Answers, news and videotape

    Navajo National Monument at sunset

    First the news:

    Heaven Can’t Wait is now available on Kindle for real. There was some kind of glitch that told readers it wasn't available in the United States, but that has been resolved. If you don’t have an e-reader, it is available in some formats that enable you to just read it on your computer.

    Surrender is now available in Japanese. The title translates to something like, “Kissing the Warrior in the Kilt.” So we’re not the only ones obsessed with Scottish heroes. Nice to know! I love the cover!

    How did Annie's head get stuck in the trees?

    I’ll be spending most of Thursday at the state capitol meeting with the senator who is carrying the shackling bill and others who are interested in supporting the bill. As soon as I have a bill number, I’ll write about it for the paper, as will other reporters I know who want to support what I’m doing. Hey, I can’t help it if have great media connections.

    Also, I won First Place in SPJ’s regional journalism contest (Rocky Mountain states) in the Legal Affairs reporting category for an article I wrote last year about kids awaiting trial who are kept in 23-hour lockdown. The purpose of the lockdown is to segregate them from adult male offenders for their own protection (they're mostly boys), but the result is that panicked kids who haven’t yet been found guilty are treated in the same way as the most dangerous and worst of adult felons. They’re given a level of isolation that is reserved as a punishment for misbehaving or dangerous and violent adult inmates. And some kids, in a panic and alone, have committed suicide in their cells. Truly tragic and utterly unnecessary!

    And now for the answers:

    I combed through more the 70+ pages of text from the spoiler chat and found a few unanswered questions. Given how fast the text was flying by, I’m amazed that I didn’t miss more. Heck, maybe I did. But here are two I plucked out of obscurity.

    Dana asked: “I liked all the overs of the I-Team series, but unlike the others, Kat’s face was covered. Why?”

    Answer: First, let me say that Kat’s face is covered with man-chest. That’s waaay better than a burka or something. See the comparison below.

    Above: Man chest. Below: Burka. Which would you rather have on your face?

    But, you're right. Her face isn’t showing. Since I didn’t really participate in the creation of the cover, I can’t really say why. It might have had something to do with not finding finished art of a heroine who has American Indian features. Or maybe they felt that seeing the heroine from behind like that so that the image focused more on the hero’s biceps would be a fresh look.

    Ronna asked: “Are we going to see deleted scenes [from Naked Edge] or Natalie/Zac scenes soon?”

    Answer: No and no. My editor didn’t cut anything out of story, so there’s nothing lying on the cutting-room floor for me to share with you. The only thing that my editor had me change was the beginning of the epilogue because she felt people would be too freaked out reading about a woman who was nine months pregnant having sex. I changed the scene so that it starts after Kat and Gabe have, er, finished. So unless y’all want to read that...

    As for Natalie and Zach — I changed the spelling of his name — I will eventually post excerpts, but I have to write something first. I have only eight pages written, and I’m throwing out half of that. The story has evolved by leaps and bounds in the past few days, and now I have to start over more or less.

    What you might be able to read off and on are “scenes between the books,” i.e., scenes that fill in the stories of certain couples between the books. That might be anything from the I-Team heroes going to a baseball game together to the birth of Julian and Tessa’s baby girl to who knows what.

    And, unlike some authors, I have no problem with readers writing fan fic/slash. In fact, I post it on my website. The only thing I ask is that the writing be tasteful and true to the series and characters. So if anyone writes any more of that, you’ll have that to tide you over, too.

    And now for the videotape:

    Shortly after I finished Naked Edge, I came across a VHS documentary about the traditional Diné titled, Seasons of a Navajo. Filmed in the 1980s, it shows the lifestyle of a traditional Navajo family over the course of year. It is truly beautiful and captures the rhythm of life among the traditional Diné. I shared it with Kat and she had the same reaction I had: tears. We both freaking loved it.

    The hogaan, the sheep pens, shade houses, the Navajo version of a sweat lodge, people speaking Navajo, frybread, mutton, a Navajo grannie weaving — this has it all. This would be like seeing Kat’s grandma and her Uncle Allen going about their daily lives. It would be seeing how Kat grew up. I thought you would really like that.

    So I bought two copies of the tape — one for myself and one to share with all of you. Here’s how it will work:

    If you’re interested in seeing the video, let me know by posting here. I’ll draw a name from all of those who want to see it, and that person will be the first to see it. Then she will mail it to the No. 2 person, who will mail it to No. 3 and so on. Or if you don’t feel comfortable sharing your address with someone else, that person can mail it back to me, and I’ll mail it to you.

    The only drawback is, obviously, paying for postage (though it’s probably going to be roughly as cheap as renting it) and the fact that you must have a VHS player to watch it. A lot of people have only DVD players these days.

    Let me know if you want to participate!

    You can also post responses even if you don’t want the video, just let me know whether you want to be in a link in the video chain or not.

    Did any of you try the frybread recipe yet?

    Coming next week: The I-Team heroes recently got together for a group interview, and the results will be posted soon as part of a guest blog.

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