An Author's Memoir
Please help me welcome Author Blaine Wright as Guest Author on the Writer's Journey Blog this week.
It seems that one of the first questions asked of me is, “What made you decide to become a writer”. My quick answer is “I Didn’t”. I have never in my long life had a true profession to be passionate about. I have drifted along, guilty of letting life choose my path rather than choosing my path in life. It took half a century of living to find enough wisdom to look back and begin to understand why. I am sure that this answer could well fill out the pages of a memoir so I will attempt to be a bit brief.
From my earliest memories I never lacked the view of mountains on every horizon. In the area known as the Magic Valley of southern Idaho this is the reality. Family trips into various mountainous areas were common but short… usually only day trips and picnics.
Our family lived in a very rural area near a small town. Divorce resulted in my siblings and me being raised by only a mother. We soon grew wild and unruly, becoming the talk of local rumor.
My mother took my two brothers and me on a trip to the west central region of Idaho in search of a fresh start. I first fell in love with Riggins Idaho, nestled snugly between two mountain ranges along US Hwy 95. Heading north it began to rain and we tried to stop for the night in White Bird, Idaho but there were no accommodations in this small town of less than one hundred persons. White Bird Pass was a harrowing journey of very serpentine switchbacks and little guardrail protection. It was night and rainy. Momma was a very nervous driver and drove in obvious near panic until we finally made it to the other side and stopped in Grangeville.
This wild and mountainous country made a deep impression on me and I chose it as my future home. I was, unfortunately, alone in this decision. We instead moved to the even larger town in the Magic Valley called Twin Falls. I did live near a small canyon on the south side of town and spent many adventurous days and not a few nights exploring and unleashing a young boy’s imagination in this place where very few ventured. The big canyon on the north side of town held much future excitement for me, and I could have spent many years exploring it had I not found it necessary to leave family an home due to irreparable differences and a wild stubborn nature. As a consequence, I said goodbye to mother, siblings and Idaho. I was twelve years old.
I never got the wilderness country of west central Idaho out of my psyche and for years did not adjust well to the fact that my horizons were bare of any distant mountains. As I grew, I visited as often as life allowed me to; learning to travel those mountain roads. Camp along the rivers, hike and camp the mountains and climb the many peaks of the wilderness known as the Seven Devils Mountains.
I never forgot that pass above White Bird and soon began to imagine that it must have a story in it. In 2007 (over forty years from my first visit) I returned with the idea of beginning the search for a story. I stayed at White Bird Summit Lodge and visited many places in the area gathering my initial research.
I spent over another decade gathering materials and visiting the wilderness as often as is possible when living twenty-five hundred miles away. As it turns out, the region has a population that has been native to the area for somewhere around fifteen thousand years. I can make the argument through my research ( and do in my first novel) that the People are among the very first to populate the non coastal areas of North America. The Nez Perce kept coming up as my primary research. White Bird was named for the last Chief of the Salmon River Canyon Nez Perce. The famous battle of 1877 was also named after him (The Battle of White Bird).
My heart never left this area and this story must stand as my written word as I set out on my long journey home.
Bio: Blaine Wright is an author of a first in series epic novel of historical fiction. As an interstate truck driver, Blaine has visited forty-nine states as well as extensive trips to the Canada’s. A wealth of knowledge gained from his travels as well as a stint as a soldier in the United States Army culminated with the understanding that something left behind as a child needed to be addressed. A particular place and time seated deep into his psyche and a lifetime of consideration resulted in the knowledge that the story embedded within him had to be put to paper. White Bird, Book One: Among the Nez Perce is the beginning of Blaine’s long journey home.
Links where you can reach Blaine Wright and find out more about White Bird, Book One: Among the Nez Perce