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Anne Hillerman - The Novel Of 'The Tale Teller'
by Mike Raccoon Eyes Kinney (ghostdancer1890 [at]
Tuesday Apr 9th, 2019 12:42 AM
Interview with New York Times best selling author Anne Hillerman
by Mike Raccoon Eyes Kinney

I looked at the clock and it was 1:00pm, time to place the call to Santa Fe in order to interview the great legendary author, Anne Hillerman.

On that day we discussed her new spellbinding novel: 'THE TALE TELLER', examining some the nuts and bolts of newest Leaphorn, Chee & Manuelito series. The press release gives an excellent overview of what of the legions of readers can expect in this superb crime mystery!

"Legendary Navajo policeman Lieutenant Joe Leaphorn takes center stage in this riveting atmospheric mystery from New York Times bestselling author Anne Hillerman that combines crime, superstition, and tradition and brings the desert Southwest vividly alive.

Joe Leaphorn may have retired from the Tribal Police, but he finds himself knee-deep in a perplexing case involving a priceless artifact—a reminder of a dark time in Navajo history. Joe’s been hired to find a missing bill, a traditional dress that had been donated to the Navajo Nation. His investigation takes a sinister turn when the leading suspect dies under mysterious circumstances and Leaphorn himself receives anonymous warnings to beware—witchcraft is afoot.

While the veteran detective is busy working to untangle his strange case, his former colleague Jim Chee and Officer Bernie Manuelito are collecting evidence they hope will lead to a cunning criminal behind a rash of burglaries. Their case takes a complicated turn when Bernie finds a body near a popular running trail. The situation grows more complicated when the death is ruled a homicide, and the Tribal cops are thrust into a turf battle because the murder involves the FBI.

As Leaphorn, Chee, and Bernie draw closer to solving these crimes, their parallel investigations begin to merge . . . and offer an unexpected opportunity that opens a new chapter in Bernie’s life."

I had my off-beat questions prepared for Anne as follows:

"Tell us more about Leaphorn & Louisa's relationship. Is there marriage in the future for them?''

AH- " Joe asked her once to marry him, she told him she had tried marriage once before & it didn't work. She has helped Leaphorn in some very difficult times in his life. By the same token Leaphorn is shifting a lot and wanting his independence. But there is a deep friendship between the two of them, a mutual respect! You see Louisa is a mature, independent, prickly woman who is highly compatible with Joe. But now the focus of the two of them in THE TALE TELLER is will their relationship survive"

" How did you approach your research on Navajo/ Dine cultural artifacts? "
(It might be noted here the one of the backdrops of Anne's novel centers around the Treaty of Bosque Redondo, was an agreement between the Navajo and the US Federal Government signed on June 1, 1868. It ended the Navajo Wars and allowed for the return of those held in internment camps at Fort Sumner following the Long Walk of 1864.The treaty effectively established the Navajo as a sovereign nation. )

AH- " The Navajo Museum in Window Rock planted the seed for THE TALE TELLER. It revolved around a dress that Asdza'a' Thogi made around 1864, she was also known as Juanita, the wife Chief Manuelito. Manuelito & Juanita were some of the leadership who brought back the Navajo to their homeland after the Long Walk of 1864 and the years of suffering at the Bosque Redondo prison camp! During that time Juanita had woven a biil, a traditional dress. It was viewed as very sacred artifact of the time. When it was on display at the Navajo Museum, thousands of Navajo came to view this sacred artifact from the time of the Long Walk of 1864. I think what was important about the Treaty of Bosque Redondo, was 7000 Navajo made it back to their homeland and today there are 300,000 Navajo, the signing of the treaty led to the emergence of the modern Navajo Nation."

" What was the most challenging part of writing your new novel? "

AH- " I was taking Leaphorn's story, along with Chee & Bernie's stories and weaving them all into parallel stories, I worked on it until I was satisfied. Once I was satisfied with it, I knew the readers would be satisfied!"

" Because of Leaphorn's brain injury, you have revealed his struggle to take command of the English language again. What was like writing those scenes knowing he had barriers in his speech?"

AH- " It was a challenge writing about Joe Leaphorn's learning to use the English language again Understanding his struggles from his brain injuries, I would write scenes so the reader would have compassion of what Joe was going through."

" We are starting to see more woman in law enforcement taking the lead in your novels. Do you think we will see Bernie working with & partnering with FBI Agent Sage Johnson in the future?"

AH- " I do. The two of them really got off to a rocky start But FBI Agent Sage Johnson acknowledges how smart & dedicated to law enforcement Bernie is. Bernie understands that Sage is an outsider in the Four Corners area, but is still a good law enforcement professional. I believe they will be more supportive of one another & doing more things as partners working cases with more cooperation!"

And with that the interview concluded and I was very satisfied I had a very successful interview with the legendary author Anne Hillerman! Anne's new novel is filled with suspense, with unseen twists and turns, the traditional versus the contemporary! It is such an excellent read where you will get out of bed in the wee hours of the early morning to get your Hillerman fix! You simply cannot put THE TALE TELLER down! This newly released Hillerman crime mystery novel must be viewed for what it is, simply the very best of all her Leaphorn, Chee and Manuelito series. Anne Hillerman must be seen as one of America's most beloved authors. THE TALE TELLER is powerful in it's essence and you will feel a great need to simply returning to re-read this novel over & over again! Anne's novel should be viewed as a great American classic! THE TALE TELLER come from the heartland of Navajo Country as only Anne Hillerman can write it!!
by Indybay volunteer
Thursday Apr 11th, 2019 1:47 PM
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