For the entire month of October I was on a virtual book tour where I jumped from blog to blog every day except on the weekends.
Though easier than a regular book tour in that I didn't have to dress up and drive off to various book stores, I did have to spend a lot of time on the computer writing about Dispel the Mist and answering interview questions.
I probably had more fun writing Dispel the Mist the any of my other Deputy Tempe Crabtree mysteries. In every one of the books in this series there are always Native American elements both mystical and real. This latest book was conceived after I learned about the legend of the Hairy Man. The Tule River Indian Reservation is very near where I live. When I learned the Indians not only had a legend about a Hairy Man, there also was an ancient pictograph of him and his family in a rock shelter called The Painted Rock.
Once I started asking questions about the Painted Rock site I was invited to go on a field trip with the local anthropology class and take a look at the Hairy Man. It isn't ever going to be a tourist attraction. The rock shelter is a huge boulder with other boulders piled ontop making the cave where this painting and many others are located on the rock surfaces. It is very difficult getting down the boulder to enter the cave like entrance. In fact, if it hadn't been for the much younger college students who helped me down, I'd have never made it.
The paintings, though faded, are still quite discernible despite the fact they are thought to be between 500 and a 1000 years old. I was definitely inspired at that moment.
The Hairy Man has an important place in Dispel the Mist. The story centers on the suspicious death of a popular county supervisor who has roots in both the Indian and the Hispanic communities. There is controversy over a hotel complex the Indians want to build alongside the highway and a licensed group home for developmentally disabled women in an up-scale neighborhood.
Tempe is haunted by unsettling dreams that may or may not be prophetic.
For a look at the Hairy Man on the Painted Rock, take a look at the book video for Dispel the Mist.