Mike and Kathy’s update
- Tuesday, 23 September 2008 18:20
Somehow our blog from Alaska vanished into internet who-knows-where. Fact is we wrote it aboard ship and thought it had gone through. Alas, when we checked, it wasn’t on the blog. At the time we were raving about the scenery, food, great people, and wildlife.
We’re home now, but Alaska remains on our minds. Wow! We only got to the southeast, Juneau, Sitka, Ketchikan, but what mythic land. We could see ourselves living there, and perhaps, sometime down the road, we’ll try to spend a couple of months. It’s great to be in country that gets rain. That, and, well, we had a cold one in a bar in Juneau where a delightful dog occupied one of the bar stools. Anyplace that lets dogs sit at the bar is all right with us.
The trip accented climate change since we were seeing the country from an archaeological perspective. For those familiar with our novels PEOPLE OF THE NIGHTLAND, PEOPLE OF THE SEA, and PEOPLE OF THE WOLF, you know we’ve always been fascinated by melting glaciers. Climate change plays an important role in many of our novels, but riding up sixty-five miles of Glacier Bay that have melted out in the last two hundred years really brings it into focus.
As anthropologists we were also fascinated by the local Tlingit and Haida cultures. What a rich land. Having heard and read about the Salmon runs was nothing like seeing it first hand. All in all, it was one of the most memorable weeks of our lives.
We rode our BMW motorcycle both ways from Wyoming to Seattle and back, and had a wonderful ride. We hit rain between Missoula and Butte both times. The scenery was super. It’s tough to decide which is better, traveling by motorcycle or big cruise ships.
We returned home for two whole days of packing in preparation for our next book tour. This is what the publishers call a “sell-in”, where we travel around the Southeastern U.S. visiting book sellers meetings, talking to bookstore owners, and attending managers conventions. A great deal of anticipation has been building for the release of PEOPLE OF THE THUNDER since readers are curious to know how Old White, Two Petals, Trader, Morning Dew, and Heron Wing are going to overcome the obstacles in their path. For those of you who don’t do hardbacks, the paperback of PEOPLE OF THE WEEPING EYE should be in bookstores and on store shelves Thanksgiving week. THUNDER lays down in hardback in January.
While most events are closed to the public, we will be making a couple of public signings. The first occurs on September 28 at Page and Palette, located at 32 S. Section Street in Fairhope, Alabama, from 3:00 to 5:00 pm. For more information you can contact them at 251-928-5295.
Following that we will be at the Moundville, Alabama, Indian Festival, set, of course, in Moundville, Alabama. We’ll be signing PEOPLE OF THE WEEPING EYE ON all day on October 4. Little Professor Bookstore will be providing the books. For more information, contact Sara at Little Professor Bookstore, 2717 18th Street, Homewood, Alabama, 205-870-7461. If you have read, or will be reading PEOPLE OF THE WEEPING EYE, and plan on the sequel, PEOPLE OF THE THUNDER, we can show you the places where our characters walked. Moundville is a stunning site, and the Festival is well worth your time. It’s even better than the opening of WEEPING EYE suggests.
Two new novels are in the works. We’re over 300 pages into a Contact period story about the de Soto expedition in the Southeast. We’re hoping to launch a People series spin-off that details different stories about European contact with the Native population of North America. The first novel, written in first person, follows our hero Black Shell as he finds Pearl Hand, the love of his life, and encounters de Soto’s Spaniards. As you can guess, Black Shell immediately runs afoul of them and dedicates himself to de Soto’s destruction. To finally do so will probably entail four or five more novels since de Soto’s expedition survived four years, crossed 16 states, and bailed out in complete disarray.
Our next PEOPLE book is set in New York and deals with the foundation of the Iroquois confederacy. PEOPLE OF THE LONGHOUSE tells the story of Koracoo, a woman warrior, who for reasons of her own, has foresworn men, and risen in the ranks. Gonda, her best friend, is madly in love with her. Together they have to solve a brutal murder that will cost each of them what they both hold dear. Archaeologically, this is a time of intense warfare, with great villages, and longhouses over four hundred feet in length. The powerful Iroquois confederacy was born during this period, and if you want to know how Koracoo and Gonda achieve this, well, you’ll have to wait for the book. We should deliver the manuscript to Forge Books by February.
That’s about it for this installment. We wish everyone well and hope to see you somewhere down the road.
Latest good read: C.J. Box’s BLUE HEAVEN. If you think he can just write Joe Picket, think again. This one’s great.