About writing, I can say that while father painted, my mother liked to write, although neither of them wrote or painted for a living. Maybe predictably, I wanted to both paint and write and so when I was small I thought it would be cool to write a book and illustrate it, which I’ve now done.
I’ve never taken a creative writing course, nor am I well read. Like some of my cousins, I’ve mostly been good at pondering fast food menus for literary content. I haven’t read many of the great First Nations writers, either. Not really. Those would be the ones you’d have to discuss on the way to getting a degree. But I have read some Ernest Hemmingway and some Kurt Vonnegut and I like their clean and evocative styles.
I was lucky that anyone wanted to publish a book with me I think, especially on the first submission, which has happened twice with the same manuscript. I am also lucky to have my much acclaimed writer friend, Emer Martin, as editor of a novel that I’m finishing. In writing as in painting, you can lose your place. Suddenly you look up from what you’re working on and it’s dark again and you wonder how that could have happened.
(Touched by Thunder is published by LeftCoast Press, Walnut Grove, California and by Currach Press, Dublin, Republic of Ireland)
Touched by Thunder is the reflections of a Renaissance man out of time – a spiritual seeker in an often heartless secular world. It’s a book of yarns and tall tales and is, above all, a fascinating read. Waylon Gary White Deer, an artist and writer of the Choctaw Nation, connected with Ireland in 1992 when the Choctaw famine donation came to light. In swirling, fast-paced prose, White Deer recounts his personal journey from a tough childhood through to his time in Ireland’s Celtic Tiger years with wit, some sadness, and keen social and historical observation.
Hot Press Magazine, Helena Mulkerns.
However you wish to view the perspectives given in this book, it is undeniably a very unique and interesting memoir with a whole host of characters that will surprise and delight you. Not least is the author himself, whose voice resonates with humour, empathy, deep spirit and a call to remember who we are.
The Southern Star, Aisling Meath.
Touched by Thunder is not a usual memoir, nor is White Deer a usual person… His is the first indigenous memoir that truly captures the drama, the laughter, the wit, dangers, gifts and complexities of being a native person of our generation.
Joy Harjo, recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award, Native Writers Circle of the Americas.
Touched by Thunder is a good book and you should like, buy it.
Waylon Gary White Deer. Author, Touched by Thunder.
Contributing Author: “Red Lamp Black Piano” Tara Press (Dublin) 2014.
Author, Illustrator: “Touched by Thunder” LeftCoast Press (USA) February, 2013.
Author, Illustrator: “Touched By Thunder” Currach Press, Dublin. November, 2012.
Author: “Chahta Bilia Hoke: A Tribal Overview of Choctaw History” LeftCoast Press, (pending)
Subject: The Celtic Choctaw; an Indian Finds Himself on the Emerald Isle Associated Press article published in the Washington Post and the New York Times. By Helen O’Neill, Special Correspondent. July 11, 2010.
Subject: The Choctaw Story. Hibernia Magazine, May-June 2010.
Photo representation: World literature Today magazine May/June 2009.
Contributing Author: The Path of the Blue Raven. O Books, John Hunt Publishing Ltd, Hampshire, United Kingdom, November, 2009.
Author: “Spirit and Remembrance” The Southern Star, Cork City, Ireland; May 8, 2009.
Guest Editor: “Reconciliation Day” Columbus Ledger-Enquirer, Columbus, Ga October 6, 2008.
Contributing Author: “Remembrance of Things and Things Past: Museums as Memorials and Encounters with Native American History” Journal of the Council for Museum Anthropology Vol. 27 Issue 1-2 January 2008
Introductory Author: “The Ties that Bind: Southeastern Split Cane Basketry” Louisiana Folk Life Center, Northeastern State University, Natchitoches, LA, January, 2006.
Contributing Author: “Reader in Archaeological Theory” Routledge Press, London 2003.
Essay Subject: “Un temoin des ‘Peuples Premiers’ Gary White Deer peintre Amerindian Choctaw” St Therese de Lisieux Magazine, Lisieux, France 2003.
Author: “Overview of Choctaw History” Interactive Internet tribal-federal consultation resource, United States Department of Defense Construction Engineering Research Laboratory, Champaign-Urbana, ILL 2002.
Contributing Author and Cover Artist: “Stepping Stones to Common Ground; Native Americans and Archaeology” Alta Mira Press 2002.
Frontispiece Artist and Contributing Author: “A Gift of Roses; Memories of the Visit to Ireland of St Therese” Wolfhound Press, Dublin 2001.
Contributing Author: “Skull Wars: Kennewick Man, Archaeology, and the Battle for Native American Identity” HarperCollins, Canada 2000
Introductory Author and Choctaw Editor: “The Long March” Marie Louise Fitzpatrick. Wolfhound Press (Ireland), Bicycle Press (USA) 2000.
Author: “From Specimans to SAA Speakers: Evolution by Federal Mandate” Society for American Archaeology Bulletin 16 (3) 1998
Author: “Pretty Shell Shaker” essay article in Remaining Ourselves; Music and Tribal Memory Oklahoma Arts Council 1997.
Author: “Return of the Sacred: Spirituality and the Scientific Imperative’ Society for American Achaeology Bulletin 14 (5) 1996
Author: “Chickasaw” Encyclopedia of North American Indians, Houghton Mifflin, 1996.
Essay Subject: “The Choctaw and the Irish” World of Hibernia magazine, winter, 1996.
Illustrator: “Mini Myths and Legends of Oklahoma Indians” Lucelia Wise, Illustrated Books, 1978.
Essay Subject: “A Pictorial Expression of the Indian Soul” Southwest Art Magazine, 1977.