I have always felt a kinship with the American Southwest. When I was twelve years old, my parents took me out there, and my heart and soul were touched by the beauty of its landscape and its people. When I was older I began reading Robert B. Parker, Mickey Spillane, John D. McDonald, Ernest Hemingway, Tony Hillerman and, more recently, Craig Johnson of Longmire fame.
It was when I took a two week trip into the West of my youth in my thirties, that I realized I had found my true home. I drove from Albuquerque, New Mexico to Glacier National Park, Montana, traveling through the beautiful and iconic scenery that was to become the majestic backdrop for my first novel, Path of the Dead. Upon revisiting New Mexico, doing research for my second novel, Death Waits in the Dark, I had the wonderful opportunity to meet with a few Navajo people and have an open and respectful conversation. I was also glad we were able to travel to the main location of Death Waits, and I was able to learn about its geologic history as well as its Navajo history. I learned so much that day, and continue to; yet, there is still more I knowledge I seek.
The connection I feel with the land and its people played an intrical part in why I fell in love with the land and its beauty. I knew i had to create a world of characters that would one day inhabit it and would possibly be a pathway to bring awareness to a culture that I cared about. There is way too much divisiveness in the world. When we chose to only see our differences we close off so many feelings; but when we are open to our similarities is when we grow as individuals. When my first goal became a reality, my second goal became to move to the southwest and immerse myself in the land and the Navajo people and their culture so I can gain a deeper understanding and a more spiritual connection.
I wanted to honor the Native people of the Southwest and felt that Arthur Nakai was the best way to do that. I wanted to expose readers to the Navajo culture in a way that would educate them and well as expose them to the things they are dealing with on a daily basis.
Publication and Performance rights handled by Richard Curtis, Richard Curtis Associates, Inc., firstname.lastname@example.org
I have a total of 9 novels in the works, so far, that will become the Arthur Nakai Mystery Series. Here is just a peek at the future of Arthur Nakai: My world is inhabited by extraordinary people. People like Arthur Nakai, an ex-marine and retired member of the Shadow Wolves, an ICE tactical unit made up of fifteen trackers from several Native American tribes recruited by Homeland Security to hunt human traffickers and drug smugglers on the U.S/Mexico border. His wife, Sharon Keonie Nakai, is a KZRV-TV field reporter and weekend news anchor battling her own demons from the loss of their only child; Jake Bilagody, a Navajo Nation police Captain, now doing double duty by acting as police chief due to the result of a sudden vacancy, and Abraham Fasthorse, a Blackfoot from the mountains of Montana and also Arthur's old friend from his Shadow Wolf days. Together, on occasion, they find themselves wading through the swamp of racial discrimination, oil and gas fracking on sacred land, missing children, selfish politics, pornography, organ harvesting, art theft, uranium mining, and trying to connect two murders that took place thirty years apart . . . all while trying to make a difference in the constant struggles facing the Native American people today in the beautiful, but harsh landscape of the American Southwest.