1) Claire is an interesting girl. Her decision-making surprised me several times, and led me to wonder: do you think she might be borderline sociopathic?
An interesting idea, but I see Claire as an extremely damaged girl who has been betrayed and violated by those with power over her. Her suspicion of almost everyone, paranoia, and desperation aren’t neurotic; they’re well-earned. Her inner strength, however, is indomitable, and she survives despite everything her small world can dish out.
2) A lot of this book revolves around the relationships, and how people approach them. Were there any characters whose ideas about relationships turned and surprised you?
No, I’m not surprised by the things my characters do, although they so often veer from my carefully planned order of events. Their unexpected actions are the inevitable results of the characters themselves–their personalities, lives, experiences, etc. They are so fully formed in my mind that I just go with it and let them have their ways!
3) What sparked your interest in Native Americans and their culture?
I grew up in Oklahoma and like many Okies I have Native American blood in my veins, in my case Cherokee. That might have sparked my interest initially. I have always been fascinated with the most ancient Americans. I have traveled to the ruins of their habitats, collected their pottery, and studied their languages. When I encountered the Nuxalk in a college linguistics class I had to know more and visited Bella Coola. The place seemed the perfect setting for a mystery.
4) What’s in the future for your writing? Any current projects?
I’m eight chapters into the second Marcus Chao mystery, A Premature Death, and have rough ideas for the third.
Lane Stark has had three enduring passions through her life: travel, art, and the written word. She has traveled the world, lived abroad in both Europe and Asia, and experienced many cultures. She holds a B.A. and M.A. in linguistics, has studied eight languages, and recently ended a career as a graphic artist. She has now turned her creative attentions to full-time writing and leisure-time photography. Travel provides a wealth of inspiration for books, and she finds herself weaving tales around the people she meets and the places she explores. She and her husband have indulged their love of the vagabond life by moving into an RV full-time and following the roadways to new adventures. She is currently working on a second novel featuring RCMP Inspector Marcus Chao, A Premature Death.