Thanks for stopping by the blog today. I’ve got Mia Fisher as a guest today talking about how her NABSU series came about.
And here’s Mia!
On occasion I am asked why I chose to write a mystery/suspense series regarding a Native American Behavioral Science Unit. Doesn’t the FBI already have its own Behavioral Science Unit? Yes, they do, and there are lots of mystery/suspense books out there that talk about Quantico and what goes on there. But having written about Native culture for twenty years and being married to a full-blooded Cheyenne/Lakota I was always interested in the insular bubble that was – and often remains – reservation life. I’d like to say that it was some lofty ideal about wanting to expose the high rates of unsolved crimes in Indian Country but – in the beginning – that wasn’t it at all.
Ultimately, we can blame my late husband. The first book in the NABSU series, Blood Roles, was his idea, not mine. We’d been watching CSI (Yes, I am a Grissom fan…) and Robert said something to the effect of “you know, it’s too bad there’s no type of behavioral unit or special officers for Indians because I think we kill each other for totally off the wall reasons. It would be cool if somebody could explain why skins do what we do.”. That comment piqued my interest. We totally ignored what we were watching and discussed what the ideal scenario would be for a special unit having to deal with Native American crimes. I started researching and before long I had enough material for not one book but six.
Reservation crime is not only extremely violent on numerous levels, it many times goes unsolved for the simple reason of the lack of manpower – that and the reality that many crimes are hidden under the guise of activism or because one family member wants to protect another. Unsolved rapes are rampant on reservations all over the country and while there’s only been one recorded Native serial killer with the FBI there are crimes on reservations that have yet to be solved because nobody wants to know the answers to the questions that the crimes raised. These facts alone easily led to the development of Blood Roles – a book I knew mainstream publishers wouldn’t touch with a ten-foot pole.
Having written Native based romance for years I knew how publishers felt about that particular genre and given that this wasn’t your average romance I was prepared for Blood Roles to be a hard sell, which, inevitably, it was. More than once I was told that readers weren’t interested in crime amidst Indians and just as many times I was shot down with the reality that some editors just didn’t like interracial romance, it makes them nervous in our politically correct world, especially when prejudices on the part of other cultures are revealed, and given Blood Roles subject matter reveals that and more it was an uphill battle all the way. Yet, the issue of killing over bloodlines aside, I knew that the story of Taylor and Andie would capture readers because they’re ultimately relatable. They’re real, so to speak. They’ve made their way in their worlds, built solid careers and suddenly find themselves having to face each other under bizarre circumstances. Ultimately, theirs is a romance built on familiarity, a familiarity that’s based upon Andie’s contempt for Taylor making a decision that upset both of their lives and her inability to completely forgive the man for his sheer stupidity. That and awesome sex.
It took close to a year but I finally found a fledgling publisher that was willing to publish Blood Roles. Everything was ready to go, there were big plans for the series – a book tour, public appearances, even a coveted script conversion was discussed. Then life got in the way. In 2011 my husband was diagnosed with a terminal illness and within three months he was gone. Everything was put on hold and once the dust settled from hospital, life support, funeral, family situations, and the like, I found myself having to gear up for book premier without the person who’d sparked the whole series in the first place. To say that was hard would be an understatement.
But I believed in Blood Roles, I believed in my characters and what they stood for. The NABSU series itself was a gamble and thankfully it paid off. My fans loved Blood Roles – I get at least twenty to thirty emails a week asking me when the next book hits the shelves. People are not only enamored with the relationship between Taylor, Andie and Marty; they’re captured by the harsh realities that surround the White River Killer case itself. In this day and age, that situation literally could be anywhere – not for the same reasons, of course, but ultimately, does a killer ever really need a reason? Blood Roles is a book that I highly recommend, not because I wrote it but because it will give the reader a view into a world they never even knew existed and might give them something to think about, especially since that world is not fictional.
Mia Fisher is a multi-published author who crossed over to the dark side from inspirational novels to write mystery/suspense. She lived in the Midwest for twenty years where she spent a lot of time dodging tornadoes, freezing to death every winter, and raising four children. After the death of her husband in 2011 Mia decided to move back to the East coast where she was born and raised, settling in the lovely – and warm – state of Florida. She lives on the Gulf Coast with her youngest child and a cat with evil intentions. For more information regarding Mia’s books, visit her website at www.miafisher.net.
Thanks for being here, Mia. The series sounds very interesting. Very sorry your husband wasn’t there for the premier. Popping over to your website to check out your books.
Until next time…