Vampires, werewolves, and Native Americans, oh my! Wait, backtrack a moment. Native Americans have no place in paranormal literature—or do they? This is something I wondered while preparing to write a paranormal romance about a fifteen-year-old Native American girl who can communicate with the wind spirits. Since writing The Wind Whisperer I’ve learned a lot about Native American culture. It doesn’t matter how we would catalog a novel about Native Americans—the ancient natives did believe in things we would consider paranormal.
One thing that struck me in my pre-writing research was just how superstitious the ancient Native Americans really were. Most tribes believed in a variety of demi-gods that had the ability to either grant favors or punish at will. The jealous and angry gods needed to be pacified on a regular basis and required a regular tribute at the temple. The demi-gods were also known to make an occasional hair-raising encounter among the humans.
I also learned that there were those individuals who were elevated in status for their great magic. A tribal medicine man was revered for his ability to heal the sick and appeal for help from the “Great Spirit”. A priest’s job might be to create rain through prayer, drumming, and burning incense. If the priest got tired of trying to capture the rain god’s attention, he might recruit an apprentice to take over. Whichever man produced rain would be forever celebrated for his great magic. The superstition goes on and on. A crow flying east in the morning might mean good luck while a bone figurine would hold a powerful protection against an enemy.
One of the most important Native American beliefs for my novel, The Wind Whisperer, was the idea that everything has a spirit. This includes: rocks, trees, squirrels, and even the wind. It wouldn’t have been such a stretch for the natives to believe that one of them might be able to hear what the wind spirits were saying. Anaii, my teen protagonist has heard the wind spirits talking for as long as she can remember. One moment she may learn that the raccoons are rooting through the trash, the next moment she may learn that an enemy is preparing to attack. This gift makes Anaii the most valuable member of her tribe—and the most unlikely.
You won’t find any werewolves or vampires in The Wind Whisperer but you will find a Native American culture that’s packed full of mysticism and superstition. You may disagree that Native Americans have a place in paranormal literature, but there’s one dispute you will lose—Native American culture is absolutely magical.
Krista Holle is an award winning author who stepped up her writing after reading Stephanie Meyer’s Twilight series. It occurred to Krista that there is an insatiable audience of women and girls who want to read books filled with stories about true love—not just vampires. When Krista is not writing, she loves to collect seashells, watch movies, and eat obscene amounts of pizza. Krista currently resides in Montpelier, Virginia with her husband, four daughters and an eccentric cat with a weird attachment to the family’s socks.
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