The Tony Hillerman ‘writers’ conference will take place at the ‘Hotel Santa Fe: Hacienda & Spa.’ at downtown Santa Fe, N.M. this Nov. 8-10, 2012. ‘Wordharvest’ was established back in 2002 by Anne Hillerman and Jean Schaumberg. Both of them are committed to the artistic craft of writing. They sponsor the ‘Hillerman’ conference with workshops focusing on writing techniques & the actual business side of writing.
The center of operations for ‘Wordharvest’ is in Santa Fe & according to their official website they claim to, – “celebrate the legacy of iconic mystery author Tony Hillerman with two writing contests.” They include the prize for ‘first’ mystery novel & the mystery ‘short story.’ Mr. Hillerman attended the writers conference from 2004-07. He passed away in ’08. Several writers & celebrities attended the conference over the years. They include, – Michael McGarrity – Jonathan Kellerman – David Morrell – Craig Johnson & Native American actor Wes Studi.
The city of ‘Santa Fe’ serves as the back drop of the Michael McGarrity mystery novels. The stories involve a sheriff named Kevin Kerney who is a veteran of the Vietnam War. He solves homicides with some involving corrupt cops & judges. He also has a Native American ‘Apache’ son he didn’t know he had. That son also became a ‘tribal cop’ on his Indian Reservation. In a number of novels both father & son team up to solve gruesome murders.
The county of ‘Absaroka’ in the state of Wyoming is the central focus of mystery novelist Craig Johnson. A sheriff named Walt Longmire solves homicides near the Cheyenne Indian Reservation. Johnson’s books were turned into a TV series called, ‘Longmire’ for the A & E cable network. It stars Robert Taylor as ‘Walt’ & Lou Diamond Phillips as ‘Henry Standing Bear.’ The show has been picked up for a second TV season after record TV ratings in the summer of 2012. ‘Longmire’ was filmed in Santa Fe, N.M & cast several Native American actors plus background extras.
Native American actor Wes Studi had portrayed ‘Navajo’ cop Joe Leaphorn in the PBS mystery movies, ‘Skinwalkers’, ‘Coyote Waits’ & ‘A Thief of Time.’ All of them are based on the mystery novels written by Tony Hillerman. Each movie starred Native American cast members. They include, – Adam Beach – Graham Greene – Saginaw Grant – Sheila Tousey – Gray Farmer – Tantoo Cardinal. Native film director Chris Eyre helmed both ‘Skinwalkers’ & ‘A thief of Time.’