Your love of writing about American Indian culture, is taking the responsible path. You truly are telling about how it really was for the tribes you feature in your novels. Where did you start your research and what have you learned?
Karen: Hi Denise! Well, long ago the research started with reading different books that were written in the 1830’s. Noteably was George Catlin’s book on North American Indians. Fascinating read, actually. Not only does it put you there — it also has language in it of the time period — something wonderful if you are writing history. Later I read many other books — always being very careful to discern if it was being written from a prejudice viewpoint — because many a trader at the time were extremely prejudice. When I started to write about the Blackfeet, I asked on the reservation what books they might recommend and bought and read those books. One of the things I’ve learned from reading history is that history is often told from the viewpoint of the “conqueror” and thus, is often not only colored, but often outright untruthful. So I learned early on to search out those books that seemed to me to be written that weren’t political or religious. Unfortunately, even some religious people at the time write from a prejudice viewpoint. Interesting, history…
How many books have you written with Native American characters?
Karen: To date, I’ve written 17 books with a Native American character –I’m working on the next book at the moment.
Karen: Book 1 begins the series — of which there are four. The beginning of Book 1, THE ANGEL AND THE WARRIOR, tells the story of what this clan did to incur the rath of the Thunderer — the god of thunder in Native American lore. After telling the story of the evil deed that was done and how the Creator averted complete destruction to the tribe, the story goes on to trace the plight of the first boy who is sent out into the real world to try to break the curse for his particular band of the tribe. The book is set along the Santa Fe Trail and involves a heroine who is on the run from the law, along with her wayward brother.
What caused Grey Coyote’s challenge that veiled his people in between the living and the spirit world?
Karen: In the beginning of the series, the entire clan is cursed to a half existence — that is neither alive nor dead. Caught in the misty existence, the entire clan — all bands of it (each clan always had more than one band of people within it — a clan is divided into different bands) is cursed to live forever neither dead nor alive, and completely trapped — but each 50 years or so, a champion is chosen (a boy) to go out into the real world and attempt to break the curse for his band of people.
Is there a way to resolve his people’s nearly impossible situation?
Karen: Yes. But the clues given to each boy are personal and different boy to boy, and each boy has only until his 30th birthday to either figure out how to undo the curse or live out his life, knowing that he failed his people. At the start of this book, the hero is 29 years old and his 30th birthday is fast approaching.
Who is Marietta Welsford and what brings her and Grey Coyote together?
Karen: Marietta (who is called Maria in the book THE PRINCESS AND THE WOLF) has traveled to America with a princess whom she serves. But she has been given her freedom when she learns that she is the only inheritor of her parent’s estate in England. She is hurrying home to lay claim to the estate and so time is of the essence for her. Grey Coyote wins Marietta in a game of chance — the Indian game of chance called Cos-soo — a game where the winner literally takes all, including the woman, Marietta. Grey Coyote considers her to be a distraction, and Marietta is not happy when she learns she not only has been “won” by the young man, but that he considers her his wife…
What would you like your readers to know about the series?
Karen: Each book, and there are four of them, center upon a lad that is chosen to go out into the real world and attempt to break the curse. It is a mission of honor, and yet each boy, although he does exactly as he is told, seems to be unable to break the curse. Why? What is he doing wrong? Each book centers in upon the real lesson to be learned — and what a self-less act really means…
What formats will the book be available in and where can we order it?
Karen: It’s available in all different formats — here is a link to the site at Samhain Publishing where it lists all the different formats that the book comes in. http://store.samhainpublishing.com/spirit-wolf-p-73499.html
Have you started the next book in the series?
What type of promotional plan do you have in play?
Karen: I plan different blog tours, where I’ll be giving away free books. Plus, I blog regularly (every other Tuesday) at www.petticoatsandpistols.com — where I’ll be offering not only free ebooks, but also free mass market copies of some of my books. Thank you so much, Denise, for this lovely interview. I remember how much fun it is to work with you from a few years ago, and again, this is definitely a fun format. Readers can also look for my books at my website at: www.novels-by-KarenKay.com. ; Thank you again.