Today we're talking with Eric Wilder, author of Morning Mist of Blood.
FQ: Your book reads like it was written by a native resident of Oklahoma, with all the descriptive passages of the Sooner state. Yet, I see that you are originally from Louisiana. How long have you called Oklahoma home? Was it hard to get the details of Oklahoma life correct or did they fall into place easily?
I moved to Oklahoma in my late twenties and have lived here more than thirty years. I suppose this makes me an Okie to most, but I have strong ties to Oklahoma and Louisiana. I write about both states, delving into local flavor. As a fiction writer, I'm able to mix fact and fantasy.
FQ: Your protagonist, Buck, is tall, handsome, is good with animals, and a really nice guy. While he has some minor flaws, he is basically a woman's dream man. Is he modeled after anybody or is he a complete fabrication?
Buck's character contains facets of many people, maybe even a little of myself. In my experience as a writer, characters evolve as a book progresses. No matter how I originally envisioned an individual, he or she eventually reveals their own story, almost always surprising me with the result.
FQ: In today's world, many city folk may not realize that cattle rustling and stealing crude could still be a problem. Was it important for you to bring these problems to light or was it simply fun to build a mystery around these western themes?
Cattle rustling and oil theft are huge problems in Oklahoma, and probably every other state where cattle is raised and oil produced. As the book relates, oil is valuable and virtually untraceable once it leaves the tank. Its theft is an almost "perfect" crime.
FQ: Where did the idea of the women's commune, Lykaia, come from?
I owe this to a cousin who, after her divorce, toyed with the idea of moving into an all-female community that actually was well-governed and self-sufficient. The rest, well, that can be chalked up to a writer's imagination.
FQ: It appears that Buck has stumbled upon Heaven on Earth when the ladies of Lykaia befriend him. Knowing Buck as you do, do you think he's the sort who could happily move in (if invited, of course!) to the commune or would his free spirit revolt?
Raised in foster homes, Buck seems destined to life as a loner. Lack of nurturing as a child has left him with a fatal character flaw—he has no sense of family. Because of this flaw, he's never had a meaningful long term relationship, and perhaps never will.