Sunday, February 19, 2012

Guest Blogger: Aimee Thurlo

Today, fabulous mystery writer, Aimee Thurlo is guest blogging and will tell us all a bit about her work and her process. Aimee writes for Harlequin Intrigue as well as single title mystery series, some of which have been optioned for television. I have to apologize up front, because despite my best attempts, blogger is insisting on putting too many spaces between paragraphs. I finally gave up and had a glass of wine. :)

Take it away, Aimee!

We've had some crazy weather here. Cloudy and gloomy but it's a great time to hunker in and write.

Right now we're working on the last few drafts of Secrets of the Lynx, next year's summer release. It's book three of our Copper Canyon series, and I've got to say, I particularly enjoy Paul Grayhorse. He's relentless, and passionate, and well, you get the idea. His spiritual connection to Lynx, a discerner of secrets, makes him the perfect former lawman and romantic hero.

Our current book - Power of the Raven is one of my all time favorites. That was a story that came to my co-writer and husband, David, and me when we were walking around Old Town in Albuquerque and saw a small, beautifully carved fetish in a storefront window and stopped to admire it. According to tradition, a fetish is more than just a carving. It's a symbol that is said to capture the essence of the animal and impart those qualities to its owner.

Out of that moment came a storyline about a hataalii, a Navajo medicine man, Hosteen (mister) Silver, who fosters troubled Navajo boys, giving them a new life and future. On their sixteen birthday, each of the boys receives a gift - a special fetish carved for them. Gene Redhouse, the hero of Power of the Raven, carries a bear fetish. A bear fits Gene because bear's power is made strong in solitude. Though Bear has a dark side, he also stands for confidence and inner stillness.

“Power of the Raven” centers around Gene, now a man, on a path that will test the limits of his courage.

I've always had a special affinity for animals, and the lore that surrounds each fetish is something I find particularly fascinating. One of my favorites is Raven.Raven's magic brings the power needed to take your dreams, give them time to form, then make them a reality. Raven belongs to the inner world, that place where we protect the part of us that's often injured by the sting of rejection. Raven becomes a powerful ally who encourages us to embrace the shadows because they're also part of who we are.

I find that especially beautiful, because as authors we have to dig into memories of pain as well as triumphs to make our characters come alive. The process can be difficult and leaves you feeling vulnerable at a time when you most need to protect yourself. Not everyone will see what you want to do in the story you create and the words you use to do it. There will be harsh comments, and judgments. You have to be able to take the blows, smile, and keep going. It can hurt - badly - but like a famous teacher once said, 'It doesn't matter how many times you fall down - only how many times you get back up."

Each of the Copper Canyon stories will feature a hero and heroine who has, or will receive, a very special fetish in the course of the book. As the characters learn about their new spiritual brother, the reader will go on their journey with them, and maybe some will find their own fetish - an animal carving that will remind you of your own uniqueness, and the power that resides in each of us.

To celebrate its publicaton we're having a very special giveaway - a handcarved raven fetish signed by the artist, Amos Pooacha. Mr. Pooacha is confined to a wheelchair and makes his living carving these very special fetishes.

Please comment here, then write me at specify you want to enter our drawing, then Feb. 29th we will have the drawing. The winner be immediately notified by e-mail and will be listed on our web page.

Thanks again to Jana, for letting us guest blog. And make sure to check her latest, The Lost Girls of Johnson's Bayou.

And a huge thanks to Aimee for blogging on Killer Fiction! Have a great week, everyone!

Deadly DeLeon


Quilt Lady said...

Great post Aimee. Your book sounds fabulous. It would take the power of a raven for me to be able to work with my husband. How do you do it? I would be pulling my hair out if I worked with my husband every day.

petite said...

A facinating and thought provoking post Aimee. Working in tandem is sometimes difficult but also very rewarding.

traveler said...

What a talent you have which captures the rare beauty in your books. They are a treasure which are to be savored. Yes, Old Town is certainly unique and historic as well as beautiful since it is real and an amazing locale. Best wishes.

Anonymous said...

Hi Traveler!

Thanks for your very kind words.
We love New Mexico, and we try to bring the special magic of our state to the readers!

Anonymous said...

Petite, check our web page. We just put up a blog about working together. We realized that many people wanted to know more details about how we create our stories. We're at

catslady said...

I find it all very fascinating. I much rather hear about the American Indian's way of life than the Puritans. Your series sounds like something I would enjoy very much.


Robin Kaye said...

Aimee - What a wonderful sounding book! I can't wait to read it.