People often ask me why I’ve set two of my novels in Canada while I live in down south in Texas. I guess the simple answer is I love the remote wilderness and Canada has plenty of it. It is also rich with Native American legends about mysterious creatures that inhabit those woods. My novel Dead of Winter is set in Ontario and builds an epic mystery around the Wendigo legend.
My new novel The Devil’s Woods is set in the Rocky Mountains of British Columbia. In the novel, there’s an ancient forest that exists at the back of a Cree Indian reservation that is completely unknown to most of the world. But the Cree people have feared it for centuries. They call it Macâya Forest. Animals stay clear of it too. The townspeople of a nearby logging town called Hagen’s Cove know that those woods are responsible for the countless people who have been disappearing around those parts since the 1800s.
My story’s main character is Kyle Elkheart. He’s half Cree and was born on the reservation. When he was a child, his parents got divorced and his white mother moved Kyle and his brother, Eric, and sister, Shawna, to Seattle to live with an abusive stepfather. Now, all three of the Elkheart kids are adults trying to make it in the world. When they learn that their Cree father has disappeared, Kyle and his brother and sister fly a seaplane to the Canadian wilderness. Traveling with them are Eric’s girlfriend, Jessica, and Shawna’s boyfriend, Zack. When the five arrive at the Cree village set deep in the wilderness, Kyle begins to see clues to an unsolved mystery that spans decades and he learns the real reason why his tribe fears Macâya Forest.
As for why I write about Canada ... well, while living in Texas is nice, we don’t have mountains here and there are no ancient forests where man has not tread. I once traveled to British Columbia, visiting Vancouver and Whistler and I’ve hiked around the Rocky Mountains. The mountain country north of the U.S. border is breathtaking and a beautiful place to visit in my mind as type at my keyboard in Dallas. The Canadian wilderness is also so vast and remote that it’s ominous when you find yourself far away from civilization. The native tribes feared the legendary creatures of the forest. And if you enter the Devil’s Woods, you will discover there are some places in the world where man is considered prey.
The Devil's Woods is now available at Amazon and everywhere books are sold.