๐Ÿ“š A Bookish Chat with 'Ticket to Ride' Winona Kent | Author Interview @winonakent #AuthorInterview #Interview


Today we welcome Winona Kent to The Writer's Life e-Magazine! Winona is the author of the mystery, Ticket to Ride. This interview is part of her Ticket to Ride Blog Tour by Pump Up Your Book. Enjoy!

Winona Kent is an award-winning author who was born in London, England and grew up in Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada, where she completed her BA in English at the University of Regina. After moving to Vancouver, she graduated from UBC with an MFA in Creative Writing. More recently, she received her diploma in Writing for Screen and TV from Vancouver Film School.

Winona’s writing breakthrough came many years ago when she won First Prize in the Flare Magazine Fiction Contest with her short story about an all-night radio newsman, Tower of Power.

Her spy novel Skywatcher was a finalist in the Seal Books First Novel Competition and was published in 1989. This was followed by a sequel, The Cilla Rose Affair, and her first mystery, Cold Play, set aboard a cruise ship in Alaska.

After three time-travel romances (Persistence of MemoryIn Loving Memory and Marianne’s Memory), Winona returned to mysteries with Disturbing the Peace, a novella, in 2017 and the novel Notes on a Missing G-String in 2019, both featuring the character she first introduced in Cold Play, professional jazz musician / amateur sleuth Jason Davey.

The third book in Winona’s Jason Davey Mystery series, Lost Time, was published in 2020.

Ticket to Ride is the fourth book in Winona’s Jason Davey Mysteries.

Winona has been a temporary secretary, a travel agent, a screenwriter and the Managing Editor of a literary magazine. She’s currently the BC/YK/NWT rep for the Crime Writers of Canada and is also an active member of Sisters n Crime – Canada West. She recently retired from her full-time admin job at UBC’s School of Population and Public Health, and is now happily embracing life as a full-time author.

You can visit her website at http://www.winonakent.com and connect with her on TwitterFacebook and Goodreads.

TWL: Welcome to The Writer's Life!  How did you come up with the idea to write your book?

Winona Kent: Thank you! The idea actually came from Lost Time, the novel I wrote just before Ticket to Ride. Normally, my main character, Jason Davey, can be found at the Blue Devil Club in London’s Soho, where he has a permanent gig with his jazz combo. But in Lost Time, Jason has taken a leave of absence from his Blue Devil residency, and is rehearsing for a tour of England with his mum’s old folky-pop band, Figgis Green, while he solves the mystery of a young woman who went missing in the 1970s.

I had so many notes, and so much wonderful  research left over from Lost Time, that I thought it would be a great idea to write a book about the actual tour. So in Ticket to Ride, Jason and the Figs are on the road. While they travel around England, Jason tries to get to the bottom of who his maternal grandfather really is—and at the same time deals with a series of seemingly-unrelated mishaps that eventually lead to a deadly encounter at a concert in Tunbridge Wells.

TWL: Can you give us a short excerpt?

W.K.: Of course! Here’s my first page:

Chapter One

My parents were the founding members of Figgis Green.

I’ll forgive you if you don’t remember them. But an amazing number of people do—and still refer to them, fondly, as the Figs.

The Figs were a folky pop group that was huge in the 1960s and ‘70s and less huge—but still touring regularly and putting out albums—in the ‘80s and early ‘90s.

Mandy Green—my mum—was the main singer and my dad, Tony Figgis, shared vocals and played lead guitar.

Their best-known song was “Roving Minstrel,” a catchy thing about a faithless suitor and his careworn lady, tormented hearts, lessons learned and a really fortunate ending. It was their anthem, and they always closed their shows with it.

It was Mitch Green—mum’s brother and the Figs’ bass guitarist—who’d first floated the idea of a 50th Anniversary Tour.

“There’s something wrong with your maths,” said my mother. “We first got together in 1965.”

“The 50th Anniversary Three Years Late Tour,” Mitch said, cleverly.

“The Lost Time Tour,” I said.

And the name stuck.

The only trouble was, my dad, Tony, had died in 1995.

“You can take his place,” said Mitch. “If Mandy doesn’t mind.”

I am actually a musician and I do actually play the guitar. Quite well, in fact. I have a regular gig at a jazz club in Soho—the Blue Devil—with three mates who join me on tenor sax, organ and drums. My professional name is Jason Davey.

