The Story Behind the Writing of PROUD WOLF’S WOMAN

Good Morning/Afternoon/Evening!

Thanks for joining me here today.  Let me say upfront that I will be giving away a free book today — I’m experimenting with giving away ebooks — so far I haven’t figured it out, so I might still be giving away mass market books — but I will be giving away another book to some blogger today — so come on in and please leave a comment in order to enter the contest.

I thought I’d tell you a bit about the writing of the book, PROUD WOLF’S WOMAN today.  This book has only recently been issued as an ebook — and this cover is probably my favorite cover of all of these ebooks.  I love them all (the covers), but this one particularly touches my heart.

PROUD WOLF’S WOMAN was a book that was written at a time in my life when things weren’t going too well.  I’ve already blogged about the writing of GRAY HAWK’S LADY and how that book was written as I met and fell deeply in love with my husband, Paul.  Unfortunately PROUD WOLF’S WOMAN’s story isn’t quite so bright, I fear.  At this time in my life, I’d recently gone through a divorce and had returned to California where I hopped straight into a relationship that was anything but a good one.  However, I didn’t realize that at the time, and so stayed in the relationship prehaps beyond what I should have.

Believe it or not it was the writing of this book that opened my eyes to what my heart and mind were refusing to see.  (This is the book that I had written before I met and married my husband, Paul, whom I love so very much.)

Off to the left here is a picture that was taken just a little bit later than this time period in my life — I’m the one sitting down on the far right in the white jacket.  Anyway, back to my story.  I was in the middle of writing PROUD WOLF’S WOMAN and it wasn’t going very well due to many different elements in my life that just weren’t right.  But it was a scene near the beginning of the book that opened my eyes to what was going on around me.  I know that sounds funny, but I guess sometimes we don’t always really realize things until it hits us square in the face.  In this very telling and important scene the heroine, Julia, is talking with her husband, Ken, in flashback, I believe.  In this scene Ken is saying some horrible things to Julia.  Really horrible — and all those words came directly out of the mouth of this man who was in my life at that time.  Actually I had to go back and revise that scene because what was really said was doubly worse than what was written.  I edited it because I thought that it would probably seem unreal to others that someone could say such horrible things to another human being.

Over to the right is another picture that was taken about that time (I don’t have many pictures that were taken at this period in my life).  And this picture was taken almost a year later.  Anyway, back to my story.  It was the writing of that scene and the fact that my hero in the book, Neeheeowee, a friend of Julia’s, was going to save her and bring love to her.  Not her husband, Ken — a terrible man — but rather Julia’s friend from the past, Neeheeowee.  It was this realization and a few other incidents that happened around that time that decided me.  This relationship broke up very, very shortly after the writing of that scene. 

Off to the left here is a picture taken about 2 years after the incidents that I am describing above — this was taken at an RWA convention in Florida way back when — and I’m here with friend, Catherine Snodgrass.

Now you may wonder — if this time period produced such a terrible example of mankind — who did I pattern the hero after?  Here I was fresh out of a divorce, and having jumped into a soul-destroying relationship. 

Well, similar to the heroine in the story, I had a friend at this time who was never unkind to me, who liked me and never judged me, and who always took my side in most everything.  Although never romanctically involved, the hero in the story took on many of the different characteristics of my friend.  Also at this time period in my life, my friend needed a friend, and I became that to him.

In the story of PROUD WOLF’S WOMAN, both the hero, Neeheeowee (Proud Wolf — translated literally “Wolf on the Hill”) and the heroine, Julia, bring a better life to each other through happenstance, through love and through commitment to their friendship, which in the story, itself, becomes a deep, lasting love.  When I first saw this ebook cover of PROUD WOLF’S WOMAN, I was so struck by how this cover brought this story to life.  For me this cover says more than mere words what is felt between these two courageous people in this story. 

It’s sometimes said that truth is stranger than fiction — and for me this was really true in the writing of this book.  I was certain no one would ever believe the terrible words that were thrown at Julia in the story — and although I wrote them word-for-word originally, I went back after I’d finished writing the book, and edited them so that another might actually believe that a man might say such things.

This was a major book for me — a book that completely helped to open my eyes.  It was also a book that aided me in envisioning a true love — if only because in this book, both the hero and heroine discover a love that had always been there, but had gone unnoticed because of their different cultures.

Well, that’s all for today.  I really hope that you’ve enjoyed the blog today, sad though it is.  But perhaps it’s not so sad, since it was the writing of this book that opened my heart to the fact that there could be so much more to life and to love.  Please don’t forget that I do have about 7 new to ebooks on sale at the moment — and here is the link to go and see all these beautiful and wonderful new covers that Samhain Publishing has done.  They are works of art.

