Tuesday, September 15, 2009
Supernatural Elements in My Mysteries
In all of my Deputy Tempe Crabtree mysteries there is an element of the supernatural usually in the form of Native American mysticism or legends.
In Calling Back the Dead Tempe did just that. Do I know how to call back the dead or would I do such a thing? Absolutely not. But as every writer knows, you can research anything.
Ghosts of murder victims have tormented Tempe, Kindred Spirits and in several books dreams she can't interpret have predicted dire things to come.
Also in Kindred Spirits Tempe learns about the Tolowa people's belief in Big Foot. Research about Big Foot led me to the discovery that our local Indians, a branch of the Yokuts, had their own version of Big Foot called the Hairy Man.
Of course I had to learn more about this Hairy Man. A pictograph of him is located on the reservation in a rock shelter. I was fortunate to be invited on a field trip with the college's anthropology class to visit the Painted Rock site. Once I'd this painting I knew I had to learn more and include him in a Tempe Crabtree mystery.
The result is Dispel the Mist. Of course the cover of the book is a depiction of the pictograph on the painted rock site though it doesn't begin to convey what I felt when I saw this eight foot tall Hairy Man. I was warned not to visit the site at night because there are too many spirits around--I wouldn't but in the book, Tempe does.
I've used other supernatural elements and legends, but I had the most fun writing about the Hairy Man. And if you're wondering, no I've never seen him, but there have been some recent sightings reported.
Dispel the Mist is available from the usual places as well as from the publisher http://www.mundaniapress.com as a trade paperback and an e-book.