In Gray Dominion, I wanted to give important roles to older women. Kath is a socially awkward but bright birdwatcher. She teams up with a local artist with guts. Both women are invisible to the authorities even though they discover and solve several crimes within Yellowstone Park.
One of the themes of this novel is how crucial a primary predator is to an ecosystem. During the 70 years that the grey wolf was absent from Yellowstone National Park, the elk population increased in overwhelming numbers. New willow shoots were grazed down forcing beaver to leave the park. Rivers ran fast and straight. Song birds lost their nesting sites. The reintroduction of the grey wolf changed the ecosystem back to where it was once more in balance.
The above pen and ink drawings are by Anne Curo, a San Diego artist. Thirty more of her drawings grace the book exposing the reader to Yellowstone’s abundant wildlife.