I grew up just across the Snake River from Idaho in Wallowa County. The county has always been isolated from the rest of the state and the world in general due to natural barriers like the Snake River/Hells Canyonells CanyonHell, the Wallowa and Blue Mountains. These natural barriers made the perfect summer home for the Wallowa Nez Perce.
Their story intrigued me, and I swear as a teenager one time while riding my horse on the mountain upriver from our house, I saw a vision of a warrior on a horse going through the trees. A chill raced up my spine and my horse snorted.
I don’t know if that was when my desire to write a story about them first settled into my subconscience or not but I have written a romance trilogy set among the Wallowa Nez Perce. The first book takes place before the Whiteman arrives in their valley and it shows their great love for the earth and where they summer. I added a spirit element to the book that helps to show the devotion to the lake, mountains, and valley. The second book deals with the intrusion of the Whiteman into their peaceful world. Using a Nez Perce story I’d heard growing up in the valley, I made the spirit element in this book be the antlered monster living in Wallowa Lake. The third book follows the flight of the nontreaty Indians as they try to avoid being placed on a reservation. Again, the spirit element is used to help show the plight and the feelings of The People.
The books were written with as much historical accuracy as I could research both in books, online, and through connections with the Nez Perce. The everyday habits and living of the Nez Perce is factual, only the spirits and the events around them and the fictional characters are my imagination.
The first two books have received nice reviews. And the covers are beautiful! The second book the cover artist even used a photo of Wallowa Lake. I was thrilled when I saw it.
I’ve had several people contact me asking about things I mentioned in research blogs. While I’m not an authority on the Nez Perce I feel better acquainted with them and their culture from the research and writing the books.
I’ll be attending the Miner’s Jubilee in Baker City on July 15th-17th with the other writers in the area. If you’d like to learn more about my writing or books I’d love to visit with you.