Wednesday, September 15, 2010
Invisible Path is number 10 in my Deputy Tempe Crabtree series. With each book there are certain things I set out to accomplish:
1. Have Tempe solve a crime that others can't seem to.
2. Have the circumstances be different than in previous books.
3. Have interesting things happen in her private life so readers who have been following her through each book will learn what's going on with her relationship with Hutch, her preacher husband, and perhaps a little about her son--who is now in college.
4. Something about her Native American heritage, either something new she learns or discovers as she's working on a case.
5. Though the settings can be familiar since she's the resident deputy of a mountain community--something new about the settings or unusual.
6. That the book be written so it can stand alone. I want someone who is unfamiliar with the series, to be able to read each book and be satisfied with the mystery and the conclusion.
It is always a challenge to come up with some new idea, so I'm always paying attention to what interesting things happen in mountain communities and on Indian reservations.
Because I had a contest a few years back asking for ideas for a new plot for a Tempe book, I gathered quite a few. Of course I didn't use exactly what I was given, but it was enough to build on.
Also one of the people who entered the contest gave me a wonderful name for one of the main characters in the book, an Indian who is falsely accused of murder, Jesus Running Bear.
In Dispel the Mist, the Hairy Man (the reservation I use as a basis for the reservation in my books believes in a Big Foot like character they call the Hairy Man) had a major role and I really enjoyed writing about him. I wanted him to have a part in this story too.
For several years, I'd been noticing these truck and jeeps heading up into the mountains all decked out like a military convoy. I'd also seen these same vehicles, or some quite like them, gathered in the front yard of a large ranch. No one seemed to have any idea who or what they were about. I went on line and started reading about para-military groups and found that there were more in California than anywhere else.
Giant Sequoias grow in the mountains where I live and also in the mountains that are part of the reservation. I knew somehow I needed to include these huge trees in the story.
Tempe's son is in college now, but this tale was going to happen around Christmas so I brought him home for the holidays.
These are but a few of the ingredients I brought together for Invisible Path.
The book is schedule to be available from all the usual places sometime this month including from the publisher's website, http://www.mundania.com .
As usual, this is anxious time. It's like being pregnant and waiting for the baby to arrive. Needless to say, I'm anxious. I love the cover, but I know they always look even better when you get to hold the actual book in your hand. No matter how many books I have published, the excitement is always the same.