Welcome to Christine Rice, this week’s inspiration award winner. She’s writing about her paranormal, historical fiction book, Blue Valley. Welcome Christine!
Everyone has a story they have to get off their chest, and for me, Blue Valley was that story.
It began in (gack) 1988, when I was a directionless artist, and decided to apply for an Archaeology fellowship with a distant university. I didn’t care where it was, I was just yearning for an adventure, some productive reason to leave my house and my city and do something no one else was doing. I hoped to get sent to the Middle East, but I got sent to California to dig up the least known, least visited, California mission. Soledad.
I was an emotionally immature, culturally sophisticated girl from Brooklyn, plopped in the middle of America’s salad bowl for six weeks of historical investigation.
Well, I can’t tell you much about the California missions, even though I live in Los Angeles now, but I can tell you about farming. I was enchanted by the place. The weather, the water, the earth, the people. Nothing had prepared me for the way farm country looked, felt or smelled, and I learned not just the practicalities of the business from the people that lived there, but who they were and what was important to them. I saw a place that looked desolate to my over-stimulated mind, but was actually rich in history and culture.
Then I went home and forgot everything for, I don’t know, five or six years.
When I decided to start writing, one of the first things I wanted to write about was Soledad, but I didn’t know how. I tried drama, I tried a thriller. I tried horror. I tried to let the place tell me the story it wanted me to tell. But there was nothing, and I went on to write other things.
On a visit to Northern California, I was describing to my soon-to-be husband my trouble in writing about such a rich, storied place, and it came to me. My trouble was that I was treating Soledad like a location.
It’s not a location. It’s a character. And it’s been that way ever since.
Blue Valley: The Elementals
At the outset of World War 2, with the government terrified of Japanese sabotage, Will Leary is sent to California to investigate a spreading, deadly blue soil. When he falls in love with the magical woman who is unwittingly causing the destruction, he must decide between science and his soul.