I SEE THAT YOUR NEW NOVEL is part of the “Warriors of the Iroquois” series. Does it follow a family’s history or various warriors in the tribe?
It follows the lives of a young woman and her “lady in waiting.” They are not related, but they are in the same household and are the best of friends. The two heroes of the story know of each other but are from different tribes within the Iroquois Confederation. So I guess the answer would be sort of. : )
Tell us about the time period Seneca warrior White Thunder lives in. Where does he live and what is life like for him and his people?
The year is 1756, and if I remember correctly, The French and Indian War is in full swing. The Seneca lived in the Ohio Valley — they were what was called the Western Door of the Iroquois Confederation, the Mohawk being the Eastern Door. But our hero doesn’t live there now. He is searching for the murderers of his wife and child and has given his pledge to his dying wife that he will not cease to hunt for them until the murderer is found and justice prevails.
What happened to his wife, Wild Mint? How has he lived with the grief for 15 years?
While the men in the tribe were gone on a hunt, the old men and women were attacked by an enemy tribe that included white men. Wild Mint was killed, along with her unborn child, but Wild Mint continues to be a part of White Thunder’s life — sometimes in a misty-like form and sometimes merely by thought. This character is based on an true story of a man whose wife died while he was away from camp, yet the wife continued to live with him, care for his home and prepare his meals each day — taking on a misty-like form that he could see and talk to.
What event further challenges him?
When he cannot find his wife’s murderers, he goes on a mission. However, after 15 years, he is still unable to fulfill his promise. He has chosen to live alone because his own people don’t understand why he still talks to Wild Mint and insists that she is with him. They believe he has lost his mind. It is during this time when he discovers Sarah.
What would happen if he brought the woman he rescued to his village? Would she be seen as a threat and outcast or accepted?
He eventually does bring Sarah to an Iroquois town. But not his own, just yet. At this time he is seeking Sarah’s friend and mistress, Marisa, who has been lost to Sarah. (This is the story of Black Eagle.)
What is Sarah up against? Where was she traveling to?
Sarah’s mistress, Marisa, is escaping her home in Albany because she has overheard a private conversation between her uncle and an assassin. She has confronted her uncle, only to realize that she must leave in order to save her life. Sarah accompanies her. Her plan is to visit friends in New Hampshire, but the plan in these particular books, does not materialize. Instead both women discover love as well as adventure.
What did you love about the book and its characters?
I loved being able to tell the tale about Sarah, who is an indentured servant. It seems to me we forget that at this time period there were people (many of them prisoners) who came here to America as an indentured servant for a certain number of years. Such was unheard of in Native America, and so it was an interesting challenge to tell their story and their differences. Some of these people who came here were prisoners in England due to debt, or other conditions, that didn’t involve harming another individual. And, of course, I love the clash of cultures and how each person figures out how to overcome their differences.
Was there a lot of research involved? How long did it take you to write it?
There is always a lot of research, but I love that part of the process — it takes me places and I learn historical facts that I didn’t know and wasn’t taught in school. It’s all part of a discovery that I really love. The book took me about 2-3 months to write, but revisions took almost as long — and so I think I could safely say it took me about 6-7 months to write the story. : )
What are you working on now?
Well, at present, I’m back in the West writing about the Lakota. The working title is BRAVE WOLF’S LADY — but these titles often change. This book is not only back in the West, but features the scout of the tribe, one of the most important persons in the tribes of old. What I intend is for it to be the first of a series of books featuring the scout — who was considered more important to the tribe’s survival than even the chief. Because Hollywood centered so much on the chief, I think we forget — or perhaps didn’t even know — of the importance of the scout — without whom the tribe would not have been able to survive.
How will you promote this novel?
At present, I plan blog tours, free giveaways of both e-books and print and/or mass market books. Of course, ads. Long ago I used to tour the bookstores when I had a new release — now those tour take the form of blogs, Facebook and such.