Young Adult Paranormal, Romance, Fantasy, and Nonfiction Books
The inspiration for Cree's cabin is drawn from my cabin which was built around 1909. There is no insulation in the walls, but the walls are three boards thick and milled from an old saw mill that used to be in production around the turn of the century (1900). Cree's cabin is a log cabin, but I took inspiration from my own.
The mist in Dogwood Forest is very real, and very thick. It hides everything and envelopes even more. It is a constant companion at 6,000 feet elevation, and it's so cold it stings your face.
The inspiration for Cree's fox fur cape is actually drawn from my fur cape - it's the warmest wrap I own and I felt it was just to give Cree her own.
Snowfall is a regular occurrence in the forest and it's something Cree is very used to. Snow is a lot of work - shoveling, bringing up the wood for the woodstove, caring for animals and making sure heavy snow laden trees don't fall on the cabin are just a few things Cree deals with in the forest. In fact, most people who live in the forest do the same thing.
Bear tracks. Tracking bears and mountain lions, deer and fox is fairly easy in the snow, but on dry ground it's much harder. Cree has a mentor who taught her much of what she knows, but some things you have to learn yourself and Cree is all too familiar with the harsh realities of the forest. These are bear tracks from in front of our cabin. He's a big guy!
One thing the forest has are its legends... And sometimes those legends are actually based on truth. Finding large tracks that measure 15 inches long and 8 inches wide, hearing minute long howls/screeches, and low deep growls that reverberate through the chest - these are the legends of Bigfoot or Forest People. Many who live in the forest know the truth and many in the forest won't speak about it. Sightings, tracks, and legends... They are the inspiration for My Name Is Cree.
The wind pushes through the tall cedars and oaks and can sometimes feel like it's speaking to you. Voices carry, howls last longer, owls screech and swoop by, and the mist can play tricks on the forest dweller. Cree knows these things all too well.
The legends of Bigfoot and Forest People always mentions tree knocks - a series of three loud knocks that thump hard against trees. They're usually a hollow echo sound and they warn people who get too close to their path or their dwelling places to turn back, or to stop and turn around. Some say these are legends but Cree knows just how real they are.
Old structures, hidden places, areas that time has forgotten are peppered throughout the forest and mentioned throughout Cree's story. They were places that once held people and life and their stories, but they have faded from memory and now are left to those who find them to reconstruct their histories. Cree knows how the forest can swallow people and make them disappear like they never existed. She's very aware of the dangers. So are the Tore Warriors... These are the legends of the forest. The legends that inspire author T.K. Richardson.
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