Plus, I had the added bonus of being completely familiar with the Figgis Green catalogue—I grew up with it.

“I don’t mind,” said my mother. “As long as no one else does.”

There were no objections.

And so, in September 2018, we started rehearsals for our thirty-four-day, eighteen-stop Lost Time Tour of England.

TWL: What part of the book was the most fun to write?

W.K.: I think it was probably the part where Jason takes his girlfriend Katey punting in Cambridge. I’ve never actually done this myself, and since Jason claims to have once earned a living as a punter, I had to make sure his narrative sounded authentic. I literally dived into the research, consulting Google maps, Google Street View, tourist reports, instructional videos and, finally, a fabulous piece on YouTube by a passenger riding in a punt in Cambridge, who filmed their journey from beginning to end. At a certain point in the story, Jason is knocked into the water by two passing canoeists, and he nearly drowns. The River Cam is mostly shallow as it flows through the city, so I had to find a place where it was deep enough to be dangerous. YouTube came to the rescue yet again, showing exactly where a punter had to plunge his 10-foot pole nearly all the way in to the water before it struck bottom. I came away from the entire experience confident that, should I ever have the opportunity to rent a self-hire punt in Cambridge, I’d be able to carry it off with grace and aplomb.

TWL: What’s one fact about your book that would surprise people?

 W.K.: At a certain point in the novel Jason describes a visit to the chapel at Biggin Hill, best known for its role during the Battle of Britain in the Second World War, when it served as one of the principal fighter bases protecting London and South East England. During that visit, he distinctly recalls a ghostly encounter where he hears the sound of a coin dropping and rolling across the chapel floor. An investigation results in nothing—there is no coin, and nobody else was in the chapel except Jason, his mother and grandmother. That ghostly encounter is real—it happened to me, my mum, my sister and a friend when we visited the Biggin Hill chapel in 1971. I’ve described it exactly as I remember it. It still gives me shivers, though I was never frightened, and only ever experienced a sense of calm and gratitude.

TWL: What other books are you working on and when will they be published?

W.K.: I’m just starting to outline the next Jason Davey mystery (#5 in the series), which is called Bad Boy. It marks the return of one of my favorite baddies, Arthur Braskey from Notes on a Missing G-String. And it has a rather shock beginning that takes place at the top of The Shard, in London.

TWL: Finally, what message are you trying to get across with your book?

W.K.: Really, my only goal with all of my novels is to just tell a really good tale. Hopefully, at the end of it, my readers will be left smiling and looking forward to the next great adventure.

TWL: Do you have any final words?

W.K.: I hope you enjoy Ticket to Ride. I had a great time researching and writing the story, inhabiting the brain of my main character Jason Davey,  reimagining real songs and inventing fictitious ones, and sharing a tour bus with a) Jason’s mother b) Jason’s mother’s brother c) Jason’s father’s cousin and d) a Mad Hatter resin mascot who’s named after a former band member who didn’t get along with any of them.


Author: Winona Kent
Publisher: Blue Devil Books
Pages: 230
Genre: Mystery / Amateur Sleuth


In Lost Time, the third book in Winona’s Jason Davey Mystery series, professional musician / amateur sleuth Jason Davey was rehearsing for Figgis Green’s 50th Anniversary Tour of England. Now they’re on the road in Ms. Kent’s fourth book in the series, Ticket To Ride.

But when a fortune-teller in Sheffield warns them of impending danger, the band is suddenly plagued by a series of seemingly-unrelated mishaps.

After Jason is attacked and nearly killed in Cambridge, and a fire alarm results in a very personal theft from Mandy’s hotel room, it becomes clear they’re being targeted by someone with a serious grudge.

And when Figgis Green plays a gig at a private estate in Tunbridge Wells, that person finally makes their deadly intentions known.

Jason must rely on his instincts, his Instagram “guardian angel,” and a wartime ghost who might possibly share his DNA, in order to survive.

Book Information

Release Date: March 26, 2022

Publisher:  Blue Devil Books

Soft Cover: 978-1777329433; 230 pages; $15.70; E-Book, $3.93

Amazon: https://amzn.to/3i0xRqY

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1 comment:

  1. Thank you so much for featuring me today! Very much appreciated!


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