Monday, December 1, 2014

Cut Hand Series

Sometime back, I wrote a book and inadvertently began a journey. That book was called Cut Hand. Judging from readers’ reactions, it was a good book. Oh, I made a mistake or two along the way, among which was making Splitlip Rumquiller and Wild Red Greavy speak in such heavy dialects. I did it on purpose and in the face of everything I’d learned along the way (e.g., the declaration that Mark Twain was the last author able to get away with such a thing). It cost me some readers who put the book down rather than slog through the 40 or so pages where these two are on-stage, so to speak. I wouldn’t do that again. Readers are too precious.

Nonetheless, I got lots of favorable, encouraging readers’ comments on the story and decided to continue the saga with River Otter. Reaction to that book prompted the third in the series, Echoes of the Flute. Next year, STARbooks Press will publish the fourth and final in the series, Medicine Hair.

These books have two overarching themes. The subplot was to show the native peoples as humans with all the strengths and weaknesses of those beings. And, of course, their tragic and disastrous dealings with the white man. But the primary goal was to show how many of the Indian tribes (not all) accepted berdaches (deviants) as ordinary people, occasionally placing them in positions of responsibility and honor. Then, in succeeding stories reflect on how the influence of the Europeans changed that view. The Native American Circle of Life perspective back in those days was really quite remarkable.

When I finished Medicine Hair, I became involved in a couple of projects, neither of which were particularly interesting to me. I needed to become more proficient and effective at using social media in order to market my books to a wider audience and was engaged in learning to use Dragon Naturally Speaking as a possible way of increasing the volume of my writing. As a Nineteenth Century man living in the Twenty-First Century, neither proved to be easy.

One day, I realized my lifestyle had changed … drastically. I no longer got out of bed easily. My powers of concentration were poor. I’d start a project and find myself ten minutes later playing a game of Free Cell Solitaire or working a crossword puzzle. I would literally fall asleep at the computer and find myself not sleeping at night. All because I was doing working on two things which I found frustrating and in which I had zero interest.

At least, I thought that was the problem. One morning, as I lay abed trying to avoid getting up, I realized my mind was working on something. It was a prologue for a new book. It even had a name. And a protagonist. The book’s name was Wastelakopi … Beloved, and the individual was John Strobaw, also known as War Eagle and Night Sky Hair, and, of course, Medicine Hair. So if STARbooks is willing to publish it, there will be another book in the series.

I haven’t had trouble getting up and going to work since that revelation.

Hope that’s good news for some of you. Every day, I say thanks for my readers. They make the effort worthwhile.

Would appreciate hearing a reaction from some of you to the emergence of a new book in the series.

Thanks, guys.


New posts are published at the first of every month at 6:00 a.m.


  1. Mark, I love your writing and am a fan or yours over on Goodreads,so to hear that you feel inspired to do more in the Cut Hand series is certainly great news for me :-)

  2. Thanks, guy. Want you to know I'm already working on the book. Keep on reading. Authors like me appreciate people like you.

  3. I thoroughly LOVE your Cut Hand series! :) <3
    It was the first book that I bought of yours, and it's still my favorite!
    So, to hear that you're putting out another one, (after Medicine Hair), made me literally squeal! :) <3 Seriously, ask my grandmother!

    I now own all the Cut Hand series that is out in paper and kindle edition,
    as well as The Victor and the Vanquished, and Charlie Blackbear in paper and kindle edition. And I have The Hawk Takes Flight in paper.

    I'm also a writer myself, though I mostly write fanfiction.
    I'm better at using other people's characters for fun then I am making up my own.

    Elysia (Ellie) Vorse

  4. Love your enthusiasm, Ellie. As long as there are readers like you, I'll keep on writing. Thanks for being so loyal. By the way, Wastelakopi ... Beloved, is coming along. Again, thanks for reading.

  5. Mmm, I actually cried numerous times, like nine or ten would be my guess, throughout Cut Hand, and I almost never cry.
    And then I cried when it was over, too. It's definitely one of the best books that I've ever read, seriously! :) <3

    Yay! I can't wait to read them both! Good luck! :) <3

    Elysia (Ellie) Vorse

  6. Oh, and Johnny Two Guns as well, of course! :) <3

    Elysia (Ellie) Vorse

  7. Sorry to have caused you tears, happy I could stir your emotions. Keep on reading, Ellie.

  8. Oh, crying for you is totally worth it! Trust me! :) <3

    Plus, I cried the most for Cut Hand and Billy.
    They also deserve to be cried over. They were perfect together.
    That woman should be shot for coming between them.
    If he had picked any other woman, I think it might have been sorta okay.
    But maybe not, as Billy is really possessive of Cut.
    Cripes, I would be too if that amazing, totally sexy man was mine! :) <3

    If I ever had to stop reading, I'd rather die.
    I would be so bored.
    I mean, I could still write, but what would inspire me to write? :)

    Elysia (Ellie) Vorse

  9. So keep on reading, and you'll keep on writing. Best of luck.