Schoolteacher and artist Lorraine Carrey shares her fascination about the mysterious Superstition Mountains, a real place near her home, which serves as the setting for her magical fable Mysteries of the Red Coyote Inn.
Want to check in at the Red Coyote Inn? You may want to check out its shady past, which includes: ghosts, sightings of supernatural creatures, and guests encountering bizarre accidents. This charming inn is nestled out in the Sonoran Desert in Arizona on the Apace Trail close to the foreboding Superstition Mountains, which are said to be the home of the legendary Lost Dutchman Mine. Some say the inn sits atop an energy vortex that has ties to the mine. And this just may be the reason for all of the paranormal activity. You may just find that some of the guests who come to stay at the inn are as strange as the inn itself.
Our star character Dean Banks, a young teen, inherits the inn with his mother and sister, and will come to find out he has also inherited a Supernatural Gift of Power from a long ago Apache ancestor. He is destined to be the Guardian of the mine. He feels this is more of a curse than a gift. With these powers come some pretty unnatural occurrences for Dean as he acquires the ability to transform himself and gain superhuman strength along with mystical powers that enable him to thwart any attempts from anyone to try to discover the whereabouts of the mine. Dean fears his new responsibility and also is terrified of the possibility of harming someone. We also find Dean in a power struggle with this new responsibility as he tries to remain a normal teenage boy. Dean befriends a mysterious old miner who holds the key to some of Dean’s past. This miner also has a secret past of his own, which Dean will come to discover. One guest in particular is onto Dean’s secret and is out to destroy the Red Coyote Inn and possibly Dean himself.
Young Adult: What made you decide to start writing?
Lorraine Carey: Working with students for over thirty years, as well as my role as a Reading Specialist, gave me great insight into what different age groups crave. My middle school students always wanted to read ghost stories and fantasy. We both shared a love for that so it was a win-win situation.
YA: Tell us a little bit about your latest work. What is different about it?
LC: Mysteries of the Red Coyote Inn, the Adventures of Dean Banks is first in a series of Paranormal novels that is tied to a real historical event that occurred in 1848 in the Superstition Mountains. It was a massacre of a Mexican family by the Apache for mining gold in the famous Superstition Mountains in Arizona. That whole area is said to be on sacred ground. A young teen, Dean Banks moves into a haunted inn in 2012 and uncovers the dark secrets of the Superstition Mountains along with a long hidden secret about his own family. He is thrown into a world of spirits, ancient warriors and thieves as he himself must battle evil forces to protect his family, himself and the gold mine from an unseen force.
YA: Take us through a typical writing day for you.
LC: Okay,but you probably won’t believe this one; I sit on the floor with my laptop on the coffee table and my music turned up very loud. This helps me to get into the kind of mood I need to create the story according to the theme. For Mysteries of the Red Coyote Inn I Iistened to a lot of tribal Native American music along with the soundtrack from The Lost Boys. It helped to give Dean some guts.
YA: Can you describe the path to getting this work published? What were the challenges? What was easy about it?
LC: I started this writing journey with doing some research on the Superstition Mountains as I had lived in the area for twenty-two years and was fascinated by them and all of the legends that came out of that area. I truly believe, as I told my students, if you write what you have a strong knowledge base about you will have a strong story. Some of the greatest challenges were getting through the mental blocks when there would be days when I just could not get motivated to write. The easiest part came once I got into my character and let him talk to me and got into his skin. Then I began to feel what he would feel and the words just flowed.
YA: What were your specific influences for this book? Films, literature, other stories?
LC: Again, The legends and lore of the mysterious tales to come out of the Superstition Mountains was a huge influence. I have to say the film The Lost Boys had a big influence also.
YA: If you hadn’t become an author, what path would your career have perhaps taken?
LC: I always loved teaching and I continue to teach reading a few days a week, but I have a real love for art and probably would have loved to be an artist.