Guten Tag, meine Deutsche Freunden! Bitte, entshuldigen sie mir, ich spreche nur ein Bisschen Deutsch! Also, English:
I grew up in the blossoming residential developments of the San Fernando Valley of Southern California in the 1950s and 60s. For those of you who haven't visited this area, the "Valley" is a semi-arid region which receives airflow off the desert to the north. During the winter it can go down into the 40s, but much of the year it is very warm, and summertime temperatures can go above 100 degrees F.
As children, my brothers and I explored the wild chaparral-covered hills and canyons bordering the Valley, where we found signs of former Native American inhabitants. We found a cave with markings on the walls and ceiling, and we found Indian arrowheads. These discoveries excited my interest in earlier times and left me with the haunting impression that many stories about these mysterious, missing people waited to be told.
Only many years later did I learn about the original people of Los Angeles, the Native Americans called the Tongva ("People of the Earth"), who had been driven to near extinction over the last four and a half centuries by the Spanish conquerors and later other dominant forces such as the governors and proprietors of the huge Mexican land grants.
Unlike other tribes, the Tongva were never well known, never received reservation land from the U.S. government, and were largely dispersed and decimated as a people. To the best of my knowledge, they are still not a registered U.S. Native American tribe. Today roughly 2,000 descendants of the Tongva live in Southern California.
I wished to honor the Tongva and let more people know about them through this story, which is set in the period just before the encroachment of Spain. My book is a novelette with spiritual awakening as its theme.
I presently live with my husband in an apartment overlooking the Hudson River in Southern New York - which at rare, magical times transforms into a mystical rolling river of clouds. I am also co-author of three nonfiction books and am working on the sequel to THE WAY OF THE EAGLE and another novel.
Please visit my website at http://www.thewayoftheeagle.com.