It’s Meet the Author Monday! Each week we meet a new author and get to know a little about them, their writing process, publishing experience, and tips for other writers. Today we’re talking to Jonathan Hanson, author of Trail of the Jaguar.
About Jonathan Hanson:
I grew up in the desert outside Tucson, Arizona, so I was immersed in nature from a young age. I also began reading very early, and went through everything from the Tarzan books to non-fiction histories of African explorers and the Mountain Men of the American west. I’ve guided Safaris in Kenya and Tanzania, led sea kayaking trips in Mexico, and helped conduct biological surveys in the Southwest and Mexico as well. I’ve written travel articles and equipment reviews for around two dozen magazines, and I was a correspondent for Outside magazine for six years. I’m a Fellow of the Explorers Club and the Royal Geographical Society.
About Trail of the Jaguar:
Biologist, wildlife photographer, and tactically trained anti-poaching expert Clayton Porter witnesses what appears to be a routine drug-smuggling flight across the Arizona-Mexico border. Instead, he uncovers a sophisticated operation involving a secret lodge high in the Sierra Madre, canned hunts for endangered jaguars, a ring of opioid-dealing doctors in the U.S., and a string of cartel victims partially consumed by a large predator. After Porter unwittingly throws a wrench into the works and those close to him are targeted for vengeance, he embarks on a mission of total retaliation. Get ready for an edge-of-your-armchair ride with Clayton T. Porter, a new kind of action hero who’s as likely to employ a rattlesnake as a rifle against the bad guys.
Author Interview with Jonathan Hanson:
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- What literary pilgrimages have you gone on?
Africa is the big one. I devoured every book on Africa I could get my hands on as a child, from Tarzan and H. Rider Haggard to Livingstone and Selous. My first trip there was a two-month assignment for Outside magazine, so in addition to being a literary pilgrimage it had a literary purpose. I couldn’t have dreamed it better.
- What, in your opinion, are the most important elements of good writing?
Genuine passion for the subject, whether fiction or non-fiction. If you really love what you are writing about, all else will follow. Then, carefully crafted language—Every. Single. Sentence. Accuracy in all real-world details, no matter how insignificant, even in fiction. Finally, a powerful lede or opening scene that captivates the reader, and engagingly written characters, even the bad guys.
- Describe your writing space.
I have a beautiful, century-old, quarter-sawn-oak roll-top desk which looks quite anachronistic under my Macbook Pro. There are usually several books and magazines piled on the side. On top of the cabinet is a bronze casting of a Long Range Desert Group truck from WWII, a model of an armored Rolls Royce like that used by T.E. Lawrence in the Middle East in WWI, and a sun compass—a historical device that used the sun to determine direction where magnetic compasses were unreliable. It is always an inspiring space for me.
- Are you on social media and can your readers interact with you?
Absolutely. Nothing makes me happier than when readers contact me with comments or questions.
- Where do you get your inspiration?
From everywhere! I read magazines and books on all subjects (well, not pornography . . . or math); I follow the news; I travel, and I’m interested in learning everything I can about what I come across. I am a passionate dilettente—a term that has a pejorative meaning these days but which used to be an admired avocation.
- Where can readers find out more about you and your books?
- Favorite quote (doesn’t matter the source)
“What is written without effort is in general read without pleasure.” Samuel Johnson
- Favorite book when you were a kid
Tarzan of the Apes (and the entire series). They were a cherished escape for me, and the seed of my love for Africa—even though Edgar Rice Burroughs never set foot on the continent and got most of it wrong!
To learn more about Jonathan Hanson, here’s where you can connect with him:
Author website: jonathanhansonauthor.com