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Friday, September 28, 2012

BOOK CLUB FRIDAY GUEST AUTHOR - MIA FISHER


Today we welcome Mia Fisher as our Book Club Friday guest. A prolific writer who spent many years writing Inspirationals, Mia crossed over to the dark side to write mystery/suspense and paranormal romance in 2008. To learn more about Mia and her books, visit her website.  -- AP

What's The Point?

On occasion I am asked why I chose to write a mystery/suspense series regarding a Native American Behavioral Science Unit.  Doesn’t the FBI already have its own Behavioral Science Unit?  Yes, they do, and there are lots of mystery/suspense books out there that talk about Quantico and what goes on there.  But having written about Native culture for twenty years and being married to a full-blooded Cheyenne/Lakota, I was always interested in the insular bubble that was  - and often remains – reservation life.  I’d like to say that it was some lofty ideal about wanting to expose the high rates of unsolved crimes in Indian Country but – in the beginning – that wasn’t it at all.
Ultimately, we can blame my late husband. The first book in the NABSU series, Blood Roles, was his idea, not mine.  We’d been watching CSI (Yes, I am a Grissom fan…), and Robert said something to the effect of, “You know, it’s too bad there’s no type of behavioral unit or special officers for Indians because I think we kill each other for totally off-the-wall reasons.  It would be cool if somebody could explain why skins do what we do.”

That comment piqued my interest. We totally ignored what we were watching and discussed what the ideal scenario would be for a special unit having to deal with Native American crimes. I started researching and before long I had enough material for not one book but six.  
Reservation crime is not only extremely violent on numerous levels, it many times goes unsolved for the simple reason of the lack of manpower – that and the reality that many crimes are hidden under the guise of activism or because one family member wants to protect another.  Unsolved rapes are rampant on reservations all over the country and while there’s only been one recorded Native serial killer with the FBI, there are crimes on reservations that have yet to be solved because nobody wants to know the answers to the questions that the crimes raised.  These facts alone easily led to the development of Blood Roles – a book I knew mainstream publishers wouldn’t touch with a ten-foot pole.
Having written Native based romance for years, I knew how publishers felt about that particular genre. And given that this wasn’t your average romance, I was prepared for Blood Roles to be a hard sell, which, inevitably, it was.  More than once I was told that readers weren’t interested in crime amidst Indians and just as many times I was shot down with the reality that some editors just didn’t like interracial romance. It makes them nervous in our politically correct world, especially when prejudices on the part of other cultures are revealed. And given Blood Roles subject matter reveals that and more, it was an uphill battle all the way.

Yet, the issue of killing over bloodlines aside, I knew that the story of Taylor and Andie would capture readers because they’re ultimately relatable.  They’re real, so to speak.  They’ve made their way in their worlds, built solid careers and suddenly find themselves having to face each other under bizarre circumstances.  Ultimately, theirs is a romance built on familiarity, a familiarity that’s based upon Andie’s contempt for Taylor making a decision that upset both of their lives and her inability to completely forgive the man for his sheer stupidity.  That and awesome sex. 
It took close to a year, but I finally found a fledgling publisher that was willing to publish Blood Roles.  Everything was ready to go; there were big plans for the series – a book tour, public appearances, even a coveted script conversion was discussed.  Then life got in the way. 

In 2011 my husband was diagnosed with a terminal illness and within three months he was gone.  Everything was put on hold and once the dust settled from hospital, life support, funeral, family situations, and the like, I found myself having to gear up for a book premier without the person who’d sparked the whole series in the first place.  To say that was hard would be an understatement.
But I believed in Blood Roles. I believed in my characters and what they stood for.  The NABSU series itself was a gamble, and thankfully it paid off. My fans loved Blood Roles – I get at least twenty to thirty emails a week asking me when the next book hits the shelves.  People are not only enamored with the relationship between Taylor, Andie and Marty, they’re captured by the harsh realities that surround the White River Killer case itself.  In this day and age, that situation literally could be anywhere – not for the same reasons, of course, but ultimately, does a killer ever really need a reason?  Blood Roles is a book that I highly recommend, not because I wrote it but because it will give the reader a view into a world they never even knew existed and might give them something to think about, especially since that world is not fictional.

