Today I’d like to introduce Nattalia Nealls, author of the newly released epic Western saga, Best in the Whole Wide World.
Aaron: Nattalia, can you tell us what historic anniversary inspired you to write Best in the Whole Wide World?
Nattalia: July, 2005 was the 200th anniversary of Lewis and Clark’s triumphant return from the Pacific Ocean to their native American guide Sacajawea’s home village on the Salmon River as they made their way back to the nation's capitol to report about their "Voyage of Discovery" to President Thomas Jefferson.
Aaron: How did this pique your interest?
Nattalia: Two hundred years after Lewis and Clark had long since departed, the town of Salmon, Idaho was teeming with “re-en-actors” dressed in clothing perfect in every detail, representing
the events and the ambiance of that historic passage, while I was sitting in an auction barn witnessing the sights and sounds of ranch country interspersed with glimpses of that historic occasion. I knew then what is meant by the expression, “Déjà vu”. Everything that was whirling around me impacted my senses and stirred my imagination. And very soon, I was to be a witness to the auction scene which introduces the two main characters in my novel, Best in the Whole Wide World. I watched as that back-and-forth exchange took place. I bid on that Heiser saddle myself as I watched the two individuals near me partner up to win it. I took my own purchases home – a couple of pottery crocks and a set of dining chairs from the old Scoble ranch – thinking about what I’d witnessed.
Aaron: How did this inspire you to write Best in the Whole Wide World?
Nattalia: That auction kept going around and around inside my head until I simply sat down and wrote about everything I’d seen that day. I began to think about what I’d witnessed between the two people who had partnered up to win that Heiser saddle. Who were they? What had become of them? These two interesting people soon became fully fleshed out characters with lives of their own. They spoke to me and I took dictation. I continued to write about them, throwing in background materials from my own experience, stories I knew from summers spent in the Idaho wilderness, details observed, conversations overheard, anything and everything that simply fell onto the page about how these two people were living their lives, and about how life in general is lived here in the ranch country of the Central Rocky Mountains of Idaho.
Aaron: Best in the Whole Wide World evolved into three complete novels, called The Rocky Mountain Trilogy. Do you have a website where readers can check out the new releases?
Nattalia: Absolutely! www.rockymountaintrilogy.com.
Aaron: Thank you for joining us today, Nattalia. We hope to have you back when book two, Noble Souls, hits the shelves!
Aaron: Here’s a synopsis of book 1.
When Tracy Goodwin takes a leave of absence to run rivers and hike trails in the Rocky Mountains, she doesn't expect to meet saddle maker James C. James. A widower and devoted father, James dotes on his children and steadfastly manages his ranches in Idaho's Lemhi Valley. Now, for the first time in three years, he is drawn to a woman who electrifies his spirit - this copper-haired woman who runs hot and cold.
Tracy doesn't know why she alternately attracts and rebuffs this rugged, honest, handsome man, but when her own plans fail to satisfy, she accepts his offer to accompany him on horseback into the mountains, where the power of her experience and the majesty of the rugged landscape renew her spirit.
Unable to accept the chaos of her emotions, Tracy returns to the predictable life she left behind in California, until she receives a poignant call asking for her help.
About the Author
Nattalia Nealls believes in Love, History and the Mystery that Moves in All Things. She lives and writes in a tiny house on the banks of a large river in the Central Rocky Mountains of Idaho.