BB: Congratulations on your new book, Kim. What inspired you to write this novel?
Kim: Thank-you, I am really excited now that it is in print. I wrote the book in search of my own healing. Much of the book is based on true experiences.
BB: Are the characters in the book real people?
Kim: No, but they are based on experiences I have had with real people. The characters are real in the sense they feel that way to the reader. The issues are real, though. Like the Southwest water crisis and Tibetan politics.
BB: Is that why the book is considered reality fiction?
Kim: Yes, that and the book is very well researched. The history of the sacred sites as well as the science side of the book took years to research.
BB: I would like to talk about some of the sacred sites in your book. You write about faith and physics. Would you elaborate a bit more on this?
Kim: I could go on forever about this subject. Each sacred site has its own personality or Spirit of Place. One site may make you dream, another might rejuvenate you and give you boundless energy, another site may calm you and spark your creative side. The reason for this is that our brain chemistry is affected by the Earth’s energies. Take negative air ions for example, negative as in a battery charge. A negative ion is formed by an atom that gains an electron. If the atom lost an electron it would be considered a positive ion. Lots of negative air ions make you feel good. Lots of positive air ions make you fell edgy. Anyway, negative air ions are created by running water like waterfalls, a river or the ocean. Heck, even your shower creates them. Negative ions affect the neurotransmitter in our brains called serotonin. The more negative air ions in your environment the more serotonin is released by the brain. The more serotonin your brain pumps out the better you feel. That is all Prozac does is pump up the brain’s serotonin production. Think back at the times you stood by a waterfall or walked along the seashore. You felt calm and relaxed. That’s because your brain chemicals were being triggered by the Earth energies at that specific spot.
BB: What about dream sites?
Kim: The principle is the same. The physics at a dream site trigger the neurotransmitters in the brain that create vivid dreams. Oak Creek Canyon in Northern Arizona is a dream site.
BB: So, there all kinds of sacred sites?
Kim: Yes, there are all kinds of sacred sites that do all kinds of things to your brain chemistry. (Woo-hoo!) The geo-physics of the site determines the site’s individual personality and how it will affect those under its influence.
BB: Didn’t people think the sacred site craze was just some New Age fad, vortexes and such?
Kim: Yes, that and the tribal elder’s were either nuts or superstitious. I think it is great we finally know the scientific explanations why sacred sites effect us but before science caught up with this branch of knowledge we had the indigenous elder’s teachings to guide us. Unfortunately, some people thought it was all just a bunch of hocus pocus but if over the centuries thousands of people have vivid dreams at a particular place, it only makes sense that site would be considered a dream site, scientific proof or not! Most tribal people don’t need science to validate the power of a sacred site but if science can explain them to folks that do need that validation, well, that’s just fine. Either way, people get closer to Earth Mother and perhaps understand her better. With a better understanding, maybe we will treat her differently. Not be so quick to build a parking lot on a site that heals the sick, eh?
BB: OK, let’s switch gears here. I would like to know about the prophecies you talk about in your novel. Why did you include them?
Kim: I used the Hopi-Tibetan prophecies to help establish a relationship between these two nations of people. The prophecies are real. With all the buzz about 2012 it made sense to give them a nod especially since they fit into the storyline. Besides, when I was at Barringer Crater and saw the hole in the ground that the meteor had caused it got me to thinking how fragile we are in the face of the universe.
BB: Do you think the world will end in 2012?
Kim: No, I don’t but I am pretty sure it is going to end as we know it sometime in the future. Science has pretty much filled us in on the details. I figure, at best, we should live each day as if it were our last, yet at the same time, as if we have a hundred more birthdays to come!
BB: Tell me about the lessons in the book.
Kim: Ah, yes….the lessons. They come from elders from all walks of life who have given me and others good advice. They are the lessons that helped me heal. I wanted to share them with others with the hope that they would help someone else. They are powerful lessons, not easy but powerful. I tried to weave a story around them that showcased their meanings.
BB: I read your book and found the lessons intriguing and I liked the way they impacted the characters often coming full circle.
Kim: I especially tried to do that with Khandra and Kim, come full circle through the lessons because, in the end, their experiences were similar. Abuse is abuse in any language.
BB: About Khandra and Ji, where did you get the idea for their characters and experiences?
Kim: From real Tibetan nuns. Also, there was the 2008 earthquake in China that killed tens of thousands of people so it was not too much of a stretch to place Khandra in prison during a similar event. Her prison experience certainly is not far-fetched nor is the politics involved with it. That is one of the reasons the reader champions Khandra’s plight. Her life experiences are very real.
BB: The third culture in your storyline is Irish so may I assume you are Irish? And who is the character Miss Molly Martin based on?
Kim: I am Irish. That is correct. As for Miss Molly, the Irish grandmother, sometimes I think I created her to fulfill my alter-ego. She is so high spirited and spooky, in a good way, of course. When I get old, I want to be as spunky and as full of life as she is. Until then, I want her as an aunt.
BB: I don’t want to forget to ask about the recipes in the back of the book. I loved the way you wrote them into the story. Where did you get them? Do you have a favorite?
Kim: I love great food so in my travels when I come across a particularly wonderful recipe I ask for it, beg for it, at times. It was so much fun to weave the recipes into the story. The “Jalapeño Peanut Brittle” is by far my favorite! Folks love getting it at Christmas.
BB: Will you be touring with this book?
Kim: I will then I might settle down to finish the sequel.
BB: Will you give us a hint about it?
Kim: Sure, I am playing with the idea of taking some of the characters Down Under to Australia. Many of their issues are similar to ours like coal mining and the water crisis. The indigenous people of both continents have had similar colonization experiences and share a bond because of it. The sacred sites in Australia like Uluru and Kata Juta are awesome with interesting and powerful creative heroes. It is an adventure tale just waiting to happen.
BB: That sounds like another good story, I will look forward to reading it. I sincerely wish you the best of luck on your new book and I want to thank you for this interview. Is there anything else you might want to add before we close this up?
Kim: No, I don’t think so except to thank folks for their kindness and support. I am hearing about so many wonderful healing experiences happening to people because of the book I am in awe but then again, the lessons helped me so why wouldn’t they affect others in a similar manner. I am truly grateful for the experience Ancestors’ Wake has given me and I look ahead to a healthier, happier life because of it. My desire is that it will be that way for others, too. We are all swimming in the River of Life together so we might as well look around and see who is in there with us and celebrate!