Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Introducing Dorothy Webb and Chindii Woman

Let me introduce Dorothy Webb, a writer who lives in Las Cruces, New Mexico. Dorothy's murder mystery, Chindii Woman, is set on the Navajo reservation where she grew up. The heroine comes to the reservation to learn about the apparently accidental death of her brother and gets in serious trouble when she asks too many questions.

I've read Chindii Woman and found the story, the characters, and the setting appealing. Dorothy recently answered a few questions about the book.

Your main character, Darcy Redbird, is a Lakota Sioux. Why does she feel so out of place among the Navajo?
From being raised in Chicago by her adoptive parents, Darcy knows nothing about being a Native American, much less the Navajo culture. But she tries to learn. She is aware that the Native Americans are closer to nature but cannot accept their belief in the supernatural, like spirits and other things that cannot be seen.

How much research did you do for Chindii Woman, and how much came from your personal knowledge?
All of the information in Chindii Woman is from my personal knowledge. There really was a legend of the Chindii Woman who lived in a very dangerous canyon called Satan's Pass that we had to go through in order to get to Gallup from Crownpoint.  The other taboos, spirits and ceremonies were part of my daily life. I asked friends who continue to live on and near the reservation to read parts of Chindii Woman to insure that I had them interpreted correctly. 

What are the traditional beliefs that drive the story, and to what extent do Navajo still hold to those beliefs?
Of course, the legend of the Chindii Woman drives this story. Depending on the Navajo individual, the traditional beliefs continue to be practiced. For example, a deceased person's name may be mentioned within the three days after the death only if it is done respectfully.

Darcy is an appealing heroine. Do you have another adventure in store for her?
Many who have read the book have asked for a sequel, using Darcy and Raymond. As soon as I get to a place where I can concentrate, I'll see what I can come up with.

Learn more at Dorothy's web site, Books can also be obtained from Author House ( Search on her name and the book will pop up. It is available in hardback, soft cover and e-book. Chindii Woman is also available from Amazon and  Barnes & Noble. For an autographed copy, contact her at ($15 plus $3 postage).


Helen Ginger said...

Sounds like a very interesting book. I know very little about the Navajo people. A book from someone who lived there sounds like it would paint a more real picture than what we get through movies and a lot of other books.

Bob Sanchez said...

Hi Helen, one thing the book makes clear is the cultural differences among the different Indian peoples. A Navajo is not a Zuni is not a Sioux.

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Anonymous said...

It's nice to meet you Dorothy, and thanks for doing the interview, Bob.

By the way, the poll is still open for what book I should read and share my thoughts about next on the Kelworth Files, and I really need book lovers, (particularly science fiction and fantasy) to give me their opinion. So, come by and check out the poll options!

N. R. Williams said...

Interesting concept. I love legends that are incorporated into books.
N. R. Williams, The Treasures of Carmelidrium

J.L. Campbell said...

Chindi Woman sounds like a good and different kind of read.