Hannah Dennison has been an obituary reporter, antique dealer, private jet flight attendant and Hollywood story analyst. She writes the Honeychurch Hall Mysteries and the Vicky Hill Mysteries. Death at High Tide is the first in her new Island Sisters Mystery series.
Hannah said the idea for Death at High Tide came from a good friend who was the HR director for a resort on one of the five inhabited islands on the Isles of Scilly. “My friend claimed that seasonal workers often fled to the islands because they were running away from something or hiding from someone. In many ways this is true for the two sisters, Evie and Margot in Death at High Tide, who are leaving their old lives behind them and starting afresh. I was also intrigued by the idea of setting a murder on an island.”
So, what about those new beginnings? “I don’t start off with the intention of addressing an issue, but after I have finished writing a book, the same theme presents itself – reinvention,” Hannah said. “I’ve always been interested in the concept of starting over following a big life change – whether it’s a birth, a marriage, a death, a divorce or a serious illness; maybe a move to a new town or country and sometimes, it’s just starting a new job.”
Hannah has also gone through a major reinvention of her own. “After twenty-five years of living in the USA, an unexpected domestic change rocked my world. I moved back to the UK with my dogs and all my worldly goods, which were packed in a shipping container. It’s been an interesting eighteen months! But now I am ‘home’ I am so grateful to be here. I live just a couple of miles from my mother who is ninety, my sister and my daughter. The lining in that dark cloud has turned out to be platinum!”
Facing the unexpected
Hannah said she is interested in normal every day people who are put into unexpected situations. She loves people watching and discovering what makes them tick. “I am very close to my family and a loyal friend. I think that often comes through in my stories. Most of all I write to entertain. Having a reader send me an email or a message and say that my stories make them laugh or smile truly makes my day.”
In 1978, UFO sightings were common Seven Crosses on Exmoor in Devon, UK. Hannah lived and worked not far away. “It’s an apt name for a very creepy location in the middle of nowhere. Close Encounters of the Third Kind had just come out in the theatres. Everyone was obsessed with UFOs. At the time I was a cub reporter on a local weekly newspaper called the Tiverton Gazette. All I did was write the obituaries, but I was desperate for a front-page scoop. As an aside, that job became the inspiration for the Vicky Hill Mysteries.
“Along with another starry-eyed trainee, we camped out in the freezing cold for three nights, frightening each other half to death with imaginary sightings. Needless to say we never saw a thing.
“Fast forward forty years and I find myself bizarrely at the Tiverton Literary Festival in the library being interviewed by radio presenter, Judi Spiers. Having not been back to Tiverton since 1980, I told her about my job on the old newspaper that had folded decades before. It turned out that the newspaper archives were stored in the basement with all my obituaries on microfiche along with my one and only front-page scoop about seagulls terrorizing the postman.”
Learn more about Hannah Dennison at hannahdennison.com.a Rafflecopter giveaway