Fire the Sky — Starred Review
- Sunday, 16 January 2011 06:48
From the beginning of our academic careers, we have been fascinated by the “contact” period. Many of our novels, including THIS WIDOWED LAND, THE MORNING RIVER, and COYOTE SUMMER deal with this critical meeting of European and Native cultures. At the same time, we learned something very important from an interview by television and movie producer, Joss Whedon. He explained how, as a challenge to his creativity, he periodically had to “take something away.” The moment of epiphany for him was when he did the Buffy episode without dialog. It earned him an Emmy nomination.
We had written all of our novels in third person. What we “took away” was the power to be inside all of the characters’ heads. By writing COMING OF THE STORM in first person–just telling it from Black Shell’s perspective with a couple of italicized flashbacks from Pearl Hand’s. A small percentage of our readers found it disconcerting, but most reviews in the public forum were four or five star. See the comments at Amazon.
With FIRE THE SKY we continued to work in first person. And, yes, it is challenging. It’s like writing with one hand tied behind your back, and only two fingers to type with. Not only that, but the structure of the story itself is problematic. That bastard de Soto travels constantly in the second book, so characters are constantly changing, as is the scenery and background Native culture. In short, from the author’s perspective, FIRE THE SKY was filled with structural challenges that had to be overcome.
How did we do? Our charming publicist at Simon & Schuster, Melissa Gramstad, duely sent the review copies to the usual suspects. Among these is Publisher’s Weekly. Of all the reviews, PW’s is the most prestigious. It’s read by every bookstore owner, and all the buyers for Barnes & Noble, Borders, Wal Mart, Books a Million, Hastings, and, well, anyone who’s anyone in the industry. They give out very few starred reviews. We’ve only had one before, for PEOPLE OF THE RIVER.
FIRE THE SKY is our second.
For those of you who’ve read COMING OF THE STORM and have been waiting patiently for FIRE THE SKY, we can tell you that from the standpoint of the critics, you won’t be disappointed. Black Shell, Pearl Hand, and the dogs are so delighted!
FIRE THE SKY should be in bookstores by February 15. Or you can preorder with your favorite bookseller.