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