Friday, November 5, 2010

Why do you Read Native American stories?

My blogging day always sneaks up on me.

My current release Spirit of the Mountain is set among the Nez Perce tribe in NE Oregon. All the characters are Native American. When I first came up with this idea and plotted out the trilogy, I was actually trying to do what the editors were asking for- a historical paranormal. But when I shopped it around to agents, I was told no one buys Native American stories.(Except my publisher Wild Rose Press) Yet, when I'd tell people about this series they became excited.

So my blog is about a discussion- Why do you think the agents feel Native American books don't sell and why do you pick up a book about Native Americans and or not pick up one?

Blurb for Spirit of the Mountain
Wren, the daughter of a Nimiipuu chief, has been fated to save her people ever since her vision quest. When a warrior from the enemy Blackleg tribe asks for her hand in marriage to bring peace between the tribes, her world is torn apart.

Himiin is the spirit of the mountain, custodian to all creatures including the Nimiipuu. As a white wolf he listens to Wren’s secret fears and loses his heart to the mortal maiden. Respecting her people’s beliefs, he cannot prevent her leaving the mountain with the Blackleg warrior.

When an evil spirit threatens Wren’s life, Himiin must leave the mountain to save her. But to leave the mountain means he’ll turn to smoke…

Wren’s eyes glistened with unshed tears. “My gift is to save The People. The weyekin who came to me in my vision quest said this.” She wrapped her arms around herself as if staving off a cold breeze.
Himiin hated that they argued when they should relish their time together. He moved to her, drawing her against his chest, embracing her. The shape of her body molded to his. Her curves pressed against him. Holding her this way flamed the need he’d tried to suppress.
He placed a hand under her chin, raising her face to his. The sorrow in her eyes tugged at his conscience. To make her leaving any harder was wrong. But having experienced her in his arms, he was grieved to let her go. Even for the sake of their people.
Her eyelids fluttered closed. Her pulse quickened under his fingers. Shrugging off the consequences, he lowered his lips to hers. They were softer than he imagined. Her breath hitched as he touched her intimately. Parting his lips, he touched her with his tongue, wanting to see if she tasted as sweet as she smelled.
She tasted of sweet honey straight from the bosom of a bee tree.
One taste was not enough. He pulled her closer, moving his lips across hers, tasting and savoring the feel of them.
Her mouth opened and she sighed.
His body came to life. The sensations transcended anything he’d experienced before. How could one woman make him feel powerful and vulnerable at the same time? Why did he wish to crush her to him and never let go and yet feel compelled to treat her with the tenderness
one would give the tiniest of creatures? He couldn’t continue this way.
To hold her, to touch her soft skin. He would never be able to let her go.
He must.
He released Wren and stepped back, avoiding her eyes. How could he show her the sensations she brought to him then turn around and tell her they couldn’t see one another any more?
“Himiin? Did I do something wrong?” The pain in her voice drew his gaze to her face.
The anguish and fear in her eyes cut through him like a knife.
“You did nothing wrong. It is I. I should not touch you so. It is wrong.” He took one step forward, before remembering he could not touch her and remain sane. “You are spoken for. We should not be together.”

Paty Jager


Redameter said...

Decadent Publishing was asking for Indian stories so I wrote one, Beyond the Dream Catcher. I think they are ultra romantic.

I hope it never gets to the point that anything in the west is no longer asked for. We need to keep the spirit of the west alive, it was truly one of the most romantic times of our country.

Love and blessings

Diavolo said...

Ever since I was a child I've had a love for the Native American people and culture. I've gotten so worn out with the regency and medieval periods that I am in a long streak of reading nothing but NA books and American historicals. I guess it's up to all of us to keep the America's history alive.


Paty Jager said...

Rita, I agree the Native American stories are very romantic.I think it's their culture and the time.

Peggy, I've been the same way.I grew up in the summer home of Chief Joseph's band of Nez Perce and I've always been intrigued. This trilogy is my tribute to them.

Caroline Clemmons said...

Being the tiniest bit Cherokee (1/16), I've always been fascinated by Native American stories.

Diavolo said...

I can't claim any NA blood myself, but I have a grandson who does. My feelings are more spiritual and internal. Chief Joseph had a lot of courage and determination. His story is momentous, along with almost every other tribe. They all had their own long marches and struggles to maintain their ways of life. I grew up in southern Idaho, and northern Utah, near and among the Shoshone, Bannock, Blackfeet, Utes, Navajo, and more . . . we have a jumble of them. The Bear River Massacre of the Shoshone took place less than 50 miles from where I live. I have personal friends who are Hopi and Apache. Love them all.


Gretchen Craig said...

Well, amen, Paty. Like everyone else, I love a well-written Regency, but there is nothing knew for most of us avid readers to discover in that culture. We already know most of the habits and the clothing and the manners of the era. I think many readers of historicals choose that genre because they want to be taken someplace new. They like to learn something while they're enjoying the story. How can that ever go out of style? Big sigh here. In fact, an editor at a big romance house told me they were mostly interested in buying novels set among Western European royalty. With the digital revolution in publishing, that kind of attitude can only hurt them. My response? I self-published my recent Native American novel, Crimson Sky, on Kindle and in ePub. We'll see what happens.
Gretchen Craig
(Sorry, I don't see how to provide links from the comment box.)

Paty Jager said...

Hi Carolyn, Thanks for commenting. Do you have any connections in the Cherokee to help you with info on them for books?

Peggy, I agree, there is something about the Native Americans and their ways that speak to a person in a spiritual sort of way. My hope is that if this trilogy does well I can focus another set of books on another tribe, if there's enough interest by the readers.

Gretchen, I'll check out your web and book.