A while back on the fabulous Books and Such blog www.booksandsuch.biz, I met a nice, well behaved lady named Kiersti Plog. You can find her blog at www.kierstiplog.com. Well, the thing is, Kiersti's writing also features the Navajo. Go check 'Pioneer Diaries' and read up on Kiersti's adventures.
Kiersti invited me to join a blog hop and share about my writing. I was tickled pink to be invited and excited to share about my work. So, here are Kiersti's questions, and my long winded answers about my first novel, 'The Secret Keepers'.
What is the working title of your book?
The working title is ‘The Secret Keepers’, but the alternate title is ‘An Night in the Darkness’ because there’s already a CBA novel out called ‘The Secret Keeper’.
Where did the idea come from for the book?
The Pecos River in Fort Sumner, New Mexico, the sight of Bosque Redondo.
I was doing some research on New Mexico and came across an article about The Long Walk of the Navajo. I was astounded that this event actually happened, especially to a tribe of sheep herders and farmers. The US Army, led by Kit Carson, waged war on people who basically lived on land that the white settlers wanted. Roughly 9500 Navajo were forced to surrender in 1864 and were marched across the desert to a place called ‘Bosque Redondo’ in New Mexico. Some people walked 450 miles, thousands died between 1864 and June 1868 when the people were taken home. Also, the constraints faced by women who had to hide abuse and carry on because there were little or no resources for them if they left abusive marriages.
What genre does your book fall under?
Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
I’d have Julianne Moore play Sarah Monroe, and Jay Tavare play Natanii/Ta-gaid Hutchinson.
Ms Moore has a long career playing tough, intelligent woman and could definitely carry Sarah Monroe's secrets onto the screen.
Mr Tavare played Prairie Fire in 'Into the West' and would do a great job as a man who has suffered massive heartache, but is obediently waiting on God's will.
What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
In 19th century Arizona Territory, an exiled Navajo widower and the battered wife of a Boston millionaire must forge a path away from their broken lives and toward each other, or lose their last chance and love and healing.
Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
Oh, I hope I can find an agent willing to take on the story!
How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
Ummmm, I’d say six months, but the revisions have been another 6 months. Now I’m looking at a re-write, so…150 years?
What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
Along with the titles that you suggested in your blog, Courting Morrow Little by Laura Frantz and Under a Desert Sky by DiAnn Mills, I’d add Walks Alone by Sandi Rog. But as for comparison, there don’t seem to be many ‘battered wealthy white woman falls for Native American widower who was raised by British pioneers in remote Northern Arizona’ books out there.
Who or What inspired you to write this book?
One of those ‘what ‘if’ moments- I guess the story just kind of popped into my brain. What if some of the clans who refused to surrender, and there were quite a few who escaped the Army, and found safety far from home, only to be met by a worse fate? What if a young Navajo man had nothing and no one, but was given sanctuary by a Christian family who refused to be constrained by his color or the fact that he was the enemy.
Also, spending time at the location of the prison camp near Fort Sumner, New Mexico literally made my heart break. Seeing the place, standing where General Sherman and the Navajo leaders signed the treaty in 1868 was an astounding honor. Looking out over the land surrounding Bosque Redondo, or Hweeldi, as the Navajo call it, was overwhelming.
This past summer I met a man who led a survivor of Bosque Redondo to the Lord. It was like touching history when we held hands and prayed.
What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?
Our heroine, Sarah, has been badly treated by her husband and then while in an asylum, therefore has NO trust in men. Tag promised his late wife that he will stay alive and wait for “the broken one”, someone who would need him. When he meets Sarah, who is the sister-in-law of his adopted brother, Tag knows right away that Sarah is ‘the broken one’. They both have to deal with long dormant feelings that neither of them has a clue how to process. Which is always fun to read!
Thanks Kiersti for the spot on the blog hop!!
Next on TFTR???
Some SUPER cool new stuff and maybe even a VLOG!