Something I touch on in the appendix of Desert of the Damned but wanted to reiterate here is how passionate I am about writing stories set in the American West. Many exciting speculative fiction or paranormal YA books are set in mythologies, cultures, and histories outside of the United States. I think that’s because other histories, like those in Europe or Asia for example, are more well known and often capture our imaginations as children. But after having spent years studying the Western United States and the people who were the original inhabitants of this beautiful land, I can say this area is the one of the most spellbinding places I’ve ever encountered.
Whether it’s the prehistoric Ancestral Puebloans of the Southwest, the pre-colonial Indian Nations of the Four Corners area, the early Spanish and French explorers, or the East Coast pioneers who settled here, the Western United States is a crossroads geography, rich with tragedy, triumph, and everything in between.
Into these areas of very real history, I look to the traditions and stories of the Western native peoples to create my heroes and monsters. They are rich with the spirit of the land they evolved from, and I’m thankful to have this treasury to draw upon. It’s my hope that the brief glimpse I given readers will encourage them to dig deeper into the Native American Nations that continue to live in this area, along with the realities that shape this land.