By Tierney James
We all wonder what the future will hold. Will everyone have a self-driving car, auto-operating systems that manage our homes, robot nannies for the kids and doctors that diagnose problems from your computer or television? It boggles the imagination at times. But what about someone from the early 1800s who suddenly appeared in this time; our world?
When I visited the Field Museum in Chicago my interests took me to the Native American exhibits, where I met my main character, Wind Dancer. Although he was a mannequin dressed as a Pawnee Indian, I couldn’t help but imagine him as a living, breathing being, that because of time and space, couldn’t communicate with me. I wanted him to enter my world and interact with ordinary people. That particular museum has a Pawnee blessed earth lodge which provided a way for Wind Dancer to cross his parallel universe into the present.
The interesting part turned out to be trying to figure out how a plains Indian would react to modern conveniences. Walking in someone’s shoes that lived two hundred years ago became more fun than I expected. If the fastest form of transportation was a horse, what should be the reaction the first time he rode in a car? Chaos? Terrified? Even if he is a battled hardened warrior there are things so unexpected he might just lose focus on his mission. When Dr. Sommers flips on the light switch, Wind Dancer thinks she possesses magic. There are other things like using a remote control to ignite the fireplace. Think about all the mysteries he would find in the bathroom? Food like pizza and ice cream might cause a physical reaction where he thought he would die. Something simple like crushing a two-liter bottle with your fingers, gives him the opinion he now has super strength.
Even though he has a working knowledge of English from his time, the way we use them today could be very confusing. For instance, Detective Marquette gets irritated at one point and says, “Ah shoot.” Wind Dancer is horrified and says he could never do this to his new friend. He also doesn’t understand some garments. When he sees Dr. Sommers in a bra he asks if it is a weapon. Microwave, television, credit cards and the list is endless of what he needs to learn to survive. Simple to us but a major problem for a Pawnee warrior.
Seeing things through your character’s eyes gives you a new perspective of how life can throw you a curve ball. I loved working on Dark Side of Morning so much I have plans to turn it into a series. Hopefully I can keep up the comedy along with the chills and thrills that creep out of a museum of natural history.
Let me introduce you to my characters of Dark Side of Morning. http://amzn.to/2ieQx6x
Dr. Cleopatra Sommers never came to terms with her father’s disappearance at the Museum of Natural History in Chicago. He had been a Native American scholar that explored avenues of unexplained spiritual paths in their cultures. The museum had been her home and playground growing up where her father spent long hours working. She was always drawn to one display case holding a mannequin of a Pawnee Indian. There was no way she could know he watched her all those years until the night he crossed over to find her.
Detective Jacque Marquette suspected the beautiful doctor of stealing priceless artifacts from a Native American exhibit. He realized after meeting his identical twin from another time and place, Dr. Sommers might not be as crazy as he initially thought. The layers of concern for his city begin to stack up as he is caught between culture and the Pentagon. Only with the help of a Pawnee warrior from two hundred years ago, can save his city from a deadly disease brought in from a parallel universe.
Wind Dancer had loved the little girl who grew up before him for years. When he decided to cross over to prevent his enemy from finding Dr. Sommers, the bombardment of changes forced him to rely on the ways of the past to survive. Navigating the future proves to be complicated as he teams up with a grumpy detective to hunt down a common enemy. No one expected the price to be sacrificing Dr. Sommers to the Morning Star in order to avert disaster.