I imagined a story that combined reality television and middle school hijinks, practical jokes and ancient philosophy, untamed goats, and equally untamed kids. After a while, I began to write this story down instead.
I have been fascinated with falconry–the art of hunting using falcons, hawks, owls, and eagles—my whole life. In fact, I spent about 10 years attempting to write a book about a boy and a hawk, but it never quite worked.
It’s important to remember how volatile the world was during World War I, and how fragile it remained in the aftermath. With this fragility came a new threat.
I spent the entire summer of 1978 at the local public library reading as much as I could find about the last tsar and his family, and of course about the mystery of Anastasia. Did she survive? Was she Anna Anderson? I felt like a young investigative reporter.
When my daughter was old enough, I told her stories about dark brown girls like herself, girls who sailed the skies and saved the world. It was important to me that she saw herself in stories.
“the condition of the human heart is unchanging. Your age, the period you live in, and your economic or cultural background don’t matter; we are all linked by our need to be loved and understood, and our fear of loneliness and sorrow.”