Please do come on in an leave a comment.

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KAREN KAY aka GEN BAILEY is the multi-published author of American Indian Historical Romances. She has written for such prestigious publishers as AVON/HarperCollins, Berkley/Penguin/Putnam and Samhain Publishing. KAREN KAY’S great grandmother was Choctaw Indian and Kay is honored to be able to write about the American Indian Culture.
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59 thoughts on “The Story Behind the Writing of PROUD WOLF’S WOMAN”

  1. Great cover Karen! I am so glad you was able to find love again. I love the way you can place book to certain things that happen in your life.

  2. Everything that happens to us, good or bad, affects us. I’m glad that you have now put the past behind you. You are lucky to have found your soul mate.

  3. Love the cover to PROUD WOLF’S WOMAN. Isn’t a wonder how sometimes our writing can reveal more about us than our characters?

    I’m so glad this story showed you the way out of a terrible situation so you could go on to find your HEA. :o)

  4. Thank you for sharing such a vulnerable moment with us. Writing springs from a well deep inside us, and I’m so thankful this well sprung up a truth for you to put into place in real life. I experienced many similar, yet smaller moments myself, and they are precious.

    My husband and I started as friends, and I’ve always counted that a blessing. True friendship is lasting and can form the basis of an incredible love, one that doesn’t care so much about outward appearance. One that gains strength through compatability, shared trust, and shared values.

    I love that Proud Wolf and Julia are able to build a lasting love from such a friendship. Romance is so much more than just attraction and I am so glad you are showing that in this book.

  5. I’m glad that you were able to find love again. It’s interesting the way certain things in your books parallel the things happening in your life. That is a beautiful cover.

  6. Hi Kirsten!

    You are so right! It is interesting — I’ve always found it so — how your writing brings out you character, whether you want it to or not — and how it brings out certain truths to you. I do believe that there is such a thing as an aesthetic mind — more and more it becomes apparent to me that this does exist. 🙂

  7. Hi Kay, what a touching personal memoir. I love how experiences color a writer’s work, and how the writer’s own character and characteristics weave in and out. I’m so glad you found a good man. It’s what life is all about! congrats on the fabulous cover and story! xoxox

  8. Hi Karen!

    What deep and beautiful truths you write about — and I find it beautiful also that you experience these little truths, also. As I said in my last post, I do believe that there is an aesthetic mind — I know there’s an analytical mind, a reactive (stimulus response) mind — and I think there is also an aesthetic mind.

    I love what you said about friendship and how it just might be more important than any sort of attraction — how well you put that.

    Thanks for your thoughts.

  9. Hello Joanne!

    It is interesting, isn’t it? And I believe that PROUD WOLF’S WOMAN is one of the most beautiful covers I’ve ever had — or even seen. The first time I saw it, it brough tears to my eyes.

  10. I’ve heard that writing can be healing and it seems to have been in your case. I just love your cover. I won a kindle about a month ago and as yet cannot figure out the wifi or how to download any books. I so prefer my print books!!

  11. Good Morning, Catslady!

    Yes, I had heard that sometime in the past, also, and so it seems to be. I really do think there is an aesthetic mind — as different from the Analytical Mind and the Reactive (stimulas/response) mind. Just seems to be to me.

  12. Your books have touched my heart…now I know why. Thank you for being so inspiring.
    Ninja Hugs to you!

  13. Hi! Really have to read this book. I have enjoyed your stories — maybe have to re-read some of older stories. Cheers Jolene

  14. Great cover and loved reading your story, so glad you were able to find your soulmate. You are a new author to me, I really like the sound of your books, putting them on my wishlist!

  15. Hi Karen,

    I can see why this cover touches you. I also know exactly what you went through because at one time, I was there myself. I am so glad you moved on and have a wonderful man in your life! Thank you for sharing with us a moment in your life that was not one of your greatest. It means a lot to I’m sure more than just myself. And it also shows we don’t have to be in that kind of relationship. We are free to make our own choices, live our life!

  16. I still prefer print, but more and more I am building a large e-book collection… love being able to get my hands on older books… thank you for sharing a piece of your life with us and for being able to create a book for us to enjoy.

  17. Hi Karen,
    Thanks for sharing your story. Isn’t it amazing how some truths aren’t seen until we step back and see them through our characters’ eyes? I’m so glad that everything worked out for the best in your life.

  18. Always good to keep up with you here (or anywhere else. I’m very pleased to be able to track your progress and evolution as a writer, from “Lakota Surrender” to your latest novel.
    Well done, my friend. Well done indeed.

  19. Thanks for sharing your story Karen it is always interesting to find out the background behind your books. Proud Wolfs Woman is one of my top 3 favorite books of yours because it was so touching.

