I released Bear Medicine this month to coincide with domestic violence awareness month.
But the novel isn’t only about abuse against women; it’s also about women learning to survive without men and, in so doing, seeking out their own paths.
The original concept for the novel first came to me when our family visited the Yellowstone area in 2004. It’s a gorgeous region, but also an unforgiving one: scalding geysers that can swallow you in an instant, thousands of square miles of lonely backcountry, harsh weather, overactive seismic activity, and feisty iconic beasts–most notably bison and grizzly bear.
The story changed dramatically over the past decade or so, unfolding layer after layer. Writing a book is a bit like playing charades; you get little clues of what you want to say, and you keep guessing as you go. At least that’s how it works for me. Scenes appeared in my mind in random order. Characters came and went. Themes bubbled noisily like Yellowstone mud pots, erupted, and then quieted. It took several drafts before I really knew what the novel was going to be about, or what I wanted to say.
Yes, it’s about abuse against women. By necessity, it’s also about search for self, which is universal for everyone but often especially troubling for women under duress. It’s about the Indian Wars of the 1800s and native lore, then and now. It’s about mothers and daughters and leaving legacies. It’s about loving kindness, although those words aren’t used anywhere in the pages.
And it’s about sacred friendships forming in a sacred landscape.
I hope you’ll accept my invitation to journey along with Brooke, Anne, Maggie and Leila in Bear Medicine. Now available through your favorite indie bookstore or online at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and iTunes.