More About the Author
From childhood, an avid interest in human cultures and lifeways has driven me to read widely. Historical fiction was an early and constant love. Anything about nature and creation: astronomy, geology, botany, zoology, psychology, and most recently ecopsychology. Spirituality and religion:, my own Methodist Christian heritage, Judaism, astrology and theosophy, later eastern religions including Hinduism, Buddhism, meditation, New Age, then Process phiilosophy and theology. Mystery thrillers, science fiction and fantasy. Much of this while raising two children and working full time!
Then, family grown and the first grandchildren around, in the midst of a career in computer programming, I returned to college to complete my BA in Cultural Anthropology at age 50, then an MA in Anthropology with a concentration on the anthropology of religion.
It was during this time that I made my first foray into Central America, a quick 4-day tour in Yucatan: Merida, Uxmal, Chichen Itza and the sites of the Puuc. This tour is the background for my first published novel of the ancient Maya: Call of the Panther, with its New Age-ish time travel into the life of a young Maya woman from ancient Uxmal, looking for her destiny and that of her son, and her travels to Chichen Itza.
I fell in love with the Maya, particularly the ruins of Uxmal in their stately yet inviting whiteness. Returning home, I began reading voraciously about the Maya, both ancient and contemporary. I began learning about their fascinating hieroglyphic writing and the work of scholars, linguists and epigraphers to decipher its meaning. I attended glyph workshops to learn the basics, and found the marvelous Jaguar Tours led by the late Katherine Josserand and Nick Hopkins, extraordinary Maya linguists and epigraphers and marvelous tour guides throught the Central Americn jungles to the ruined sites of these fascinating ancient people, as well as to their contemporary communities, their handcrafts and rituals.
After completing my second novel about the Old Testament prophet Samuel, I began in earnest the story of the rulers of the ancient city-state of Yaxchilan, on the border between Guatemala and Chiapas Mexico. Their monuments and incriptions spoke to me of people alive centuries ago, living in the jungle, creating such beauty, meeting the struggles and joys of life in such different yet similar ways. The historical events of Yaxchilan extricated from the once-unreadable Maya script of their ancient inscriptions spoke of their values, beliefs and rituals, their politics and economics and the mystery of a missing ten years.
It was a saga begging to be unearthed, teased out of the strands of time, and I tackled it head on, bringing my anthropological understandings, the archaealogical findings of all Maya sites regarding residential patterns, foods, handcrafts, combined with knowledge of contemorary Maya lifeways. It has been a labor of love, and now, in April 2010, the first of the Siyah Chan series of novels is available to readers.