Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Guest Author: Karen Kay/Gen Bailey

...............................................................Good Morning From new Native American Romance Author, Gen Bailey!

 Otherwise known as Karen Kay.

 Before I plug my new book, BLACK EAGLE, A Berkley Historical Sensation Romance, let me tell you why the name change. It is the first thing both authors and readers ask me. Why the change?

51obnqdgasl_sl500_aa240_1 Well, it goes like this. My last eight books -- and particularly my last 4 -- have been very paranormal. This book from Berkley/Putnam is not. It is a straight historical Indian romance. The pacing in the book is faster than what I usually write, also. I was trying to make it faster because the time period I'm writing in -- 1756 -- or was it 1755 -- can't recall exactly right now -- but anyway, it was a time when North America was under fire. The world was changing. The French and Indian war was making the countryside aflame with war and the Indians were choosing sides.  Not because they wanted to, but because they were forced into it. They were sandwiched between the English on the coast and the French on the
Western side of the Iroqois Nation.

    Okay, so anyway, this book was so different that my editor thought it
should have a different name. Thus, Gen Bailey, the author came into
being. The name comes from my family. Bailey is in reality my last name. 
Gen comes from a family member whose real name was Genevieve. But
Genevieve proved to be too long a name and so we shortened it to Gen. I
really hope you'll like the new name, as well as the new book.

quanah   So, let me plug the new book. Please purchase a copy of BLACK EAGLE today! You can get it at any bookstore that carries books or online at your favorite bookstore. Again the name is BLACK EAGLE and the author is Gen Bailey.

 All right, with that dispensed with, let's get into the topic of
discussion, which I'd like to open up with the Iroqouis. Years ago, while doing research for other books, I ran across some information I'd not been aware of, and which I found fascinating. Did you know that long ago -- long before the white man arrived on this continent -- the Indians of the East coast had a form of government that was of, by and for the people?  Did you know that this form of government brought peace to at least 6
warring nations? And that this government freed an entire people and kept
them free and independent?

adam-beach.jpg If not, don't worry. I didn't either. That Nation was the Iroquois. 
Sometime in the 1400's a man by the name of Hiawatha and a man the Iroquois call the Peacemaker (they don't call him by name) came together in order to stop war between their people. At that time, there were many tribal, as well as clan wars. A man was duty bound to go to war with the relatives of those who had killed a relative of his own. There was so much war and so much grieving that these two men decided to do away with war completely.

  crow-fair-2007-017This was not an easy thing to accomplish. They had many barriers to overcome and particularly they had to win over to their side a man who was
feared throughout the Nation. He was said to be a cannibal and it was said that he had snakes for hair. Three times Hiawatha called people together to make peace. Three times he was thwarted by this man/chief. The chief was also a magician it is said and he caused Hiwatha's wife and two daughters to be killed. For many a time, Hiwatha was grieved and he left his own people to wander aimlessly. It was in his wanderings that he met the Peacemaker, who is said to be of the Huron Nation.

   Together these two men won over the different nations and formed theimages15
Iroquois Confederation. This particular chief who was making trouble was made a good man by the Peacemaker and by Hiwatha combing the snakes from his hair. His bad mind -- as they called it -- went away and from that day forward this chief was in his good mind.

 george-washington The Iroquois had a Constitution. They had delegates to their counsels. 
The women held the power of the tribe and could impeach any member of the counsel if that man was found to be serving his own interests rather than those of the people. It was the women who held this power. Again, that's the women, for it was well known to the Iroquois that the women are the heart of any people and to ignore their counsel is to ignore the teachings of one's heart.

 When the white people came to this land, they -- who were from a
background of serfdom -- met a completely free and independent people. I
think that this influenced our forefathers greatly. As a matter of fact
Benjamin Franklin was so interested in the Iroquois Confederation that
parts of our Constitution come directly from the Iroquois. Thomas
Jefferson as well as Thomas Paine were also very interested in the Iroquois

 images32But here's the real kicker to this story. All those years ago, Hiawatha
and the Peacemaker decided that the country they knew as Turtle Island (North America) would lead the world toward peace, freedom and independence. And for many years -- well over two hundred now -- that decision brought to fruition the ideal of what can happen when a people are completely free. America has always lead what we have called, the Free
World. It was a wish for the future. It was a wish that is embodied in this Nation.

 Well, that's all for today. I hope you've enjoyed this little bit of
history. I find it fascinating. I think also that we should be proud of
those roots. 

 untitled-2211 I'd love to talk to you today about this or about anything else you'd
like to discuss.  

 Gen Bailey/Karen Kay


Anonymous said...

Fascinating. I knew nothing about the Iroquois Confederation. I do admit, I don't think Turtle Island works as a name for North America! *g*

Tell me more about the plot for Black Eagle.

lois greiman said...

Kay, thanks for joining us.

