Blog Tour: Night Sky
By Jolene Perry
Night Sky Summary
After losing Sarah, the friend he’s loved, to some other guy, Jameson meets Sky. Her Native American roots, fluid movements, and need for brutal honesty become addictive fast. This is good. Jameson needs distraction – his dad leaves for another woman, his mom’s walking around like a zombie, and Sarah’s new boyfriend can’t keep his hands off of her.
As he spends time with Sky and learns about her village, her totems, and her friends with drums – she’s way more than distraction. Jameson’s falling for her fast.
But Sky’s need for honesty somehow doesn’t extend to her life story – and Jameson just may need more than his new girl to keep him distracted from the disaster of his senior year.
From the Author
The cool thing about Sky is that I didn’t even know she was a native girl until Jameson pulled up next to her, and then thought – Crap! This isn’t going to be easy!
My husband was the one who suggested I used someone from Alaska, and then it was easy since I’ve lived here most of my life.
I thought about her physical attributes, and then her height. So I put her in a place with tall, sharp mountains, and tall trees, and where it’s still VERY remote – not having any roads in or out. Southeast Alaska can only be gotten to by plane or boat – and there are airports in a few spots, but definitely not everywhere.
My mother’s family all lives in Southeast Alaska, and some of my best memories as a kid were going to watch the drumming and dancing in the old Tlingit meeting houses. I was able to take my kids to a drum/dance night with a Tlingit group only a few weeks ago, and it was a blast.
In the first draft of the book, there was very little of Sky’s heritage – just the totems in her room and where she’s from, because I was afraid it would take over the story. After sending it to my first group of readers, they all wanted to know more, and that’s when the AIA (American Indian Alliance) as well as the drum nights came in, creating a few of my favorite scenes.
I didn’t know Sky’s story until she told Jameson, and I didn’t know the rest of her story until it happened in the book.
I had to make sure that UNLV had an AIA chapter, and I spent a lot of time looking at Tlingit art, and doing research for the symbols on the totems to make sure that I didn’t screw it up!
I also taught high school in Alaska, and we’re required to take History of Alaska, which talks extensively about the native cultures up here. I also love the idea of matrilineal societies – where the tribal or clan affiliation is carried through the mother, not the father – so that also played a role in where Sky was from.
And even though Sky is NOT a Tlingit name – I hopefully explained that well enough in the book.
I could ramble on about this forever because I have such a huge amount of respect for the natives of Alaska, and I LOVE Tlingit artwork – the intricate simplicity and the meaning, and how cool it looks in my house ;-D
Thanks so much for having me here today!!
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Jolene Perry’s Bio:
Jolene grew up in Wasilla, Alaska. She graduated from Southern Utah University with a degree in political science and French, which she used to teach math to middle schoolers.
After living in Washington, Utah and Las Vegas, she now resides in Alaska with her husband, and two children. Aside from writing, Jolene sews, plays the guitar, sings when forced, and spends as much time outside as possible.
She is also the author of The Next Door Boys and the upcoming Knee Deep.
Release: March 1, 2012
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Kate, thanks for taking the time to host Jolene on your blog today. It’s interesting to read how she incorporated her experience in teaching Alaskan history into the fabric of her young adult novel.