Canyon Fires

From Spearfish Lake Tales Wiki
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Canyon Fires
Read this book
Time frameApril, 2001 - May, 2001
First postedNovember 30, 2009 - February 4, 2010
SeriesDawnwalker Cycle
Series number4
RelatedLocations Characters

This is the fourth book in the Dawnwalker series, after Blue Beauty .


Copyright Wes Boyd ©2003, ©2009

Desperate Journey! Nanci spent every cent she had and burned all the gas in her tank to escape Chicago and find her mother and her sister. She finds them, only to discover that both of them are now Colorado River raft guides, and that her mother is about to get remarried -- in the depths of the Grand Canyon. With no other choices, Nanci goes along on the trip -- two weeks in the middle of the most awesome scenery on the planet, a place that can and does change lives.

The wedding in the Grand Canyon was also featured in Chapter 20 of Blue Beauty.

The source for much of the Grand Canyon description is an internet article that Wes Boyd previously wrote about his 2003 Grand Canyon trip Boyd Grand Canyon on the pages at the Hudson Post Gazette (Wes's day job). See Big Guy in the Grand Canyon.

Wes' Followup

On 21:17:22 02/04/10 Thu Wes posted the following message:

So, with tonight's upload Canyon Fires comes to an end.

I have to be honest and say that this book gave me more trouble than any three other books combined, mostly because I screwed up the initial premise. The original idea was to do a routine Canyon trip, led by Crystal and Scooter, with a bunch of strangers, each with their own issues. As the story would progress, there would be conflicts, friends made, issues worked out, and, well, other stuff.

Then I got the idea of using the wedding trip instead. This torpedoed the idea of it being a bunch of strangers. When I sat down and started writing, each individual or couple seemed to need a lot of backstory, things that people have already read other Dawnwalker books already knew. Eventually the backstory drug the whole thing down, despite two different false starts.

Eventually, after putting the book on the shelf for a while, it struck me that I was starting the book in the wrong place -- it needed to start with Nanci showing up at Canyon Tours broke and hungry. Good idea, although that meant that I had to kill a lot of the story that built up to the start of the trip.

I stalled on it again after a while, when the need for the religious conversion scene became clear. Nanci needed a dose of salts and with Preach, Kevin and to a degree Tanisha as examples it seemed like the motivator that was needed to make some of the changes in her life stick. I really didn't want to write that scene for any number of good reasons, but eventually reasoned that people do get conversions like that, and sometimes they stick -- so whether I agreed with it or not, it was a legitimate thing to write about.

When it came time to get the story ready to post, I read through it, and realized there was still too much backstory. In the course of an afternoon I ripped about 50,000 words out of it wholesale, which made the story move better. I suppose I've written about 300,000 words to get the 135,000 that you have seen. I think it moves better and is more readable now than before I started editing with an ax, so I'm glad I did it, and a lot of people seem to have liked the story.

In order to do the story, I also had to fuzz a few things -- the biggest one of which is that we'd already made this trip once in Blue Beauty, so I had to downplay Myleigh in the middle part of the story, in fact, for much of the story, but there was no point in telling that part of the story twice.

Complicated? Yeah. I wish now I'd stuck with the original idea, but what's done is done. Maybe. The as yet unnamed "Dawnwalker 9" is kicking around in my mind and that might be one way to do it . . . or maybe not. We'll all have to wait and see.

[Square One reference removed]

-- Wes


Chapter 1 Chapter 2 Chapter 3 Chapter 4 Chapter 5
Chapter 6 Chapter 7 Chapter 8 Chapter 9 Chapter 10
Chapter 11 Chapter 12 Chapter 13 Chapter 14 Chapter 15
Chapter 16 Chapter 17 Chapter 18 Chapter 19 Chapter 20
Chapter 21 Chapter 22 Chapter 23 Chapter 24 Chapter 25
Chapter 26 Chapter 27 Chapter 28 Chapter 29