When I decided to write about vampires I knew I wanted them to live in a secluded and mysterious locale. My original plan was to set this book in some exotic place like a Greek island or the beautiful country of Montenegro (still a possibility in a future book in this series). Then I started thinking about all the places I had studied while doing research for my other books, or the places I had actually visited.
The most extensive research trip I’ve ever taken was when I was writing my third and fourth historical romances, Savage Dreams and Apache Tigress in the early 1990s. Those books were about the Jicarilla Apache who lived in Arizona. I was so fortunate to know a wonderful lady who had once been a teacher at the White Mountain Reservation in Arizona. When I asked her if she would tell me about the area she said, “Let’s just go there.”
We loaded up my two youngest kids (ages seven & thirteen at the time) in the car and took off on a road trip from Colorado to Arizona that turned out to be an extraordinary adventure for all of us. My awesome friend, Jan Johnston, took us to places on the reservation I’m sure most tourists never have a chance to see up close. We explored everything from remote desert rock formations covered in shiny black stones called ‘Apache Tears’ to ancient ruins that can only be seen from a certain spot on the reservation.
During one of our excursions, we stopped at a MacDonalds in the town of Apache Junction, about 35 miles from Phoenix. I was looking out the window when a rugged looking mountain range off in the distance caught my attention. I asked my friend about them and she told me they were the Superstitions, and were also the location of the legendary Lost Dutchman Goldmine.
Since I loved reading anything historical about the American West, I had heard of the Lost Dutchman Goldmine. However, I didn’t know a lot of the details regarding the mine or the history of the area. Looking at the spooky mountains from inside that fast food restaurant, though, my imagination was fueled with the idea of what a great setting they would make for a book. At the time, I was consumed with writing my two historical Apache romances, which took place on the White Mountain Reservation and in Mexico. But, I told myself someday I would write those creepy mountains into a future book.
Seven more books followed my two book Apache series, and truthfully, I sort of forgot about using the Superstitions as the setting in one of my books. Occasionally, I would come across an article, or see something on TV about the mysterious disappearances that have been occurring in those mountains for the past couple of centuries, or someone who had found something that might be a clue to the location of the goldmine. Then my interest in this area would flare up again.
Around the time I decided to write about vampires, there were a couple of shows on TV about significant new discoveries that were drawing attention to the Lost Dutchman Goldmine again. I remembered how menacing those mountains had seemed to me over two decades earlier. Immediately I knew I had found the perfect location for my new book.
Sadly, my beautiful friend, Jan, passed away long before I started writing Superstition. I wish I could share with her the exciting news that I finally wrote about those mountains that I found so intriguing all those years ago on our remarkable trip. But, I have no doubt she knows.
Tomorrow I will talk about my hero and heroine. Thank you for joining me on this journey.
Now available for pre-order in eBook and paperback! Watch for news about the release of the audio book. Release date: June 9, 2017