When I finished writing No Secret Too Small, I had every intention of moving directly into another novel about the Locke family and their friends, this one focusing on the 1841 Texan Santa Fe Expedition.
But New Mexico’s 1837 revolt wouldn’t leave me alone. I kept thinking about all the people who’d been involved on both sides of the rebellion and how little I’d been able to plumb the depths of their experience in No Secret Too Small. There was so much more to explore.
“What did it feel like to be there?” is always the first question I ask about historical events. For example, how did it feel to be Governor Pérez on the night he fled Santa Fe? Why did he return the next day? What was Taos Pueblo-born José Angel Gonzalez’s reaction to replacing Pérez? What was it like for him to try to govern a divided New Mexico? And what exactly was Manuel Armijo doing in the meantime?
And all the others: Santa Cruz de la Cañada alcalde and rebel leader Juan José Esquibel. Gambling salon owner Gertrudes “Doña Tules” Barceló and the women who went with her to the rebel camp. Padre Antonio José Martínez of Taos, trying to keep the rebels there in check. The children of the families who refugeed to Santa Fe. The spouses of the rebels. What was it like for them?
I just couldn’t let it go. I had to tell their stories. But whose should I tell? The rebels? The government officials? The refugees? Any point of view I chose limited my ability to explore the full complexity of events, reduced my scope for examining the class differences, long-standing racial divides, and deep-seated frustrations that I believe lay behind the rebellion’s more immediate precipitating factors.
So I decided to take a huge risk and tell all the stories in one book. Well, not really. But at least part of them. All the points of view. Each section of the forthcoming There Will Be Consequences (February 2022) moves the narrative forward in time and tells that portion from a different perspective, including the wife of a rebel leader, Pérez, Doña Tules, Gonzales, Esquibel, Armijo, Martínez , and others.
Is this too many points of view? My editor tells me it works. I’ll be interested to hear what you think.