Craig Johnson’s Next Signing Session: Shining a Light on the ‘Horrific’ Realities Aboriginal Women Face
Johnson writes from his ranch in Ucross, population 25. His books are a treat for the people of Wyoming as his characters interact with the landscape and towns that only Wyomingites understand. His new book Morning Star Girl just released on September 21, 2021. To celebrate his series, he will be coming to Casper for a book signing on October 2.
Her book is a poignant subject with the story of Gabby Petito and the call to talk about missing and murdered indigenous women.
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Craig Johnson looks at some heavy topics in his new book. Take your chance to meet him and get a signed book this Saturday October 2 at 7:00 p.m. at the Natrona Country Library.
The National Resource Center for Native Women, which “deals with the scourge of horrific situations that occur with Native women,” and plays an important role in Johnson’s latest book.
Johnson says, “This book is a little different from all the others because it is about missing and murdered Indigenous women. It became a problem for me, just because I was in Hardin, MT, doing an event at the library, and there was a missing persons poster (a homemade missing person) . She was missing a young woman and it was heartbreaking for me because there was information, an award, and a photo of her face. And where the sun come in through the library door, where the sun hit it, about half of it was gone. So only half of the young woman’s face was there… It looked like he had been there for years, and I started to think that was one of the worst things that could happen to a loved one.
This inspired him and he decided to talk about it in his latest book. Seeing this as a social issue, he had to find a way to put Walt Longmire in the spotlight and be able to talk about it in a way that hadn’t been done before. In the book, Longmire meets a threatened young woman, whose sister had disappeared a year earlier. This is something new that Longmire has never known and he must find a way to help it. Johnson says that aspect gave him access to the social issue and a character who has an entertaining past.
One of the most important things he hopes readers will take away from his new book is awareness of the plight of missing Indigenous peoples. According to the FBI, more than 5,600 Native American women went missing last year. He says the Native American population is rather small and unfortunately the number of missing people is grossly disproportionate to that.
Johnson goes on to say, “There are a lot of responsibilities that come with being a writer. You have a job to entertain and to offer good reading. But you also have responsibilities like anyone else in a culture… ”He also said he had a responsibility to know how that would affect Walt Longmire and the other characters in his books.
He’s doing a book signing tour in some of the larger metropolitan areas, but he’ll also be visiting Casper. You can get your own signed copy of The Morning Star Girl and meet Craig Johnson yourself on October 2 at 7 p.m. at the Natrona Country Library.
Johnson says signing dedications in Wyoming will always be close and dear to his heart. He says, “People have different reactions to books… certainly people in our area of Wyoming are going to get a lot more out of books than people in other places. They’re going to get a little more out of the books, just because of the context. They know Wyoming, and so they get all the jokes and all the inside information. “
When asked why he chose Wyoming out of all the places to live and write, the famous author responded with a laugh and mockery, “Why do you have a sense of disbelief in your voice when you pose this? question? He goes on to say, “It’s beautiful… the mountains are so accessible, and there is sublime beauty in the Powder River Country. I fell in love with it. “