As some of you may know, Kay and I have been friends since we met at an RWA conference in...hmmm...1994 maybe. Yikes. We both wrote historicals for Avon for about a million years. (I still do.) But Kay abandoned us a few years ago. :) I have to admit, though, Berkley gives her fantastic covers and her novels are always intriguing and chock full of interesting Native American history.

In fact, Kay and I have some history, too. We did a coast to coast book tour from L.A. to New York, stopping at about 200 stores. Yep folks, you read that right. 200!! Authors, thy name is insanity. It was so insane I've erased the year from my mind. When did we do that, Kay? And why? :)

Betina Krahn said...

Fascinating history of the Iroquois! I had heard of the "confederation" but didn't realize the full impact of it until now. How absolutely cool. And what a great lesson from history about turning defeat into triumph and hanging in there to create something of value.

It does make one want to rethink the way historians have downplayed the notion of "manifest destiny."

Kylie said...

Intriguing bit of history! And also one of my favorite time periods to read about! All the best of luck with the book!


Cindy Gerard said...

Hi Kay
Welcome to the rag top.
Love your post - so intriguing.

Gen Bailey said...

Hi Arkansas Cyndi!

Thanks so much for leaving your comment. Ah, the plot. Yes, I should tell you something of the plot.

It starts when Marisa Jameson overhears her step-uncle's plot to destroy an entire village for "fun and profit." When she confronts him with her knowledge, she discovers that she has to flee for her life.

Meanwhile, a Mohawk warrior, carrying messages has become enchanted with her and volunteers to guide her through the war-torn woods. However, neither of them know an assassin is on their trail.

Thanks so much for asking, Cyndi!

Gen Bailey said...

Howdy Lois!

I'm here on the West Coast and so am coming onto the forum a little late. It does seem an age ago that we toured, doesn't it? You know, I'm here on my husband's computer and he still has those pictures of us sitting on top of a camel. I love those pictures. Remember?

Yes, Lois and I sent around promotion with the two of us on top of a camel, of all things -- as we started out our tour. Gosh, Lois wasn't it 5 or 6 years ago that we did that? I think I blanked it out from my mind too.

Let me say this while I'm here. Lois is one of the sweetest people that I know. It was not difficult touring the US with her -- in fact, it was fun. Sometimes I forget that -- cause it was truly a lot of work.

Thanks Lois for having me here today.

Michele Hauf said...

Welcome, Karen/Gen!

Great stuff

GenBailey/KarenKay said...

Hello Betina!

Yes, I, too, find it fascinating. Like most historical writers I think I find the research one of the perks of writing.

You learn so much. Thanks for coming here today. I certainly enjoy your books.

Gen/Karen said...

Hi Kylie!

Thanks so much for your well-wishes. : )

Gen/Karen said...

Hi Cindy!

Thank you so very much!

Gen/Karen said...

Hi Michele!

I sure appreciate the chance to be here and talk to "ya-all."

Keri Ford said...

Very, very interesting! Bits of info like this always pulls my attention.

Good luck with the story. it sounds great!

Victoria Bylin said...

Hi Gen! Fascinating post! I took a class on the Iroquis back in college and thoroughly enjoyed it. I didn't know about their influence on our Constitution until now.

Good luck with your books! Your new name has nice ring to it.

lois greiman said...

Okay, the best part of our tour was the police officer in Scottsdale. Seriously, he was the cutest guy ever...and also bored enough to want to ride around the city with us from one store the next. We would have gladly taken him along but the car was too packed already. I would have had to sit on his lap...or something.

Tanya Hanson said...

Hi Kay, great blog. I taught the Iriguois Constitution...and its ties to our own, when I taught American Lit. Fascinating! Your book is definitely on my TBR stack.

Oh, and thanks for the peek at Adam. Sigh.

I'm at Petticoats and Pistols today so hope you have a chance to come by.


JanetElaineSmith said...

Hi, Karen. I haven't done a lot of research on the Iriquois, so thanks for the info on them. I can claim a tiny bit (you know, that little toe) of Mohawk blood, and they were a part of the Iriquois Nation. Now you have my fingers itching to dig more.

Good luck on the new book. Oh, and a "fun and profit" reference? You do remember, don't you, that is the name of my radio program at PIVTR? Fate--deja vu--whatever? LOL!
Janet Elaine Smith, fellow author

Gen/Kay said...

Hi Keri!

Thank you so much! Glad to talk to you here!

Gen/Kay said...

Hi Victoria!

Thanks so much for coming on over to the blog today! I didn't know about their influence on our own Constitution, either, until I really started delving into their history and then I found it fascinating. : )

Kay/Gen said...

Hi Lois!

I'd almost forgotten about him. Remember at the time, you'd lost your shoe! Gosh, that was funny! And remember the bookstore that gave you back your shoe? I still have a picture of that, also. It was a fun time -- hard work, but fun! : )

Kay/Gen said...

Hi Tanya!

Thanks for coming on over here today and even when you're busy with the petticoats and pistols blog. Yes, I definitely have it on my game plan today to come on over to the petticoats and pistols blog -- for those of you who don't know, this is a western blog that Tanya and I are a part of -- it's url is:

Mary Connealy said...

