The Ruins trilogy was first conceived over thirty years ago when I made my first visit to Arizona. My uncle Jim, Aunt Ann, and my father met me at Sky Harbor in Phoenix and whisked me away into the desert. I had never been to the southwest and had only seen the desert in old westerns. One of the first places he took me was to Sunset Crater and then up to Wupatki ruins. At that time only the main site was open and there a ranger let me hold a potshard in my hand. We went out onto the site at the end of the day and it was mostly deserted. Even then I could feel something whispering about those ruins.

Later when we were in town at a convenience store where my father had been a manager, I saw this native gentleman among the aisles. He was about 35, stocky and interesting. I watched him, hoping he wouldn’t find me rude or flirting (because I was married at the time), but he had apparently noticed because when he left the store and came around the windows, he looked back inside and smiled at me.

I carried that image and the presence of the ruins with me as my husband and I moved to North Dakota. I wrote the first draft of Ruins: Discovery during that harsh first winter there when it was 40 below.

Over the years, I took the manuscript out, editing, fleshing parts out, and doing more research. Many years later, after earning a BA in Anthropology, did I decide to look at the work again.

When I decided to submit it to Muse It Up Publishing, I took another look at the work and reworked a lot of it. After it was accepted, and before content edits came in, I went back to Wupatki ruins and took photographs for a book trailer. I found that the place, though very busy when I visited, still had that same presence, though it felt a bit more touristy now. I also found out that there were two other locations on the park site, and visited one other besides the main site. I went with an Arizona-native who had grown up in Flagstaff but had never known that Wapatki or Sunset Crater, an extinct volcano, were there.

Now, Ruins: Discovery will be available May 20 and the second book, Ruins: Artifacts, will be released in August. I’m still doing research for the third book, Ruins: Legacy, and hope to have it finished by this fall.


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