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My Writer's Journal

On becoming a writer: Part VII

Not just one new chapter began when we moved to Texas--a whole lot of ideas started popping up!

At first I was beset by homesickness for Albuquerque. We drove the 600 miles back "home" as often as our schedule allowed, a long drive across the Texas Panhandle and the eastern plains of New Mexico. One day we stopped in a Dairy Queen in the little town of Quanah, where in addition to a Blizzard I picked up a brochure on the local history. Quanah, I read, was the name of a Comanche chief; his father was a chief, and his mother was a white woman named Cynthia Ann Parker. She had been kidnapped from the Parker family compound in East Texas at the age of 9, had grown up with the Comanches, learned their language and customs, and married Peta Nacoma when she came of age. She had 3 children, including Quanah and a daughter named Topsannah. When Topsannah was an infant, a group of Texas Rangers seized mother and child and took them back to civilization. Cynthia Ann had been kidnapped a second time!

I was fascinated by this story, and set to work learning more about her and figuring out a way to tell the story myself--this would be my first attempt at writing historical fiction. WHERE THE BROKEN HEART STILL BEATS was published in 1992; it will be reissued in April with a lovely new cover. Click on the title listed under Selected Works to see it.
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