Hi, Diner readers, it’s Debralee with a very special surprise. Today we have a Diner interview with multipublished and multitalented author Raelynn Blue. She is a lady who enjoys the unique and interesting, with tastes ranging from Johnny Depp movies, to opera, to reading comic books. Her writing also cuts across many barriers, and we are proud to have her with us.
Hi, Raelyn, thanks for coming to visit us at the Otherworld Diner! Sit down and have some coffee and a slice of our famous pie while you tell us a bit about yourself and the stories that you write.
Hello, Debralee and fellow Diner readers! As a dedicated comic book reader, I’m into men in tights and those who sport dark eyeliner (i.e. Johnny Depp, Tobey Macguire in Spiderman 3, Clive Owens who is just hunky). Seriously, when I’m not writing, I’m usually reading, and when both of those two loves are not readily available, I’m an avid movie fan. The more adventure and naked male torsos, the better! (a la Jason Statham).
When I visited your website, I saw your writing runs the gamut from contemporary multicultural through paranormal, fantasy, and futuristic. But there was one Phaze novella which had an actual tie to the Thanksgiving season. SOUL’S KIN is a paranormal romance based on Native American culture.
November is national Native American month. It isn't a hidden fact, just one that's not widely known. Since I worked in Gallup, New Mexico, for a number of years and I was surrounded by Navajo and Zuni people, I became aware of this seldom- celebrated month.
November is often thought of as the month of Thanksgiving and celebrating veterans. Each of these holidays owes great debts to the determination and sacrifices of Native Americans. Without their wisdom, knowledge, and willingness to help those starkly different from them, those colonists would have died. The same is true of the Spanish and French explorers in various sections of the so-called, “New World.”
You must do a lot of research to come up with the lore and legends that have gone into your work.
Absolutely. Research is an intregral part of writing. Although my works are fiction, authenticity is important to setting and the overall tone of a story. SOUL'S KIN attempts to showcase the nobleness and dedication of Native Americans. It is a story drawn from Navajo, Laguna, and Zuni creation stories. It is half fantasy, half myth, and a paranormal tale. I sometimes refer to it as my Native American Romeo and Juliet story.
What is the story about?
When Leela, the daughter of a great chief, is forced to marry a man she doesn't even know, much less love, her heart breaks into pieces. To comfort her, her lover, Kunal, vows to be with her always. Leela can't believe such talk and dismisses it as a brief bout of insanity, until on her wedding night, a coyote appears to her and howls pangs of great loss...
That sounds like a terrific plot. Where did you get the ideas for it and some of your other work?
SOUL’S KIN, SAND STORM, and SPEED DEMON are all derived from my years spent in New Mexico, prowling around the highways at night. Nothing is close in New Mexico—in fact many cities are hours apart. During those long car trips between Gallup and Albuquerque and Farmington, the beautiful scenery and vast stretches of unspoiled land invoked my muse to no end.
For my novel, DESIRE INTO GOLD, the idea came from an urge to twist an old fairy tale. Most of my ideas are spawned by my ridiculously untamed curiosity!
Do you believe the trend of combining of multicultural themes with the paranormal will continue to grow? It seems very popular right now.
Absolutely! People of color and their cultures have myths and legends of the paranormal and of great gods and goddesses just like the Greeks and Romans. These areas will continue to be mined and utilized in stories that appeal to everyone, regardless of ethnicity. Our world is multicultural and our literature reflects our society.
What is one thing about Raelynn Blue that most people would find surprising?
The one thing that most people would find surprising about me is that I can’t swim, but I love to be on boats. My friends find this utterly strange.
Raelynn, thanks so much for taking the time to share with us right before a holiday like Thanksgiving when people are so busy. Also thanks for sharing the plot of SOUL’S KIN. We do owe our gratitude to the Native Americans who helped those first settlers to survive. It’s great when we can use our writing not only to entertain, but to educate readers about the amazing cultural contributions of others.
If you’d like to learn more about Native Americans, here are some online sources that can get you started. Some of these give a detailed look at their contribution to American history and contemporary life:
Native American Times
Native American Recipes
Smithsonian Institution - Native American History and Culture
Of course there are other sites and print literature to expand your knowledge as well.
I like the recipes site, might find something we could serve here! It’s been so nice to having you share with us today. I know SOUL’S KIN is available directly from Phaze, or from Fictionwise at:
I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving, Raelynn You’ll always be welcome at the Otherworld Diner!