Blood Roles buy link

Thanks so much for joining us today, Mia! -- AP

11 comments:

Kaye George said...

Wow, this sounds like a terrific book. It's almost tragic what NY publishers think people would or would not like to read. They have no idea sometimes!

Kris Bock said...

I agree, this sounds fascinating. I'm glad you found an outlet for it. I'll help spread the news.

Misty Dietz said...

Mia, Wow! I had no idea this was your topic! Now for sure I'm going to buy!! I love Native American culture - it was my emphasis in my graduate program and my thesis was on the book RESERVATION BLUES by Sherman Alexi. :)

Living on the North Dakota/Minnesota border, I'm near several reservations, and our cabin at the lake is actually on a reservation. Native Americans are a beautiful people with complex and often misunderstood cultures. I can't wait to read your series! Bye for now, I'm going to go buy the first one! xoxo

Vonnie said...

Mia, congratulations on tackling such a huge issue. I'm not from the USA so have very little knowledge of reservations etc. (I am a New Zealander). I'm sorry about your partner but it is easily seen that you have courage and also...such an INTERESTING topic. Way to go!

Mia Fisher said...

@Kaye - Thanks and I agree! Sometimes the big guys just don't want to know what the readers want!

@Kris - Thank you for spreading the news!

@Misty - I knew you'd love this book, there's a lot of recognizable territory in there for you! lol

@Vonnie - Thank you! It was a tough row to hoe but in the end it was worth it. The book is being very well received and even though my hubby is gone, he lives on with every book in the series!

Kathy said...

I love fiction about Native Americans. I've read Kathleen Eagle books for years. I also have the Tony Hillerman series. Now you've crossed Native American fiction with my favorite TV show, Criminal Minds. A win win situation for me. Looking forward to reading your series.

Elise M Stone said...

Mia, I am so sorry about the death of your husband. I understand how it was impossible to deal with this book (and this series) at that time.

The whole idea of Blood Roles sounds fascinating. I'd love to read it, but won't be doing that anytime soon because you've not only published it only on Amazon, you've enabled DRM. Since I have a Nook, this makes it unreadable as far as I'm concerned.

Sorry I'll miss what sounds like a wonderful story.

Kaye George said...

I find it at B&N, through Goodreads. http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/blood-roles-mia-fisher/1106502659?ean=9781461048978&r=1&cm_mmc=AFFILIATES-_-Linkshare-_-GwEz7vxblVU-_-10%3a1&

But I have a Sony. :)

Kaye George said...

Oops, that's a paperback! Sorry!

Pat Browning said...

Mia, your book sounds fascinating. I'm off to Amazon to look it up.

When I was growing up in Oklahoma Indians were mostly "invisible" unless they played basketball. Today their casinos have brought them front and center.

The casino money goes to education grants, medical clinics and heritage centers. Recipients have to prove some Indian blood, but in Oklahoma it's hard to find anyone who doesn't have a little Indian blood somewhere along the line!

I do understand and sympathize with your losing your husband. Same thing happened to me while I writing my second book and the upheavals that followed have kept me stalled for years. If he were here, he would keep asking, "Are you working on your book?" so maybe I should get back to it.

Thanks for this inspirational post.

Pat Browning
Author of ABSINTHE OF MALICE
METAPHOR FOR MURDER in progress

Mia Fisher said...

@ Kathy - Thank you! I'm a big fan of Kathleen's as well. I had the privilege of getting to know her when I lived in Minnesota!

@ Elise - I'm sorry you can't download to Nook. We're still working out the issues there. Since Blue Diamond is no longer handling Blood Roles we're working through all those areas they didn't release to. Hopefully we'll have it for Nook by the end of the year.

@ Kaye - Thanks for checking for Elise!!!

@ Pat - The casinos are an interesting situation - not all of them are working as well as the ones in OK and CT are. The Pechange in CA are having some BQ issues of their own related to greed - they've been "unenrolling" entire families in order to funnel their per caps to the tribal council members. It's a sad state of affairs.