We are multifaceted, unending mysteries. Life is the constantly shifting light that reveals new pieces of ourselves, both good and bad, wanted and unwanted. Like a photographer, I am constantly trying to capture that light, in this case through stories that help us understand who we are and make sense of the magical, mystical world we live in.
In the beginning, I wanted to write a story about a gondolier, poling his boat through the canals of Venice. (I was in the fourth grade in a speck-sized town in southeastern Kansas.) I settled for being an accountant. (I needed a job.) Years rolled by and I started writing books about creativity and innovation in business. (A total of five.)
Later, life made the changes it often makes, threw all my cards up in the air and said, “Sort ‘em out!” When they all landed on the table, the card that caught my eye and pulled me forward was story. The cascading effects of change, any change, fascinate me and make me wonder what happens when someone whose whole life is lived along one river is suddenly forced into strange territory. Those stories could be told in non-fiction, but it is so much more fun to tell them as fiction.
First, came a short novel (Sarana’s Gift) about a teenager with a tough decision to make who winds up in a fantasy world of gods and goddesses, animals and spirits of the Yucatan. There she finds something that changes everything.
When the tagline It Changes Everything! appeared, I knew it was what I was going to write about for a long time. The next novel, Yellowstone Howling, revolves around the story of how the reintroduction of wolves into Yellowstone changed everything including the rivers. However, it is actually the story of an ordinary woman living an ordinary life when a small change, a simple trip to help a grief-stricken teenager, changes her life and ripples out to all around her. (Yellowstone Howling will be released mid-2017.)
The series has two other books in progress, each about a real-life psychological, ecological journey salted with magical realism and shamanism. Dreams, spirits, mystery, and transcendent places will be featured in each book.