Tell us about your heroine — the female lead in your book.
What’s her name?
Why did you pick that name?
Tempe Crabtree was my great-grandmother’s name, unlike my great-grandchildren, I never had the privilege to meet her, though I did write about her in a book and heard many stories about her from my father. It seemed like the perfect name for my heroine.
Give us a brief description of how she looks.
Tempe is Native American, part of the Yanduchi branch of the Yokut Indians. (Yokut is a real tribe–Yanduchi is a made-up name though close to another tribal name.) She has long dark hair she wears in a single braid that she pins to the back of her head when working as a deputy. She’s tall, 5′ 8″, smart and intuitive.
Is there anything unusual about her appearance?
Though she has dark skin and hair, she has blue eyes.
Who does she love? Why?
Tempe is very much in love with her husband, Hutch Hutchinson who is the pastor of the local church. Tempe was a widow raising a teenaged son when she met Hutch. He filled a huge gap in both hers and her son’s life.
Of course she also loves her son, Blair, who she raised as a single mom from the time her CHP husband was killed when Blair was only 3.
Does this person love her?
Hutch was a widower and also lonely when he met Tempe. He loves her very much and is a true helpmate. He worries about the dangers of her job. And he often has a difficult time when she uses Native American mysticism as a means to find out the truth about someone or when she does something like calling back the dead.
Tell us about her family.
Her parents are no longer alive. But her Indian grandmother had a great influence on her life when she was a child. Now her family life revolves around Hutch and Blair, though Blair is away at college.
Where is she from? She was born and raised in Bear Creek, a mountain community in the Southern Sierra. (Sierra means mountain.) When her husband was killed, she returned to her home town, went to the police academy and became a deputy–eventually becoming the resident deputy of Bear Creek and its surroundings.
Does her hometown affect her behavior, thoughts and attitude?
Bear Creek is a small community and she knows most of the people who live there although more and more folks are moving up from Southern California–in some cases bringing big city crime along with them. As a teenager, she faced prejudice because of her Native American background. This prejudice she learned in an earlier book had been the reason she hadn’t embraced her heritage.
What does she want out of life?
To be the best deputy she can be, to keep the citizens of Bear Creek safe, and to help the detectives find the person who committed the crime.
What’s her biggest secret?
She doesn’t have a single big secret. Often she keeps things from her husband in order to keep peace in her marriage–which often backfires.
Did you write more than one story about her?
Kindred Spirits in number eight.
How would she describe you? As a sweet little old lady who is a good listener. I’ve done ride-alongs with female police officers who have bared their soul to me and some of their problems have become Tempe’s problems.
Is there anything else about your heroine that we need to know? Feel free to share.
The detectives she often has to work with think that because she’s an Indian, she can find out anything from other Indians. In Kindred Spirits they send her to Crescent City to interview relatives and friends of a murder victim she was a Tolowa even though Tempe has never heard of the Tolowa people. This drives her crazy, but is also the reason she gets involved in so many cases.
Please provide your website link.
What is the link to buy your book?
It was wonderful to meet her. Thank you for bringing her to meet us.
Thank you, Nikki, for having us. Marilyn