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Tuesday, November 1, 2011


Authors are asked over and over in interviews, what inspired you to write this story? Some times I can even answer that. Other times, it's such a combination that contributed once that first little spark took notice. Here's a peek at what inspired several of mine, living in an area seeped in history.
Below is a shot taken of the Superstition Mountains in Arizona, not too many miles from where I grew up. Now a national park, but this rugged mountain range was once home to Apache Indians.

The view below looks out over the Valley of the Sun, Phoenix and the adjoining cities that have all run into one huge metropolitan. Can your imagination visualize an Apache warrior in this picture?
The view could also be one that many years ago, Cochise and members of his band watched for the army that searched for them. And, if legends are true, descendants may still today, hiding away from the white man, living the old ways. Hikers, campers, hunters, even prospectors go into those mountains to never return and are never found providing fodder to keep the legends alive. Growing up in Phoenix and hearing those legends sparked my interest in the history, most particularly in Cochise, a man feared and hated and still respected by many. He wanted to protect his people and their way of life. Reading about him, reading books, watching movies of that time period all added to that interest. In many of them white female captives returned to their families were featured, but in only one did I see anything concerning a white male captive, taken as a child and returned. All of that combined with the cause of Cochise going on the warpath against the white invaders is the kernel that began White Savage.
For those that don’t know the history a white boy went missing. Cochise, along with a party of his braves including relatives and friends agreed to come in for a parley. A young Lieutenant, freshly graduated from West Point, accused Cochise of kidnapping the boy. When Cochise denied it, he called him a liar and ordered his men to attack, despite the white flag the Indian party came in under. Several were killed then, more captured and hung, but Cochise escaped.
This is a quote from Cochise. “We were once a large people covering these mountains. We lived well: we were at peace. One day my best friend was seized by an officer of the white men and treacherously killed. At last your soldiers did me a very great wrong, and I and my people went to war with them.”
The boy hadn’t been kidnapped, he ran away, but the lieutenant’s arrogance and bigotry ignited a ten year war. In 1872 Cochise surrendered for the final time, taking his people to the reservation where he died in 1974. He was buried in secret, the location of his grave never revealed. One last quote from a fascinating man.
"You must speak straight so that your words may go as sunlight into our hearts.
Speak Americans. I will not lie to you; do not lie to me."
Where I live now in Arizona is so filled with history and what actual events don’t fuel my imagination, the geography does. In a matter of miles you can go from sparse desert to dense forest and out to a high, treeless basin, so easy to do in a car, but mind boggling to think of doing it on foot or horseback. I live just a few miles from where one of the major stage lines ran and the ruins of one of the stage stops as well as one of the first railroads though the station house has been moved. The nearest town boomed in the early 1900s from the nearby mines. Prescott, ment is about twenty miles from me. Any time I feel short of inspiration or need a setting for some story bubbling around in my head, all I have to do is take a drive. If the geography doesn't do it for me, I can always so sit in my car in the grocery parking lot and people watch.

Larriane AKA Larion Wills, two names one author, thousands of stories
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  1. Wow-Cochise died in 1974? Did we get him on film??? Lol-a Halloween trick I guess, heh heh. We lived in Tempe for 3 years, then south of Tucson for 7. Arizona was certainly an interesting place-tons of history & mystery-especially with the Superstitions! I wonder if they'll ever find the Lost Dutchman's Gold Mine. Do you know Liz Fischera? I loved her book Captive Spirit.

  2. so where were you when that needed to be edited. lol. of course he died in 1874. lol. I grew up in AZ, but never really got into the history of it until i was an adult. as well as the Lost Dutchman the Superstitions are appropriately named with modern mysteries. I don't know Liz, but i'll watch for her now.


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