Interview with Randal Nerhus & Marjorie Carter, Author of Talks

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What’s the story behind the story? What inspired you to write Talks Like Thunder: Red With Native Blood?

Marjorie Carter was a wonderful mentor and a dear friend. When she died of pneumonia in 2004, I had the only copy of her manuscript. I completed the story and brought the series to publication for her.

If you had to pick theme songs for the main characters of Talks Like Thunder: Red With Native Blood, what would they be?

I have yet to discover the ideal music for the story. Something like how African tribal drumming was used in Peter Gabriel’s Security album.

What’s your favorite genre to read? Is it the same as your favorite genre to write?

I’ve never thought of it like this before, but I’ve always preferred complex novels that expanded beyond genre boundaries. Though the Red With Native Blood series fits best in young adult, many themes appeal to Western, adult, and historical fiction readers as well.

What books are on your TBR pile right now?

I’d like to take another look at some of my old favorites:

Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, by Robert M Pirsig

Shogun, by James Clavell

Secrets of the Talking Jaguar, by Martin Prechtel

What scene in your book was your favorite to write?

I like Marjorie’s writing better than mine. After Thunder befriends a Mescalero Apache named Walks Alone, the scenes take the reader to the limit of intensity and heartbreak.

Do you have any quirky writing habits? (lucky mugs, cats on laps, etc.)

While living in multiple countries over the years, creating the opportunity to write was enough to get me working. Especially so in the Amazon jungle where I needed my neighbor’s generator. I provided gas, and offered the kids popcorn, and a movie of their choice to watch on my laptop while it charged. After returning home and making sure no snakes, tarantulas, or scorpions had stopped by for a visit, I’d set the screen to the lowest brightness and write for four hours.

Do you have a motto, quote, or philosophy you live by?

Without discipline, you can’t reach the first stone of the Medicine Wheel. –Marjorie Carter

If you could choose one thing for readers to remember after reading your book, what would it be?

We were all once tribal. Recognizing what we’ve lost is essential for a meaningful life.

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