I’m an Idahoan at heart. Other than my senior year in Huntington,Oregon, and a few years during an Army stint, I have always lived in Idaho. I love it here.
Each summer, my family heads to Stanley for the annual gathering of the clan. It is a beautiful little town at the base of the Sawtooth Mountains. It is a week of total relaxation away from the chaos of our regular lives. We sit by the river and enjoy the wonders of nature and if we are lucky, we catch sight of deer, peregrine falcons, hawks, bears at times and even once, I came face to face with a young moose. In previous times, we camped along the Salmon River, but due to my parents’ advancing years, we have made the move to Jerry’s Cabins right alongside the river and the adventure continues.
I love history, the older the better and because of my interest in history, have spent many days of our vacation in Custer (just north of Stanley), wandering through the ghost town. I recommend a visit to Custer if you are ever in the area.
The Oregon Trail has long been of interest to me. Living in Idaho, I’ve grown up with the stories of the pioneers’ journey west, their hardships and their triumphs. As 1847 isn’t too far back, it was easy to follow the path of the early settlers, ergo, “Aimee’s Locket” was conceived. I’ve even taken a tour with a historical guide along the Oregon Trail which borders Idaho and Oregon. Our guide, Percival D. Wood, led us to a spot where a family of emigrants’ journey finally ended. This site is located near Huntington,Oregon. These emigrants were part of a small group of families who were first attacked by Indians near what is now American Falls. Losing everything, the family hid in the reeds by the river and then continued on foot. Two young men rode to the nearest fort for help and did survive. The father kept his family together until the Indians struck again just outside Huntington and their suffering ended. The bones were so decalcified due to starvation, it was almost a miracle their gravesite was ever found.
Some of the events in Aimee’s Locket (a novel about the Oregon Trail) were taken from my family history. Charlie Tuttle’s experiences with lye soap was one such utilization of family history. My grandfather’s family settled near Rockford and he was one of a family of eight boys. The older boys convinced the younger boys that if they stood on a fence post and rubbed lye soap in their eyes, they would be able to see all the way to Oklahoma City.
“Fiona” (my first novel) grew from watching a segment of the Discovery Channel about the discovery of Caucasian Mummies in the Taklamakan Desert of Northern China. These mummies, possibly Tocharian Celts, existed in that part of the world long before Caucasians were thought to have made their appearance. No one knows where they came from or where they went. Maybe they subsequently interbred with the nearby Uyghur tribes, which could account for the lighter skin and rounder eyes of the peoples in the area. It is a question whose answer is lost in time. My heroine, Fiona, is based on the discovery of one such mummy, a young blonde woman, possibly a sacrificial victim. There wasn’t much I could do to alleviate her suffering, but perhaps I could write her a better end.
My next brain stimulator was the discovery of the frozen man discovered in a part of the Alps straddling the border of Austria and Italy. Who was he? What was his life like? Why was he there? I was hooked. The more I researched this tidbit, the farther back I went. Ultimately, I based “Riley’s Journey” in the last Ice Age, approximately 40,000 years ago, when Cro-Magnon man and Neanderthal both occupied this planet. About the time I finished “Riley’s Journey,” a woman’s body was discovered in Oregon, much older than when man was previously thought to have migrated to the Americas. Of course, I had to mention her in my story.
I’ve always been interested in the paranormal – ghosties and ghoulies and things that go bump in the night – so paranormal is the perfect genre for me. Time travel especially interests me. What could be more exciting than traveling to a distant time and meeting a gorgeous hunk (which in reality probably wouldn’t happen – but this is romantic fiction and I can do what I want). In my real life, I am a legal assistant with a downtown law firm in Boise, Idaho. I am married to my best friend and fan, a proud mother of 3 sons and a little granddaughter who is just amazing. I started writing in approximately January of 2006, finished my first novel “Fiona,” in late December or early January 2007. I have since had published “Riley’s Journey,” “Aimee’s Locket,” “Heart of the Sorcerer,” “Absolution,” and “Into the Savage Dawn,” sequel to “Riley’s Journey.”
My web page: www.plparker.com,
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