Several years ago, I went to dinner with a group of aspiring authors at a writers convention. To our surprise, and the amusement of the others sharing our table, Tierney James and I ended up discussing scrapbooking and sniper rifles. We’ve been friends ever since, and I am excited she was able to take a little time to answer some questions for me to celebrate the release of her newest book, Dark Side of Morning.
This book includes a strong element of Native Americans. How did you get interested in Native American culture, and how did your experiences influence your writing of this book?
I did my student teaching on the Qualla Reservation in the Great Smokey Mountains among the Cherokee people. Years before my parents had taken me there on vacation. I told them I would return to live there. And I did. It changed my life. They experience life, nature and spiritual awakening on a higher plain. My soul rejoiced among these wonderful people. In my Enigma Series the hero is half Cherokee. His mother has the same name as my house parents on the reservation. The years have passed but my love of the culture has grown by leaps and bounds.
This book has sci fi elements in it. What inspired you to write this book?
I’ve visited the Field Museum in Chicago many times. And of course the North American Indian section is the first place I go when there. I looked into the mannequin eyes of my main character over the years and wondered if he could see and hear me. Some say it’s creepy. I say it is full of possibilities. Parallel universes started to interest me when I read Louie L’Amour’s book Haunted Mesa. He died shortly after it was published and I had a lot of questions.
Tell me about the protagonist in this book.
Dr. Cleopatra Sommers never came to terms with her father’s disappearance at the Museum of Natural History in Chicago. He had been a Native American scholar that explored avenues of unexplained spiritual paths in their cultures. The museum had been her home and playground growing up where her father spent long hours working. She was always drawn to one display case holding a mannequin of a Pawnee Indian. There was no way she could know he watched her all those years until the night he crossed over to find her.
If this book were made into a movie, who would you cast as the main characters?
Robert Silent-Thunder for Wind Dancer
Bryce Dallas Howard (Jurassic World) for Cleopatra Sommers
Detective Jacque Marquette I’m thinking Bradley Cooper
Your previous books are true thrillers, with terrorists and pulse-pounding action. Does this book contain any of those elements?
Yes it has those elements but on a spookier level. I talk about skinwalkers which is like a witch that the Navajo have in their culture. Those are super scary things. Then there is the possibility of biological agents that could wipe out the United States.
I completely enjoyed the Enigma series. Do you anticipate ever returning to that cast of characters?
I’m actually working on #4 right now! Think diamonds, Africa and Tessa’s son hacking the wrong kind of people.
Tierney, I appreciate you taking the time to answer my questions and share some insight into your new book. Folks, take a moment to pop over to Amazon and check out Dark Side of Morning (and tell all your friends!).