  20. Oh, Joy, you said that so well. So very well, indeed. And I know that you understand the pain that one can go through because of this — both emotionally and spiritually. Thanks for coming here today!

  21. Hi Colleen!

    You know, having grown up on print books, I feel much the same, but like you, I’m moving on into the electronic field of ebooks and find I am enjoying that field very much. 🙂

  22. Yes, Jessica, you hit the needle right on the head — yes, our characters sometimes allow us to step back and view things that before were blind to us. Interesting how caring for someone else — even if only in terms of a character in a story — can help us to step back. Well said.

  23. Gary, oh my goodness! Fancy seeing you here today! My dear friend, Gary. So good to talk to you! I think I have an email sitting there waiting for me, also — which I’ll answer later. 🙂

  24. Oh, Estella, I’m so sorry to hear that you’ve been in such a painful position, also. Luckily we do grow from such things and we do learn — even if it’s a painful lesson. Thanks for your thoughts, Estella.

  25. Karen,

    Love the cover!! As to the words, I imagine there are quit a few women who have had the words you edited out thrown at them, and worse. I’m sorry you had to go through that period of your life. It’s said you must go through sorrow to know joy. Now, you’ve reached the joy and you _do_ know it!

    Best to you….

  26. Karen, What a beautiful story and I am glad you are so blessed by the friends in your life. Sometimes what others can see plain as day is not so clear to us but having friends who are there to support you can open our eyes to truth. Thank God for them.

  27. Congratulations on seeing what was really going on in the relationship and having the strength to leave it. So many, too many, never reach that point. They know something is wrong, but the abuser has managed to convince her she is the problem. They never have the time or the perspective to see what is really happening. Your writing helped you deal with it, if not consciously, when you wrote those scenes. Putting down what happened and looking at is as if it were happening to someone else helped you see just how wrong it was. If only others could do that.
    Our son, ever the knight, has been called by friends more times than I care to think to come and get them out of a situation with a boyfriend. We aren’t talking words, but fists. They always go back. There is one girl who is calling now about once a week. We have told him to call the police the next time and let them make this guy stop. He will be arrested and charged even if she doesn’t file charges. Our son is putting himself in harms way and doesn’t understand he isn’t invincible. Abuse is wide-spread in this area and even acceptable. I know the law says they are supposed to arrest the abuser, but too often it is brushed off as boys being boys, or she doesn’t know her place, or it wasn’t that bad. Our son know this and doesn’t trust them to handle it.

    Thanks for being brave enough to share your story and writing a book reflecting your situation. It will hopefully help some women see themselves and decide to get out of the relationship.

  28. Thanks for sharing with us, Karen. We grow not only
    through our own experiences, but also those shared
    with us. God bless………

    Pat Cochran

  29. Beautiful story, it’s great that even though you were writing this story during a difficult moment in your life it was during the writing of this book that helped you to grow both as a person and as a writer.

    Sometimes it seems like it’s because of those dark moments in our lives that we grow the most. Thanks for sharing this story with us.

  30. Karen, what a beautiful story. I was in a four year very abusive relationship with a man who was not only physically abusive but mentally abusive as well.

    I do know of the horrors you speak of because I have lived it. When you are in that abusive moment, it’s not that you can’t see it so much as that you are ashamed to admit that someone is hurting you. We wear a mask around ourselves to pretend to the outside world all is okay.

    I have written about this kind of abuse in my first novel and I remember the first time I showed it to my critique partner she said to me “Is that how it really was for you?”

    No one and I mean no one could ever understand why a woman would stay with a man that is hurting her. I was in dark place when I met my ex and he was able to drag me down further.

    I am thankful that I am here and that I survived and I hope in some small way that books like yours and books like mine (whenever I get published) will help women to be stronger and not feel so alone. *hugs*

  31. Good Evening, Patricia!

    Wise, wise counsel, Patricia. It really did happen that way. Being able to step back from it — seeing it from Julia’s viewpoint and knowing that she wished only the best, really brought it home to me.

    I wish you every blessing with your son, the knight. And many blessings to you, too. 🙂

  32. Good Evening, Lizzie!

    Thank you for sharing your story with me. I do understand — this man was physically abusive, as well — and even then, it took me a while to really come to terms with it — longer than it should have, I think now on looking back on it.

    There’s also the aspect that you think it’s going to change…and that keeps you from seeing sometimes what is right in front of your eyes.

    The writing of it really did help me to step back and look at it — something about writing — you can’t help but pour yourself into the story — and that honesty really does help one to see, I think.

    Thanks again, Lizzie!

  33. So now, please stay tuned. I pick a winner at the end of the day so that others who can only blog at night might come to also enter the contest. 🙂

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