I'm pretty sure Adam Beach owes you money, Kay/Gen.

Don't play hard to get if he shows up to 'settle his bill.'


Kay/Gen said...

Hi Janet,

My dear friend. No, I didn't remember the name of your radio show -- gosh, how long ago was it that we did that? Seems ages ago, but it probably wasn't, huh?

Thanks for visiting me here today!

Kay/Gen said...

OH, Mary, you always make me laugh. I don't think I'd have to be convinced.

Gosh, that man is handsome! : ) Sigh!

Tracy Garrett said...

Fascinating glob, Kay/Gen. Thanks for shring - and for making me pause to be thankful.

CherylStJohn said...

Congrats on your new release, Kay!

Kay/Gen said...

Hi Tracy!

You bet! And thanks for coming over to the blog today!

Kay/Gen said...

Hi Cheryl!

Thanks so much! : ) And thanks for coming here today!

Anonymous said...

Fascinating information about the Iroquois form of government! Very interesting post.

ForestJane said...

"The Iroquois had a Constitution."

Did they have a written language before the Europeans came, then? That's amazing.

ForestJane said...

Nope, I just googled it. Us librarians have a well developed bump of curiosity!

There's a copy of it online, but it says that it was oral tradition only for a long time, until transcribed much later. Fascinating stuff. :)

Gen/Kay said...

Hi Heidi!

Thanks so much for your comments. Love it!

And thanks for visiting with me today. : )

Gen/Kay said...

You know, Forest Jane, no they didn't have a written language, however, they did have wampam. Some people misunderstood wampum -- I need to look up how to spell it -- but it wasn't ever supposed to be a medium of money. It's purpose was to put something down in the belt that would remind the person who was supposed to remember the fact, what the fact was. They would memorize that fact and would pass it down in their family for all eternity, so that the wisdom of the belt would never be lost.

And so although they didn't have written words like we know them, their knowledge has been kept in tact through the wampum. I just looked it up, it's wampum.

Again, no written language -- kinda -- it was written but in a different way than what we think of as written.

Interesting, huh?

Thanks for your comments.

catslady said...

I always love your history "lessons." It's too bad we didn't keep more of the Indian heritage and less of the Puritans!

ForestJane said...

I was actually guessing it'd be more a pictogram-on-scraped-leather kinda document. Birchbark would be too fragile, I'd think.

Reading the beginning of the constitution, it did sound like some of it could be pictoral... I plant this tree at the meeting place... we'll sit on the down padded benches, etc.

But I have an overactive imagination.

Playground Monitor said...

I went to college close to the Eastern Band of the Cherokee and know the Trail of Tears story. But it's great to learn more NA history.

Congrats on your new book!


Debra Dixon said...

Very interesting!

Congrats on the new name and the foray into Indian historical!

Gen/Kay said...

Hi Catslady!

I must admit that I kinda second your thoughts on this. : ) Although you know we did keep alot of the history and lore -- it's there in our foundation of how we feel about freedom -- it's there in how we think of this as the land of the free and home of the brave. WE may not have attributed it to the Indians, but their wish is still there in place.

May it always be so. : )

Gen/Kay said...

Hi Forest Jane!

The belts were made from rushes and sea shells that Haiwatha gathered from the waters near him. They are generally made of purple and white shells and they do have pictorals on them -- but they all mean something and different people in the government have memorized different things that the pictorals mean -- committing the exact words to memory, to be passed down generation to generation. That is how we know what happened.

Interesting I think.

Gen/Kay said...

Hi Marilyn!

I think that's great that you got to know the story of the trail of tears. I've always thought that it might be better named the Trail of Corporate greed, for that is what happened to the Cherokee and also to the Iroquois. The big company at the time that was two-faced and fork-tongued was the Ogden Company -- I think it was a land speculation company. And I believe, although I'm not certain about this, that they were also involved in the outsting -- is that a word -- of the Cherokee, as well as the Mohawk, the Oneida, the Onondogas and the Senecas, etc.

I'd have to look that up. But the land was gotten and it was ill-gotten by trickery, theft and outright lying and cheating. Unfortunately at that time the Indians were not represented in Congress and so the Senate sided with the Ogden Company.

Sorry, I could go on and on. Sorry about that.

Thanks for your comments.

Gen/Kay said...

Thank you so much, Debra. And by the way, I love your books. : )

Caffey said...

Hi Karen! I didn't realize that was your book! Neat. I had already a note down on my wishlist for this one!

I loved reading the research for this book. I learn most I do on the history from the romance reads and now too some blogs do some with I love to learn more.

So fascinating! Thanks Karen!

Gen/Kay said...

Hi Caffey!

That is so cool that you had the book down as one to get -- does my heart good to hear that. You know I've gotten interested in the world around me now due to the research that I've been doing on Native America. Really opens your eyes, doesn't it?

Thanks so much for your comments. : )