Guest Blogger: Carol Ann Didier

chandler-seated.jpgDear Reader, 

Someone asked me how I became so interested in our Native American Indians and this was my reply—“At 12 years-of-age, I fell in love with a dead Jewish actor who played a dead Indian”. 

It was the movie star Jeff Chandler who played the part of the Chiricahua Apache leader, Cochise, in the movie BROKEN ARROW made in the l950’s.  After that every term paper or book report I did in school was about our westward expansion and Apache Indians.   

broken-arrow.jpgMany years later, I went to work for the producer of The PTL Club televisions show in North Carolina.  We started doing a series of shows we called Days: Truckers of America Day, Italian American Day, Athletes of America Day, etc..  I asked my boss if we could do something on American Indians and have a Native American Indian Day show for them.  He said to research it because he didn’t know anyone working with American Indians and that if I checked it out and it looked promising, he would see what we could come up with. 

Well, I knew of a work in Farmington, NM, and I’d read a heart-wrenching story of a Cheyenne girl named “Crying Wind,” that had touched my heart. It was the story of a teenage girl who when ran away from home and the reservation to try to make it in the white man’s world.  Trying to fit it, she died her hair blond, dressed older, (she was under 16), and did a lot of things that had bad consequences for her until a Presbyterian Minister came into her life.  He turned her to Jesus, who healed her broken spirit, and made a big difference in her life.  So armed with these two people, the missionary in Farmington and Crying Wind, I went back to my boss and presented them to him. 

In the meantime, someone had found a father and daughter singing team called “Pam and Tom Thumb,” and we did our “Indian Day Program.” Unfortunately, for me and for the show, it did not go over well. But through that program, a missionary working with Apaches in Cibicue, AZ wrote to my boss and said she knew some more things that God was doing with American Indians and if we ever did another an Indian Day Program, would we please contact her for more information. Needless to say, my boss did not want to hear anything more about Native Americans, but I truly felt the letter had come for my benefit anyway, so I took it home and answered it and the missionary and I became friends.   

cochise.gifFor the next ten years I spent all my summer vacations with her on the Apache and Navajo Reservations and attend Native American Pastor convocations. I met many wonderful Apache and Navajos, as well as people from many other tribes.  I was grieved and touched by their poor living conditions on the reservations and was appalled that we would let the real First Americans live like that in this day and age.  That started my empathy and love for them as a people. 

carol_didier_webblurbpic.jpgOne day in l982 while my son and I were getting ready for work and school, a famous romance writer was on GOOD MORNING AMERICA, discussing her latest best seller.  I turned to my son as we passed each other in the living room and I said: “I’ve read her books and I know I could write one every bit as good as hers.”  

And my son said, “If you can, do it,” putting the dare before me to write a historical novel.  So I took him up on it and I wrote the first book in three months.

It is a romantic historical saga about an Eastern Baltimore belle and an Apache warrior caught up in a taboo love that has the power to heal or harm a broken people.  Set in historical SE Arizona of l860-1880, Apache Warrior proves love knows no color, creed or race.  It happens in the heart, when and where you least expect it and if allowed to grow, can conquer differences in culture, hatred and personal loss.  

carold.jpgKensington has asked for a second book on another tribe and setting, so I have started the second book.  It will feature a Navajo medicine man and a pastor’s daughter from Virginia.  I hope you will look for it in 2009.   

Thanks for taking the time to read my posting.  I hope you will enjoy APACHE WARRIOR. I’m giving away one copy of it to someone who posts a comment or a question. Good luck!

Carol Ann   

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30 thoughts on “Guest Blogger: Carol Ann Didier”

  1. What a wonderful blog. I agree about the love statement “love knows no color, creed or race. It happens in the heart, when and where you least expect it and if allowed to grow, can conquer differences in culture, hatred and personal loss”. I made pretty much the same statement when Beverly Jenkins was a guest blogger. Has the famous duet The Judds sing “Love Can Build A Bridge”. Love is a powerful tool, it can be a wonderful, warm, fuzzy feeling then at times that same love can be so heart wrenching.

    But it is true that the best commandment that Jesus left us was “to love one another as I have loved you”. Jesus is and always will be the greatest example of love. There are no words to express what Jesus did for us. Then again words aren’t needed is actions showed it all.

    Sorry I am rambling on. Have a great day.

  2. Hi Carol Ann!

    I had the pleasure of meeting Carol Ann at a dinner a few months ago and she’s a sweet, funny, lovely lady with obviously excellent taste in male movie stars. I also spent many hours sighing and drooling over the incredibly sexy Jeff Chandler as Cochise. 🙂

    Carol Ann, I’m thrilled to see that beautiful cover with your name front and center. I haven’t read the book yet because, unfortunately, my local stores didn’t stock it but it’s on my growing order list at Amazon and I *will* be reading it soon!

    You said, “It happens in the heart, when and where you least expect it and if allowed to grow, can conquer differences in culture, hatred and personal loss.” What a beautiful statement and how much better this world would be if more people believed in it.


  3. wow…thanks for that wonderful blog! I love history and I am fascinated with Native Americans and there history as well.

    I love to read well written novels about Native Americans also.

    It seems like you have some very interesting experiences in your life and that you’ve something creative with those experiences! I will certainly look forward to one day reading APACHE WARRIOR!

