Monday, June 6, 2011

1881 Arizona & Mary Connealy, Author of Deep Trouble

Today I've asked fellow Nebraska author (yeah!) Mary Connealy to tell us about what it's like to be in deep trouble :-). I just retrieved my copy from my daughter, who gave it applause and a "thumbs up."

Deep Trouble follows Shannon Dysart on a search for a city of gold, the lost city of Quivera, which she believes is in the bottom of the Grand Canyon. She's on a quest to prove her father's
research isn't the work of a madman, and that he really did find treasure in the west.

Gabe Lasley is trying to keep her alive until she comes to her senses ... and then he plans on marrying her. With trouble on their back trail from the villains who still want Shannon’s map, the dream of gold coloring every decision Shannon makes, and Gabe’s surprising need to protect her, they set out to find a city of gold. Along the way they find that true treasure is rooted in love. And that was within their reach all along.

  • What artifact, place, historical event, or woman from history made you want to write this book?

Deep Trouble really began as a treasure hunt. X marks the spot, you know??? My heroine is searching for the Seven Cities of Gold, the Kingdom of Quivera. As I tried to figure out where in the world a city of gold might be hidden, I latched on to a long ago memory of a visit to the Grand Canyon. If someone wanted to really hide something, where better. My heroine's course is set and then the trouble begins. Deep Trouble.

  • What was the most surprising thing you learned about “the real story” while researching this book?

I did a lot of research about the history of the Grand Canyon and found out there were a lot of people, very early on who recognized it as a tourist treasure. It's so remote it's hard to believe someone would think travelers would come there, but Americans, even back then, had a great knack for figuring out how to profit from their hard work. The research I did about the Seven Cities of God struck me as being a mythological heaven on earth. Streets of gold. It made a wonderful contrast between the heroine looking for earthly wealth and the hero trying to get her to accept what was truly treasure here on earth. Love, family, faith.

  • Is there a historical photograph that inspired you you’d like to share?

My book begins in Mesa Verde, in Colorado. I slightly fictionalized Mesa Verde and didn't exactly pin point the location because I needed my cliff dwellings to be of a very specific design so someone could be trapped at the topmost cave simply by removing a ladder and Mesa Verde didn't do that for me, from what I could see in pictures. I've attached a picture of Mesa Verde to my email and if you'll look close there could be some caves high above the others, and if I was searching for gold in that place, I'd probably find a way to look in every nook and cranny.

  • What one non-fiction book helped you research the most (for those who want to learn more)?

For the Grand Canyon I relied heavily on The Man Who Walked Through Time by Colin Fletcher. Colin Fletcher is the first man to walk the length of the Grand Canyon. His first person reactions to the canyon were invaluable to me.

  • What spiritual encouragement did you draw from what you’ve learned?

Writing this book made me want to get out into nature. I spend so much of my life behind the computer researching. I'm trying to get out more, go to museums, visit locations, get my hands on things. It deepened my respect for the beauty God has created all around us and what a beautiful country we've been blessed with.


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