Friday, October 27, 2017

Yesterday I was asked  "How did you write this book?"

In point of fact, I wrote it by hand, then I typed it on a typewriter, then I used my computer. But even then I wasn't done with the book. This one had the longest gestation of any novel I've ever written. I started writing it in 1978. I finished writing it in 2016.

I think the reason it took so long to complete is that I wanted answers to some of the questions I had asked in the first draft. It took a good many years for those answers to come to fruition. I had a lot of help from my Navajo, life-long friend, Jay (Joogii) Degroat. He, more than anyone, kept me on my toes and kept the story going, little by little, while I took copious notes and added them to the novel.

Anne Hillerman wrote that the story kept her up with the lights on at night. She said, "If you're hungry for a book to keep you up past bedtime -- with all the lights on -- this tale is for you ... this is New Mexico's own X File anchored in Hausman's elegant prose and finely tuned descriptions of the Southwestern landscape."

Peter Eichstaedt wrote, "... then he draws deep from his well of knowledge of Navajo story and culture. (Think Tony Hillerman on steroids.) This is more than a novel. It's an experience you won't forget and it will leave you hungry for more."

I feel that I have done what my karma commanded as a witness to some of the mysterious events of our hemisphere -- ghosts, werewolves, bizarre animal mutilations "extraterrestrials and crafty coyotes" as Peter has written. Maybe the weirdest moment in the book, for me, anyway, was when I was trapped in a fissure in the Grand Canyon. I found myself swimming in stone, not knowing if I was conscious or dreaming. The Supai man who saved me was amused. As if such a thing happened all the time.

Maybe so, maybe so. The next two novels are in the works, and if I get trapped in stone, I hope it will be between the front and back cover ... buried in words.