5Q :: New novel series mixes Anasazi Indian facts, fiction“Anasazi Intrigue” author Linda Weaver Clarke values history as much as she does the art of the written word.
Linda Weaver Clarke values history as much as she does the art of the written word. This much is apparent when you check out her handful of releases — including the recently released “Anasazi Intrigue” — as she strives to work into her narratives substantial bits of information.
Recently the Budgeteer caught up with the Utah writer and history buff to learn a little bit more about her new book and book series:
First of all, what is your new book, “Anasazi Intrigue,” about?
It’s about a devastating flood that takes out several homes in a small town, the importance of preserving ancient artifacts and a few puzzling and mysterious events. Julia is a reporter, and when she finds out about a possible poison spill that kills some fish and neighbors’ pets, she has a feeling that something isn’t quite right. Before she realizes what is happening, Julia finds out that this incident is much bigger and more dangerous than she thought. With dead fish, a devastating flood and miscreants chasing John and Julia, they have their hands full.
What prompted you to write about the Anasazi Indians?
I find the subject intriguing: Who were they, where did they come from, how did they live? Indian art painted or engraved in rock gives us an idea who the Anasazi were, their beliefs and lifestyle. Many people wonder why the Anasazi Indians disappeared, leaving behind their belongings and valuables. Where did they go and why? No one has the answer. There is much speculation about what might have happened.
Some think the reason is because they were not obeying the rules of the clan, such as showing reverence and respect to God and attending religious ceremonies so the people lost favor in God’s eyes and were “swept away.”
In my research, I learned the importance of a Kiva, which is a spiritual place for teaching and learning.
There are other assumptions about why they disappeared; some archaeologists believe that discord and tribal violence caused abandonment of the villages.
In my research, I found that archaeological thievery is becoming more and more of a problem every year. When an ancient ruin is discovered, it doesn’t take long for thieves to find out about it. Did you know that an ancient funeral pit can be sold for $60,000 on the black market? Not to mention all the pottery, baskets, and pendants found by looters. It’s a very interesting subject, and I enjoyed learning so much in my research.
What can you tell us about your family legacy workshops? Why do you think it’s so important people write down their family histories?
I teach people how to take their family history or their own autobiography and turn it into interesting stories.
It’s important to teach our children their heritage. They need to be proud of their ancestors. I teach people how to put their stories down in an interesting way. I love what Leon Garfield said: “The historian, if honest, gives us a photograph; the storyteller gives us a painting.”
That’s what I do. I teach people how to paint their stories, how to be a storyteller.
I also encourage them to do research, to find out what their ancestors were really like, where they lived and what it was like during that time period. Adults are usually the main audience, but I’ve attracted many teenagers who want to learn how to write. In fact, one library sponsored my workshop for a group of troubled teens. Writing helps to express one’s innermost feelings. It can be a healing process. To learn more about what I teach, and read sample stories of my ancestors, you may visit my Web site at www.lindaweaverclarke.com.
You finished up college as a “non-traditional” student after your children began their own lives — do you ever think you got more out of college (compared to your younger classmates) because you weren’t so concerned about dating and so on?
Wow! What a wonderful experience I had! Yes, I believe that I took college more seriously than I did when I was young. At first I felt out of place, but the young students were so accepting and sweet to me. That made it a joy to be around them. I’m so grateful that I went back to college and got my degree. In fact, I went back at the same time as my third daughter was going to college, so we took a few classes together. She made it fun for me.
Finally, what’s next for you? Is another novel in the works?
Oh yes! I have always been intrigued with the Mayan culture. Who were they, what were their beliefs and why did they abandon such magnificent structures in southern Mexico? I always enjoy putting a little history in each of my novels to educate my readers. The mysteries of the Mayan people have intrigued archaeologists for many years. My second mystery in this series is called “Mayan Intrigue” and will be released in about 4 or 5 months. There will be four books in this mystery series that deal with similar subjects.
NEWS TO USE
Purchase Linda Weaver Clarke’s “The Adventures of John and Julia Evans: Anasazi Intrigue,” as well as her older books, at www.lindaweaverclarke.com. While there, you can also read some of the author’s short stories and sample chapters from her books.