LISA HANEBERG, FICTION AND HUMOR WRITER
Lisa Haneberg has a wicked sense of humor. She can also write a fast-moving, totally original mystery. Alan Rinzler, legendary editor
Life can be tough, a hassle, draining and disappointing. It can also be amazing, intriguing, and full of delightful surprises. My mysteries are fun and fast and my mission as a writer is to improve people’s lives – even if just for one moment during a crappy or stressful day. Especially then! My love of mystery, adventure, and imaginative satire fuels my work. I’m my first customer and a dork who laughs at her own jokes.
I earned an MFA from Goddard Collage to hone my writing skills and hang around poets and novelists. I’m a traditionally published author of more than a dozen nonfiction books (see my Business Writing and Consulting page for more information) and I publish my fiction under my indie imprint Written Pursuits. Dead Pelican, the second full-length book in the Spy Shop Mystery series launched in August 2019. Toxic Octopus was the first full-length book in the series and Ghost Rat is a novella and the series prequel. I am working on the next book in the series, called Stiff Lizard, which will be out sometime in 2020.
In 2007, I completed a 9,400-mile solo motorbike tour to promote one of my books. In addition to doing more than forty book readings/signings, I learned how to navigate my bike (named Purple Haze) going seventy miles per hour while dodging a thick cicada swarm in Chicago and then a stinging hailstorm on the way north to Fargo, N.D. In other words, I’m committed to my work! Hahaha.
I’ve worked with literary agents, publicists, six traditional publishers, and have self-published print and e-books. I started blogging in 2004 before it was cool and am active on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. I live with my husband and Hazel the dog in Lexington, Kentucky. Sign up for my e-newsletter, Literary Happy Hour, or “like” my Facebook Page, Mystery and Mirth, for regular updates and humorous posts.
Contact me if you’d like to schedule an interview, reading, book club discussion, or other event at email@example.com. I’d be happy to provide high resolution book covers or headshots.
Dead Pelican (Publication date August 6, 2019) Blurb:
Honeymooners hoping to find a quiet spot for a romantic picnic instead discover the dead body of Forrest Yates, a top birding guide and bottom-dweller human. The murder rattles the local birding association as they prepare for the yearly influx of Sandhill Cranes and the wanna-be ornithologists who flock to the island to watch them. With Ned “The Pelican Man” Quinn as their sidekick, Xena and her team explore the dark side of birding and the tenuous relationship between commerce and nature to solve the case.
Is the killer targeting birdwatchers on Galveston Island? Who might be next? Private investigator Xena Cali and her team will need to use cars, boats, kayaks, drones, bird calls, the Dude Scrubber, and every gadget in their ditty bags to bag the bad girl or guy. She ruffles a lot of feathers as she winds her way to the final battle for justice. Dead Pelican is the second full-length book in the Spy Shop Mystery series. If you like fast-paced crime novels, clever satire and gritty beach towns, then you’ll love Lisa Haneberg’s humorous mystery.
Praise for the Spy Shop Mysteries:
“Ghost Rat and Toxic Octopus are absolute gems from the slightly twisted, yet genius mind of Lisa Haneberg. The Spy Shop Mystery series offers readers a fast-paced, wickedly smart, and funny escape.” Eric Devine
“Lisa’s characters are amazing. It’s fun to know you’re going to fall into a book and love it.” Joyous Jo Gorringe
“Lisa Haneberg has a wicked sense of humor. She can also write a fast-moving, totally original mystery.” Alan Rinzler
Lisa Haneberg loves to explore Galveston Island’s gritty back streets, stellar seafood joints, and all points in between. In addition to the Spy Shop Mysteries, she’s authored over a dozen nonfiction books. She earned an MFA degree from Goddard College and a BS in Behavioral Sciences from the University of Maryland. Before writing crime fiction, she was a human resources professional with an uncommon affinity for internal investigations. She lives with her husband and Hazel the dog in Lexington, Kentucky.
Dead Pelican Short Description:
A birding guide is found dead. The murder rattles locals and birders who flock to Galveston for the influx of Sandhill Cranes. With sidekick Ned “The Pelican Man” Quinn, Xena Cali and her team explore birding’s darker side and the tenuous relationship between commerce and nature to solve the case. Dead Pelican is the second book in the Spy Shop mystery series.
Author Interview with Lisa Haneberg:
Please contact me if you’d like to use this interview, or portions, to share with potential Dead Pelican readers.
Robin Becker, contributor
Freelance writer, book lover
INVESTIGATING THE AUTHOR: An interview with crime fiction writer Lisa Haneberg
July 31, 2019
How (and why?) does a former human resources executive transition into a satirical cozy mystery writer? I sat down with Lisa Haneberg, author of the spy shop mystery series to find out. She has a new book available called DEAD PELICAN.
RB: You were human resources leader for over 25 years. Is that why you gave your crime fighter a similar background? Write what you know?
LH: There’s some write what you know, but my motivation for giving private investigator Xena Cali an HR background is more disturbing than this. HR leaders have moments where they secretly want to go rogue and do something completely off the rails to help hold accountable corrupt or creepy workers—often executives. HR people know things, sometimes icky and weird stuff. Take your human resources manager out for drinks and feed her a pitcher of margaritas. I bet you’ll hear stories similar to those my crime fighter shares in my books. It’s a form of therapy, in other words. Hahaha! No, really, it is…
RB: Xena Cali is spunky, smart, irreverent, and agile. Where did the characteristics for your protagonist come from? Is she autobiographical?
LH: Xena has traits and habits similar to several former colleagues and a few favorite leading ladies and men. I chose to make her a second generation American with immigrant parents from Scotland and Greece to give her fiery roots. She has the athletic prowess I dreamed about but never achieved. Xena prefers Scotch, and I like Scotch, so that’s autobiographical. And the HR background. And her love of Moon Pies (chocolate and banana, I know you were wondering). The rest is a conglomeration of real and fictional characters I admire and enjoy.
