Wednesday, October 16, 2013

The Inspiration Behind The Wind Whisperer by Krista Holle

The Wind Whisperer might surprise you.  It was Pocahontas.  You may wonder how this is possible since it has been almost 400 years since Pocahontas was alive.  It started when I purchased a densely forested piece of property once owned by Pocahontas.  It was a piece of dowry given to her by Chief Powhatan when she married John Rolfe, the tobacco farmer.  Within two miles of our property was the original Jamestown.   
One of my inspirations behind

It was here in Virginia where I wrote The Wind Whisperer, a young adult novel full of romance, intrigue, murder, and a heavy dose of supernatural.  It was hard not to let my imagination go wild when I walked through the forest, or explored along Tidewater’s many streams and rivers.  Native hunters certainly tracked deer here while the woman gathered wild blackberries and grapes.  Though The Wind Whisperer is based on a fictional tribe, I wanted it to feel as authentic as possible.  This meant doing lots of research and stealing facts from the Powhatans that once lived here. 

It was natural that my female protagonists have tattoos.  This was a normal fashion.  Tattoos were not only for beauty but symbols status and wealth.  Yes, Pocahontas wore tattoos.  My fictional tribe also lives in longhouses, just like the structures the Powhatan people lived in.  As with every tribe in the region, there’s a temple, a medicine man, beads for bartering, and lots of conflict!   

In doing research on the ancient locals, some things surprised me.  The Native Americans weren’t romantic at all—not in the sense that we think.  There are no displays of public affection.  I remember reading about one warrior who returned home after a very long absence.  When the couple first saw each other, instead of throwing themselves into each other’s arms, they gazed at each other for a very long time.  That was it—a deep soulful stare.  I had to do a lot of winging when I created this juicy love triangle.

One of the most important elements in my story is that my main character Anaii can “hear” the spirits of the wind talking.  Not such a stretch for a people who believe everything has a spirit—rock, tree, stream, ect… To Anaii, the spirits are a little like static on the radio.  They never stop talking and observing.  This makes Anaii extremely valuable to her tribe—it also causes lots and lots of conflict.  Hopefully as you read The Wind Whisperer, you’ll feel submerged in Native American life, and just maybe you may even channel a little Pocahontas.
About The Wind Whisperer:
At fifteen, Anaii is the most important member of her tribe—and the most mysterious.  Ever since Anaii can remember, the spirits of the wind have whispered of fertile hunting grounds and imminent enemy attacks.  But when her people are ambushed by a brother clan without any apparent cause, the spirits remain eerily silent.

As the village prepares to retaliate, Anaii is pressured by her best friend, Elan, to marry him.  It’s an old plea—Elan has spent a lifetime loving her, but Anaii only sees a childhood playmate out of an imposing warrior.  Stifled by Elan’s insistence, Anaii escapes into the forest where she meets Jayttin, the beautiful son of the enemy chief. 

Enamored by Jayttin’s carefree spirit and hope for peace, she repeatedly sneaks away to be with him, but when her deception is discovered, Elan is devastated.  Pledging his lifelong affection, Elan gives her a passionate kiss, and Anaii begins to see her friend in a new light. 

While Anaii is tormented over which man she must choose, the wind whispers of a new threat that could destroy both tribes.  Only a union will afford a chance at survival, but the reality of that union is based on one thing—which man Anaii chooses to die.
Krista's Blog | Goodreads
About the Author:
Merish, the completely illogical but heartfelt story of a girl who was part mermaid, part fish.  As a young mother, Krista added to her repertoire some middle grade readers and picture books she’s wary of mentioning. 
Krista has been writing since she was nine-years-old when she scribbled out her first adolescent work entitled
In 2004, Krista began an intensive four year period working part-time as a critical care nurse while homeschooling her four children.  During this hectic time, courses of writing were taught and learned, and rules of syntax were scolded to memory. Ironically this period of study equipped Krista with the tools she needed to enter the next phase of her writing experience. 
Now equipped with the mysteries of the comma, Krista was ready to tackle a much bigger project—a full-fledged novel.
After the kids were enrolled in public school in 2009, it occurred to Krista that there is an insatiable audience of women and girls who want to read books filled with stories about true love, not just vampires.  Convinced that there was an unfulfilled audience waiting for what she love to write—love stories, she sat down in the family’s dungeon, a.k.a. the basement, and began to furiously type.  In no time, her first novel was drying on crisp white paper. 
Krista currently resides in Montpelier, Virginia with her husband, four daughters, and an eccentric cat with a weird attachment to the family’s socks.  She is getting ready to release her second novel this fall and continues to write obsessively every chance she can get.