Politics, suspense and the Colorado outdoors collide in Stapleton resident Mark Stevens’ third book in the Allison Coil series, Trapline, to be released on November 8.
The main protagonist is Allison Coil, a female hunting guide whose character is inspired by a “young bright energetic outdoorsy” guide Stevens and his wife met years ago on a horse backpacking trip. Coil finds a chewed-up corpse in the Flat Tops Wilderness while leading a trip. Some of the hikers think the person was killed by a mountain lion, but based on her wilderness knowledge, Coil knows otherwise.
Meanwhile in Denver, U.S. Senate candidate Tom Lamott is shot during a campaign speech. Reporter Duncan Bloom, inspired by an old reporter friend of Stevens’, covers the event and falls into a political mystery. The two plots intertwine.
“It’s not a cozy read. It’s pretty action packed and it mostly happens in the Colorado outdoors,” Stevens says. The book incorporates two major political issues—for-profit prisons and immigration.
Stevens is enamored with taking a current issue and making it into a narrative. A previous book involved natural gas development.
Stevens was a reporter at The Denver Post and the Rocky Mountain News. He has been writing fiction since the’80s and first got published in 2007. “It took me 23 years in between starting to write and getting published,” he says and laughs.Throughout his years of writing he has accumulated a stock of fiction stories that are ready to be revised.
He plans to continue the Allison Coil series, rework other stories from his shelf, and contemplate the big question of how one book can make it big. “Of course there is the little thought in the back of your head of what could take this to the next level,” he says. He thinks it’s a combination of the right people talking about it and a matter of the times. Would Hunger Games have received the same phenomenal response if it were published in six years?
Other than writing, Stevens enjoys playing the bass guitar, cooking and traveling. He has two daughters and has lived in Stapleton for four years.
The lower downtown Tattered Cover, 1628 16th Street, will host a Trapline book launch on Friday, Nov. 21. For details visit www.writermarkstevens.com.