I selected a character from "Heart Chants" because this half-white, half-Navajo character really fascinated me. Heart Chants is second in my Phillip McGuire mystery/suspense series. The first book "Tortured Truths" placed burnt-out journalist into Lawrence owning and running a bar where adventures come his way. For the second book I knew that two girls were missing from the Haskell Indian University in Lawrence. That meant researching the school where I learned the most represented nation was the Navajo. That meant researching the Navajo. Wow, what I encountered. A great people, a great history, a fascinating creation story.
1. What is the name of your character? Is s/he fictional or historical?
We never know his "legal" name. He is the son of a Navajo medicine man and a white missionary. But the man he thought was his Navajo father tells him his real name is "Ko-Yo-Teh"
2. When and where is the story set?
Koyoteh lives on the Ramah Navajo reservation near Grants, NM. Life will take him to Lawrence, KS and Haskell University
3. What should we know about him?
He is a witch. The art of witchcraft was given to the Navajo along with other gifts from the Holy People when the Dinè (the Navajo name for themselves) were created. Who he thought was his father was a witch and his father was a witch and his father was a witch.
4. What is the main conflict? What messes up his life?
Koyoteh is attempting to complete the mission his Navajo father revealed to him: create the largest sand painting that has ever been created, reopen the gates to the Holy People and receive new gifts so the Navajo can finally rid themselves of the White Man. But this will require awful acts to obtain the materials necessary to create that sand painting.
5. What is the personal goal of the character?
To open the gates to the Holy People and trick them into giving him new gifts.
6. Is there a working title for this novel and can we read more about it?
The title is "Heart Chants" and it has been published by the small press Curiosity Quills.
7. When can we expect the book to be published?
It's available right now: http://www.amazon.com/Heart-Chants-Phillip-McGuire-Mysteries-ebook/dp/B00HMQAJQK/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1388610892&sr=1-1&keywords=heart+chants
I'd like to add that if you are interested in the Navajo people, this is the book for you. I believe it contains the best, most complete retelling of their amazing creation story. It has been favorably compared to Tony Hillerman's works and some reviewers have found it better.