Thursday, July 15, 2010

Captive Spirit

Today I'm really pleased to present Liz Fichera, the author of the historical romance Captive Spirit.
We scratched backs. Today while I interview her, she is interviewing me on her blog. Liz and I have more than just a publisher in common. Our interest in history and myth...and a certain what if? and why not?
As usual, any mistakes and typos in the following are mine.

Liz Fichera is an author from the American Southwest by way of Chicago. She likes to write stories about ordinary people who do extraordinary things, oftentimes against the backdrop of Native American legends. When she's not plotting her next novel, you can find her on Facebook or her blog, discussing writing, books, hunks du jour, LOST re-runs or the best brands of chocolate. Please visit her at her website because it can get real lonely in the desert:

CAPTIVE SPIRIT is available from Carina Press, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and whereever digital books are sold.

If it hadn't been for my sister Mary, my historical romance novel CAPTIVE SPIRIT might never have been finished. Every time she read a new chapter, she kept asking me, "What happens next?"

Music to a writer's ears.

You see, I was in a kind of blue funk when I started this book. A young adult novel that I had written and loved was continuing to be rejected, beat up, and generally abused by probably every editor in New York City. An agent gave me great advice though. She sais, "keep writing."

And so I did.

I decided to write something completely different and CAPTIVE SPIRIT was born. It contained all the things I love:Native American characters, epic themes, suspense, an American southwest setting and, of course, a love story. I loved writing this novel, almost as much as I enjoyed doing the research behind it. It gave me a chance to learn about the Hohokam Indians, who happened to be the original inhabitants of Phoenix, Arizona, my adopted state. (I'm originally from Illinois.) The Hohokam have a fascinating history in that they lived in the Sonoran Desert from 300 BC to roughly 1500 AD when they vanished for reasons unknown. Cool, eh? This was the piece of little-known history that inspired me to write my novel.



CAPTIVE SPIRIT is the story of a young Hohokam Indian woman named Aiyana who isn't like the other girls of the White Ant Clan. Instead of keeping house, she longs to compete on the Ball Court with her best friend Honovi and the other boys. Instead of marriage, she daydreams of travelling beyond the mountains that surround her small village. Only Honovi knows and shares her forbidden wish, though Aiyana doesn't realize her friend has a secret wish of his own...

When Aiyana's father arranges her marriage to a man she hardly knows, she takes the advice of a tribal elder: Run! In fleeing, she falls into the hands of Spanish raiders and finds herself being taken over the mountains against her will. Now Aiyana's on a quest to return to the very place she once dreamed of escaping. And she'll do whatever it takes to survive and find her way back to the people she loves.

I keep the first chapter and book trailer on my web site.

More questions for Liz:

How long have you been a writer? Why did you become a writer?

I've been writing stories since I was about ten years old. My first one was about my favorite pet, my beloved collie dog, Lady. I still miss Lady, but I still have my frist story, though it's become quite yellowed and tattered around the edges. I didn't try to become a full-time author till about six years ago. It's been a long and winding road.

What was the inspiration behind your main character?

The history of the Hohokam Indians inspired me to write CAPTIVE SPIRIT. I was particularly intrigued with how they simply vanished from the Sonoran Desert over 500 years ago. There are all sorts of thories--famine, drought, migration with other tribes--but nobody knows for sure. Tres cool, I think. And begging for a story.

Any favorite authors/books? Name one book you were unable to put down. My favorite all-time book--the first book that I was unable to put down--was GONE WITH THE WIND. I remember stealing it from my older sister's bookshelf and then literally locking myself in my bedroom until I finished it. I must have been around 10 or 11 years old at the time. Other fav authors include Jean Auel, Diana Gabaldon, and Sherman Alexie. I'm drawn to rugged settings, Native American characters and, of course, a good love story.

What do you do for fun?

I write. I read. I run, although not necessarily in that order. Writing for me is fun, even if I only string together a few crappy sentences in a single day. When time and money permits, I love to travel anywhere there's room service and a really good museum.

Thanks, Bernita, for letting me guest-blog with you today!

Lovely to have you, Liz!


SzélsőFa said...

thank you for the heads up Bernita - the backstory sounds interesting, native tribes, history, mistery and friendship: kind of my cup of tea :)
i wonder if it ever comes to our country, although i have never translated a book (whoa - the quantity!)
a good interview, too!

Liz Fichera said...

I agree with you! Bernita conducts a fine interview. Thanks, Bernita! :-)

Lauren said...

Wow, that story sounds amazing! I really, really want to read it now!

Liz Fichera said...

Hi Lauren,

Glad it appeals to you. If you decide to read it, be sure to stop by my web site or blog and let me know what you think. :-)

Bernita said...

Fascinating, isn't it, SzelsoFa!

But I have to confess Liz is the author of the fine interview questions, not my brain-dead self.
I thought they were so good when she sent them for my interview that she should answer them too.

And thank you, Liz. It is a genuine pleasure to have you on my blog.

Really intrigues, Lauren! And so many historicals focus on major NA tribes, that it is rewarding to see a lesser known one receive treatment.

laughingwolf said...

sounds like something i can sink my teeth into, thx liz and bernita :)

Liz Fichera said...

Laughingwolf, love the name! For obvious reasons. :-) Hope you like it!

Barbara Martin said...

I like stories with native americans in them, and I will certainly be picking this one up. Thank you Liz and Bernita.

Liz Fichera said...

Hi Barbara, thank you so much! Be sure to let me know what you think! :-)