“I wanted to write something that I’d like to read,” Meredith says, “and that included stories with women my age.
“Women who had a few miles on them and were juicy, sexy, daring, spirited, warm-hearted, and fiercely loyal to their friends and families. I couldn’t find any books that filled the bill.
“I was doing my short daily hikes, and an old woman’s voice filled my head. Step by step, I knew her better. It sounds kind of skewed, but she was real. It didn’t feel like a mental meltdown. More like a mental meld.
“This lady was funny and wise. She could puncture anyone’s bubble or bandage it. She had no internal editor—her thoughts and curses rolled out like lettered gumballs. I liked her.
“I began writing down what she said. And then the miracle came.
“The outrageous people she loved, and crabbed at, and ran scams on, started talking, too. They became characters, and the characters starting playing out stories. There was daughter-in-law Annie Szabo, who had married into the Gypsy family. The trapeze artist who poured tequila on her breakfast cereal. A man who was the sexiest guy I’d ever met. Annie’s daughters …The Szabo clan. Smart, and smart-ass, Madame Mina wanted to orchestrate the show.
“Death, adventure, miracles, mayhem—the whole catastrophe and joy of life romped through this family, and then it romped through my ANNIE SZABO SERIES. Three published so far and more to come.”
The books were each chosen by Library Journal as one of the five best mysteries of the year. Kirkus wrote, ‘If you don’t fall in love with the Szabos, you don’t have hormones.'”
The CHEROKEE MIST series is a beautiful and emotional tease. What do we know about Indian people centuries before Columbus? What about the grandfathers of some of Win’s ancestors, the Cherokees?
“Win said, ‘Can I look at a culture and transform it into what it may have been like centuries earlier? Imagine the forefathers of the progeny, my own forefathers, and make it feel textured, alive? I don’t know, but I want to try.”
“Ancient Cherokee myths run bubbling-full of magic. Come meet a buzzard who’s a spirit familiar, go on a visit to the land of the gods, and endure a desperate quest in the underworld. Fight a climactic battle against a dragon, and a hurricane in a sea cave.”
They call it mythic fantasy. The second book, Shadows in the Cave, was chosen by Booklist as one of the top five fantasies of 2010.
“I was asked, ‘Why are Indian people still angry about mistreatment a hundred years ago?’
“My answer is the book, RavenShadow. A modern Lakota is living a messy life—he’s smart, educated, divorced, an alcoholic, and half-suicidal. After a near-death episode, he puts his feet on the red road to find out why. To heal. The path leads him on a spirit journey to the blooded ground of Wounded Knee. There he sees the slaughter of his ancestors, the birth of the grandmother who raised him, and the planting of a huge burden of grief. The truth is an awakening. It gives him a new life.”
This book of Win’s was a finalist for the Tolkien Award for fantasy given by the Mythopoeic Society. As Dee Brown, author of Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee, said of it, “RavenShadow has the impact of a hurled war lance.” It’s true.