Shannon Baker, author of the Nora Abbott Mystery series involving murder, environment and Hopi Indians, can often be found backpacking, skiing, kayaking, cycling, or just playing lizard in the desert. Learn more about Shannon and her books at her website.
Since I was about six years old, sitting in the backseat of our Chevy Impala on long nighttime drives, listening to my parents talk about Edgar Cayce and his mystic predictions and revelations, I’ve had a fascination with weird stuff. You know, stuff that tingles your skin, like ghosts and reincarnation, aliens, telepathy. I read all those accounts of near-death experiences, books about talking to God, dipped my toe into studying various religions. I can’t say as I believe everything I’ve heard or read, and can’t say I don’t believe it. Frankly, I don’t feel the need to decide.
What interests me is what people believe and how it makes them act.
Sometimes there’s a bizarre collision in my brain. Things that seeped in years earlier start to grow, sort of like the Blob in the early black and white horror flick. Then something new gets misfiled up there and Blam! a book idea slides out.
In the case of Tattered Legacy the messy explosion mixed all these interesting bits I’d read about the Mormon religion with the amazing information I’ve learned about Hopi.
Like most religions, there are often different versions of the main church, so I don’t pretend to be an expert on Mormons, Church of Latter-Day Saints or any of the off-shoot sects and cults. But there is a little tidbit about Mormons believing if they live a righteous life, they (the men, that is) will get their own planets when they die.
When I first moved to Flagstaff, I happened on a website of Hopi news. An article talked about the recent UFO-siting in the desert, and I read the dozen or so comments. From these postings, I learned that visits from space are not seen as particularly unusual on the reservation.
The Hopi have a long-standing relationship with the Sky People. Old Oraibi, the first Hopi village on the mesas north of Winslow, was established in 1050. That’s a long time ago. According to the petroglyphs, especially Prophecy Rock, it’s said that the faithful Hopi will be lifted to other planets when they die.
There are plenty of websites saying with certainty that UFO’s hang out in lenticular clouds that hover over mountains, specifically, over the San Francisco Peaks. It’s no coincidence that this is where the Hopi kachinas live.
Mormons. Hopi. Aliens. How could I not see the connection? You see it, plain as day, right? What I needed was a character to go head to head with Nora.
Remember a few years ago when Mitt Romney was all the rage? Rich, well-connected, Presidential nominee…Mormon. Oh yeah. I assume Mr. Romney is a nice guy with a perfectly normal family. And being on the national political horizon creates some issues I didn’t want to deal with. So, my guy, Warren Evans, is nothing like our man Mitt. Except he’s rich and Mormon.
Toss in some very telling petroglyphs and Nora’s Hopi connection and there you have it.
Do I believe in aliens?
Does it really matter?
Want a chance to win a copy of Tattered Legacy (US only)? Leave a comment. Tell me if you believe in aliens, or just say hi. I’ll be randomly picking a winner from all who comment and will contact you directly.
The third in the Nora Abbott series, Tattered Legacy is set in the iconic red rocks of Moab, UT. Working to solve the murder of her best friend, Nora uncovers an unlikely intersection of ancient Hopi legends, a secret polygamist sect and one of the world’s richest men. Will Nora put all the pieces together in time to prevent disaster?