1. Coffee or Tea?
Can’t a girl have both? Actually, I prefer tea in the morning and coffee in the afternoon. When it’s summertime in the desert where I live—and I’m talking triple-digit temperatures—I drink gobs of iced coffee.
2. If you could go back in the past and talk to your high school self, what advice would you give yourself?
Lighten up. That’s what I’d like to tell my sixteen-year-old self. I was such a serious kid, my nose always buried in a book or studying for some math or chemistry test that I’ve probably yet to apply in the real world. Oh, and go to art school, but that’s a really long story.
3. When you’re not writing, what do you like to do to kick back and relax?
Believe it or not, I’m one of those freakazoids who really and truly likes to run. I’m not talking marathon runner, please, but I like to run in the desert. It’s the only time my mind can go a little blank. Other than running, my husband and I like to go to local theatre productions in Phoenix where I write reviews for several Phoenix blogs.
4. What’s the most unusual thing you’ve done for the sake of research?
While researching for CAPTIVE SPIRIT, I tried preparing and eating some of the food that Aiyana and the Hohokam Indians ate when they lived in the Sonoran Desert. Keep in mind the Hohokam lived around 1500 AD, so we’re not talking vanilla ice cream with fudge sauce. They would have eaten things like cactus berries, mule deer, and agave. While I’m not much for deer meat, I did try roasted agave. It’s like a cross between cucumber and squash. Not bad, actually!
5. If CAPTIVE SPIRIT were made into a movie, who would play the hero and heroine?
Hero is easy: I pictured Adam Beach in my mind for Honovi from the start. I think Adam Beach of SMOKE SIGNALS fame is all sorts of hot. Plus, he’s so talented to boot. The heroine is harder. I had a picture in my mind for Aiyana, and the Carina Press design team nailed it with the cover art. The woman on my book cover is exactly as I pictured Aiyana, right down to the unusual green eyes.
6. What inspired you to write CAPTIVE SPIRIT?
My inspiration came from a little known piece of history regarding the Hohokam Indians. The Hohokam lived in the Sonoran Desert in what is now known as Arizona from 300 BC to around 1500 AD. For some reason, they left their villages and fields and no one really knows why. There are all sorts of theories—drought, famine, war, migration—but no one knows why this thriving population up and left their whole lives behind. Archaeologists and historians still ponder it to this day. Plus, my sister kept asking me “what happens next?” after every time she finished a new chapter.
7. Okay, give us the back cover copy. What’s CAPTIVE SPIRIT about?
Sonoran Desert. Dawn of the sixteenth century.
Aiyana isn’t like the other girls of the White Ant Clan. Instead of keeping house, she longs to compete on the Ball Court with her best friend Honovi and the other boys. Instead of marriage, she daydreams of traveling beyond the mountains that surround her small village. Only Honovi knows and shares her forbidden wish, though Aiyana doesn’t realize her friend has a secret wish of his own…
When Aiyana’s father arranges her marriage to a man she hardly knows, she takes the advice of a tribal elder: Run! In fleeing, she falls into the hands of Spanish raiders and finds herself being taken over the mountains against her will. Now Aiyana’s on a quest to return to the very place she once dreamed of escaping. And she’ll do whatever it takes to survive and find her way back to the people she loves.
I keep the first chapter of CAPTIVE SPIRIT on my web site, along with a pretty cool book trailer. In fact, some of the shots you see in the book trailer are taken close to my home. Believe it or not, there are parts of Arizona that look pretty much the way it did over 500 years ago, practically untouched. It’s the perfect rugged setting for CAPTIVE SPIRIT.
Liz Fichera is an author from the American Southwest by way of Chicago. She likes to write stories about ordinary people who do extraordinary things, oftentimes against the backdrop of Native American legends. Her historical romance debut CAPTIVE SPIRIT is available from Carina Press. Please visit her web site at http://www.lizfichera.com/ or hang out with her on Facebook or Twitter where she can be found dishing about books, writing, the best types of chocolate, hunks du jour, and LOST reruns.
Anyone who leaves a comment or asks a question on today’s blog will be entered into a drawing for a free digital copy of CAPTIVE SPIRIT.