the museum’s wolverine exhibit.
This furry guy pops up in my story. But don’t view wolverines as a cuddly pet. They are a lot deadlier than the look! Think of them as a cross between a giant weasel and a bear. (Would the famous X-Man be named after a wuss?)
5. I am a reality TV junky, so my DESIRE series is based on a survival/reality TV show where the characters have to survive the most brutal of wilderness situations for twelve days in order to win a million dollar prize. (I’m sick that way.)
I have been watching these survival/reality shows for a few years, especially ones that take place in Alaska. Here are some of my favorites: Railroad Alaska, Life Below Zero, The last Alaskans, and Buying Alaska. (Yeah, I know the last one is about home buying, but when I say I’m hooked on Alaska shows, I mean it.)
6. DESIRE IN THE ARCTIC is the sequel to DESIRE IN THE EVERGLADES. I have traveled to the Everglades, but not the Arctic Circle. Going back New York City was as far as I was willing to go towards researching this new book. Hey, what can I tell you? Unlike Wolverine, I am a wuss.
At least I survived seeing alligators in the Everglades during an airboat tour. (I also saw them in Disney World. You can see them, too, here in my photo.)
7. For DESIRE IN THE ARCTIC’s cover, I worked with the artist to get an accurate depiction of Gates of the Arctic in June, which is when my story takes place. The original cover was much colder looking, with lots of ice and snow. But there is some greenery in June, although that does not mean a sudden snowstorm can’t kick up.
Here is the final version of the cover.
8. I had no idea was I going to write this sequel when I penned DESIRE IN THE EVERGLADES. When I finally decided the story needed to be continued, I picked a survival climate that was the exact opposite of Florida’s heat and humidity. Cold weather kept things interesting for me, and hopefully for the reader, too.
9. “El Nino” has brought a relatively warm winter to those of us living in New England. That’s good, because I hate shoveling. But it does kind of kill the Arctic mood. Luckily, when I started writing DESIRE IN THE ARCTIC last winter, there was plenty of snow on the ground to keep me inspired.
The wolverine tracks pictured below are ones I wouldn’t want to see when my back yard gets snowy. Luckily for me, these paw prints were spotted in Gates of the Arctic.
Oh, but wait a minute! That’s not lucky for my characters. Hope they stay strong! (Photo courtesy of the US Government, and is public domain.)
10. Although I write all kinds of romance, from contemporary to dark “new adult,” I must admit that action/adventure stories are some of my very favorites to write.
Click on the covers for the Amazon links.
Thanks to Joanne Guidoccio for having me on!
Where to find Stacy…