RB: I’ve never been to Galveston, but after reading your books, it sounds like the perfect place for a murder mystery. Why did you choose this setting for your series?
LH: I lived in Houston for five years and spent a lot of time in Galveston. We had a second home there as well. It’s a beach and tourist destination and port for several cruise lines. Sounds lovely, but Galveston is gritty, too. Nearby oil refineries and incoming container ships give the island an industrial flavor. The island is in a constant state of renovation and rehabilitation from hurricanes and other storms. Posh and polished old Victorian houses sit next to piles of rubble. Restaurants feature fresh, local seafood and year-round fried fair fare. People are salt of the earth wonderful, and some are just plain salty. I could go on about the dichotomies found on the island, but I’ll invite people to read my books to get a sense of it instead. I try to paint an accurate and loving picture of current day Galveston. The island is fascinating; you should go for a visit.
RB: Your books are filled with cool spy gadgets. Do you own a stun gun?
LH: I don’t! I carry pepper spray and my cell phone for self-defense. Oh, and my car key fob has a personal alarm. My dog, Hazel, likes to sneer at people who come too close during our daily walks, which is nice. Compared to Xena, I’m a self-defense lightweight and a disaster waiting to happen.
RB: Tell me a little bit about your new book, DEAD PELICAN.
LH: DEAD PELICAN is a quirky, cozy murder mystery that opens with the discovery of a dead birding guide. Private investigator and spy shop owner Xena Cali teams up with a local celebrity, the Pelican Man, to solve the birder murder before a huge influx of khaki-wearing enthusiasts arrive to observe migrating sandhill cranes.
RB: In DEAD PELICAN, Kiki the pelican seems domesticated and allows herself to be petted. Have you ever petted a pelican?
LH: No, and I don’t recommend people try that the next time they go to the beach. Pelicans that’ve been cared for in a rehab center, or rescued very young, can become comfortable interacting with humans and act like Kiki does in DEAD PELICAN. Regular, healthy pelis (that’s what those of us hip to the bird jive call them) will not curl up on your lap. Have you seen the size of their mouths?
RB: Xena Cali obviously loves what she does. Would you say that about yourself?
LH: Deep question. I think Xena and I would agree that life is an adventure most of the time. When I’m plotting or writing a fun caper there is nowhere I’d rather be. I even enjoy the revision process because that’s where I can spit polish the humorous bits. I like to laugh at my own jokes.
Lisa Haneberg loves meeting and hearing from her readers. To find out more about the Spy Shop Mysteries or sign up for her humorous e-newsletter visit www.lisahaneberg.com. DEAD PELICAN is available wherever you buy books.
Lisa Haneberg is the author of the Spy Shop Mysteries and over a dozen nonfiction books. She earned an MFA degree from Goddard College. Before writing crime fiction, Lisa was a human resources professional, specializing in internal investigations. She lives with her husband and dog Hazel in Lexington, Kentucky. Her online home is at www.lisahaneberg.com. You can connect with Lisa on Twitter at @lisahaneberg, on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/mysteryandmirth and you can send her an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. The Spy Shop Mysteries are set on and around Galveston Island, Texas.
Robin Becker is a freelance writer from Mishawaka, Indiana.
Toxic Octopus Blurb:
A popular marine biologist is dead. An octopus named Fred is accused of killing her. Can Xena interrogate Fred and solve the crime before more people die?
Xena Cali is a somewhat overzealous investigator with a passion for poetic justice. Her latest case takes her to the Biological and Aquatic Research Labs (BARL) in Galveston, where Dr. Jane Moore is found dead in a tank with a large octopus wrapped around her body. When Dr. Ari Pani (42 and very handsome) doesn’t accept the police’s conclusion of death by octopus, he hires Xena to find the truth before Fred is lethally injected in two weeks.
The investigation tests her mental and athletic prowess, her stash of spy shop gadgets and her assumptions about octopuses. She’ll need all that and a commandeered Segway to stay alive.
Toxic Octopus is the first book in the Spy Shop mystery series. If you like fast-paced crime novels, clever satire and gritty beach towns, then you’ll love Lisa Haneberg’s new humorous mystery.
Pick up Toxic Octopus to discover this fun new series today!
Toxic Octopus Back Cover Copy:
It’s September on gritty Galveston Island, a place famous for pirates, piña coladas, and parades. The Pleasure Pier is humming on the gulf side while preparations are underway for the annual Shrimp Festival in the Stand Historic District.
But not everything is sunny in this popular beach town … Marine Biologist Dr. Jane Moore has been found dead in a large tank with an octopus named Fred wrapped around her body. The police declare Dr. Moore’s death an accident and close the case. After all, what else could’ve happened?
Dr. Ari Pani (forty-two and very handsome) doesn’t accept the police’s conclusion of death-by-octopus and hires the somewhat overzealous private investigator Xena Cali to find the truth before Fred is lethally injected in two weeks.
The investigation will test Xena’s mental and athletic prowess, her stash of spy-shop gadgets, and her assumptions about octopuses. And she’ll need an over-the-top quinceañera dress, a seagull-shaped drone, some zip ties, and a commandeered Segway to stay alive and solve the case.
Life on this off-beat island is about to get a lot weirder.
Toxic Octopus Short Description:
A popular marine biologist is dead. An octopus named Fred is accused of killing her. Can Xena interrogate Fred and solve the crime before more people die? The investigation tests her mental and athletic prowess, her stash of spy shop gadgets and her assumptions about octopuses. Toxic Octopus is the first book in the Spy Shop mystery series.