About Vinnie

My Golden Donut Award (2015)
My Golden Donut Award (2015)

Vinnie Hansen fled the South Dakota prairie for the California coast the day after graduating high school.

Her eventual home in Santa Cruz serves as the backdrop for most of her Carol Sabala mystery series as well as her novel Lostart Street. And people familiar with the area will give a knowing wink to the fictional town and county of “Playa Maria” in One Gun and its forthcoming companion book, Crime Writer.

The colorful beach community is the setting for many of her short works, too. Living in a tourist mecca, Vinnie couldn’t resist writing Critical Mass, her story in Destination: Mystery! (reprinted in Santa Cruz Weird) and her story Miscalculation, published in Santa Cruz Noir, part of Akashic Books’ famous noir series. With over fifty published short stories, she hopes one day to put out a collection titled Santa Cruz Shorts with a cover prominently featuring board shorts, of course. 

A member of Sisters in Crime and Mystery Writers of America, Vinnie loves to attend conferences such as Left Coast Crime, Bouchercon, Killer Nashville, the Writers’ Police Academy, and the California Crime Writers Conference. In 2015 her short short Bad Connection won the Police Writers’ Academy’s coveted Golden Donut Award. 

Still sane-ish after teaching high school English for 27 years, Vinnie is retired and enjoys playing keyboards with ukulele groups, especially Sons of the Beach. She currently lives in Santa Cruz with her husband and the requisite cat. 


Invite Vinnie Hansen to present to your reading group or club! In addition to her book readings, Vinnie has extensive experience speaking to reading groups and to organizations such as the AAUW, the Soroptimists, and Delta Kappa Gamma Zeta Chi. Vinnie has also participated on panels at Left Coast Crime, High Desert Crimes, Killer Nashville, and Litquake.

Vinnie has spoken on topics ranging from the writing process to self-publishing, small-press publishing and e-publishing.

E-mail Vinnie Hansen to schedule an event.