Chepi was born into the void between male and female – the void between First Nation Cree and European Canadian – the void between native mysticism and science. Chepi must forge a new path using her unique abilities that may be a burden or a priceless gift. Chepi will touch the lives of many and change their life-paths, but Chepi will always be separate and alone.
This is part of the introduction to my next novel Chepi The Butterfly Effect due out next month. The theme of this, (and indeed the novel in progress right now. Title: Always Leoti.) is the life of an outsider.
In both these cases I created First Nation or Native American primary characters because in my view these people have been the ultimate outsiders. Here are a few lines from Leoti that are illustrative:
“I am sorry I have worried you my husband. I thank you for letting me be still and absent from you. As you say, demons have been at me and I have been fighting them. I can’t describe it, it is too complex but if I say that I have been coming to terms with the fact I am an orphan it might explain this struggle. I am a cultural orphan and I am orphaned from my family too. I think you know this feeling well my Aaron. You too are this kind of orphan yes.”
Aaron is from Belfast, as am I, and he too is a ‘cultural orphan.’
This feeling of not belonging, even in the country of ones birth, is fundamental in both these books.
Right now in the world, outsiders and cultural orphans face monumental challenges as rampant nationalism gains traction. In so many cases, those propagating and exploiting division and fear do so for the most crass motives, personal power and financial gain.
Those in power distract their followers with lies and fear and forget they and those that follow them were once outsiders, were once displaced and despised.
Our common humanity is degraded and history forgotten.
These two novels are my small attempt to remind us that all humanity share the same needs and value the same fundamental morals. We are all outsiders and we all need to feel wanted and included.