BEHIND THE BOOK
A CONVERSATION WITH SCOTT GRAHAM
author of Mesa Verde Victim: A National Park Mystery
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So far, what's been the most enjoyable part of writing your book?
Mesa Verde Victim has been my most satisfying entry in the National Park Mystery series to date because it is set in Durango, my hometown, and is nearby Mesa Verde National Park, which I’ve visited regularly since my childhood in the early 1970s. The plot line of Mesa Verde Victim is satisfying to me as well because it concerns an issue near and dear to me and many others in the Four Corners region—the ongoing need to safeguard ancestral sites and artifacts from looting and plundering, as well as the importance of repatriating human remains and funerary items removed from ancestral sites in decades past.
Tell us about your dream book launch party.
The launch party for Mesa Verde Victim would be especially fun if members of the growing, merry band of Torrey House Press authors could attend and share their work with my readers and fans.I’ve loved having my series be part of THP from its early days, and I’m blown-away impressed by the breadth, experience and skills of the authors hitching their work to the Torrey House Press wagon along with me these days.
Describe one of your favorite places. What makes this place special to you?
The Four Corners region has been my favorite area on Earth for as long as I can remember. I had the good fortune of spending my childhood exploring southwest Colorado’s mountains, southeast Utah’s red rock country, northeast Arizona’s deserts, and northwest New Mexico’s wild lands with my parents and siblings. I consider myself equally fortunate to have done the same with my wife and sons a generation later. The Four Corners area is particularly special to me, as someone choosing to spend my life in the region, because of its sacredness to modern Native Americans as the former homeland and final resting place of generation upon generation of Ancestral Puebloans and other ancestral peoples.
“The Four Corners area is particularly special to me...because
of its sacredness to modern Native Americans as the
former homeland and final resting place of generation upon
generation of Ancestral Puebloans and other ancestral peoples.”
What are you most looking forward to in 2020?
The June launch of Mesa Verde Victim!
Why Torrey House?
I’m a firm believer in the mission of Torrey House Press to develop literary resources for the conservation movement in the West that educate and entertain while also inspiring action. One example is the key role THP played in the creation of two-million-acre Bears Ears National Monument—which preserves lands insoutheast Utah sacred to more than twenty modern Native American tribes—through the publication and dissemination to key stakeholders in Washington,D.C., and at the Obama White House of the Red Rock Stories chapbook.
Favorite Torrey House titles?
I read most Torrey House Press releases.I’m deeply impressed with the overall quality of the writing in THP’s books, and the desire to preserve the West and make the world a better place that clearly motivates all Torrey House authors. Recently, I’ve had the honor of appearing at events with fellow THP authors Amy Irvine and Chuck Greaves. Amy’s Desert Cabal and Chuck’s Church of the Graveyard Saints challenge what it means to be an environmentalist and conservationist in today’s West in ways that are as controversial as they are stimulating and, ultimately, uplifting.
Help bring Mesa Verde Victim by Scott Graham to the page.
Scott Graham is the author of the acclaimed National Park Mystery series, featuring archaeologist Chuck Bender and Chuck’s spouse Janelle Ortega. In addition to the National Park Mystery series, Scott is the author of five nonfiction books, including Extreme Kids, winner of the National Outdoor Book Award. Scott is an avid outdoorsman who enjoys backpacking, river rafting, skiing, and mountaineering. He has made a living as a newspaper reporter, magazine editor, radio disk jockey, and coal-shoveling fireman on the steam-powered Durango-Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad. He lives with his spouse, who is an emergency physician, in Durango, Colorado. Graham’s sixth National Park Mystery, Mesa Verde Victim, is forthcoming June 2020 from Torrey House Press.