  4. Great post. I have always been fascinated with Native American culture and history. Apache Warrior sounds good.

  5. Hi Carol Ann!

    Thanks for blogging today!!

    I’ve just started your wonderful book and I have some questions about your research.
    How did you find out how much it cost to take a stage coach from Boston to Arizona?
    Also, how did you learn all the info about the way the Apache boy is raised to be a man? It was fascinating. Did most of the Apache info come from one book, many books, talking to people on your travels or from other fiction books you read?

  6. Carol, that is a great story and it makes me want to read your book even more! (Which is still on its way from Amazon.) I love when an author has a deep seated love for their subject – that kind of passion never fails to make a great read.

  7. I found your post fascinating about how you became interested in Native American Indians and all that has come of it. Wonderful Post I live here in N.C. and remember the PTL club. I love the cover of your book Apache Warrior!

  8. Hi Carol, thanks for coming to visit us today. I really enjoy reading books about the Native American Indians. I have a little Indian in me, I think we all do. Live was really hard for the Indian, I think that is why I enjoy reading all the history about them.

  9. I am among those who, back in the day, greatly
    admired the work of Jeff Chandler, especially in
    his role as Cochise. I look forward to reading
    Apache Warrior.

    Pat Cochran

  10. Thanks for a great blog. My sis is the huge NA book lover in my family, but what’s not to appreciate in a NA hero? I appreciate when authors do credible research for their works, knowledge and love of subject sure shines through!

  11. Thanks for a great blog! I absolutely became enamored of NA culture and the wrongs done to them during my career as a teacher of American Lit. The Iroquois Constitution is the model for our own…I didn’t know that until I taught it! Reading Burying My Heart at Wounded Knee changed my life. Best of luck in your career with NA heroes!

  12. Hi Carol Ann, welcome to P&P! We’re so thrilled to have you. You prove that a person can do anything they want if they try hard enough and persevere. Good for you. Your book looks fascinating and I’ll bet the next one will also. Come back and visit us again some time.

  13. Thanks for sharing today… I have Lenape Indian in my family history, but know almost next to nothing about them. Maybe I should look into it a bit!!! 🙂

  14. How good for you and us that you took your son up on his challenge. The history is very fascinating. I too used to watch the PTL Club show.

  15. What a great way to start a writing career, Carol Ann! You achieved what you knew you could do. And best wishes on the writing of your second book.

    You said: “Apache Warrior proves love knows no color, creed or race.” That’s an important theme for all time.

  16. What an interesting story. I don’t know very much except what I’ve seen on the history channel about Native Americans.

  17. Great post! I have been fascinated with Native American culture and history for a long time and I have read about so many facinating people like Ishi and Waheenee. I even took a course in Native American history when I was an exchange student in the States. And in this world that has grown so small you can run into Native Americans even here in Finland and in this small place I live in.

  18. I have always enjoyed books about native Americans.
    I saw the movie about Cochise, starring Jeff Chandler when it first came out. I also fell in love with him.

  19. As much as I love the cowboy, I’m more fascinated with the Indian. There are so many different cultures but yet the same. I think I like a lot of their beliefs more than what is seen today. Besides, they weren’t given a fair shake and I always like to route for the underdog.

  20. Carol, what a fantastic blog! I love the Indian culture and there’s nothing better than to read a book where the author is so keen on the history. Congrats on your release–I can’t wait to get out of Deadlineville (TOMORROW!) and read the book!

  21. Enjoyed the comments. Growing up here in Arizona, I have many friends who are Navajo and know about their culture and beliefs.
    I must admit I have yet to read one of your books, so have added your name to my TBR list.

  22. To all the wonderful ladies who posted a note to me. Thank you so very much. It was wonderful to hear from you and to know you share my interest in the real First Americans. For those who have Indian bloodlines, I envy you, I’m just of the “Wannabe” tribe, myself. Yes, a lot of research was done and it is so easy for me to get caught up in the research. I loved it and I loved visiting the actual sites in the book as well. As for finding out the cost of a stage coach run, in one book on the old west, I found a poster that advertised the rate for a ticket on the Butterfield Stage, neat what you can find if you look hard enough. Thanks again, ladies, it was my first time to blog and I was terrified.
    Carol Ann

  23. Hi Carol Ann. So glad others are as fascinated by Indian cultures as I. What a people…still are. My area is Texas and Comanche. Somewhere in my father’s side there’s reported Comanche blood. And of course I was born in Central Texas, so I saw firsthand the hardships of ranch life.
    Thanks for posting.

  24. Never imagined I would enjoy a book about the Old West so much. Heard about your book from a most enthusiastic friend. SHE WAS RIGHT!! How very beautiful and detailed a story. You are drawn into their lives and problems by the careful weaving of the backgrounds and history of each. I was enthralled by the culture of the Apache. Your attention to detail is worthy of kudos. It is so obviously a labor of love. How I hope there is another book continuing the saga of these fascinating, richly-drawn characters. Great work!

  25. Dear Carol Ann, thanks for the updates and the continued interesting reading….My husband and I live on family property that we have traced back to its’ original name which is actually called “Indian Run” recorded in our local courthouse records. We also have native American ancestry as does my husband. Take care and keep up the good work and we wish you much success. Sincerely, Julietta V. F. Atwood

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