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Frequently Asked Questions

A Faithful Following

  • Is Cattail, Idaho a real place?
    No. Cattail, Idaho is a fictional setting imagined to be somewhere between Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, and Moscow, Idaho. However, the Palouse referred to throughout the novel is a real place. It is a geographic region that encompasses parts of Idaho and Washington and is known as an agricultural area - wheat in particular.


  • Any trigger warnings?
    "A Faithful Following" includes scenes of kidnapping, sexual abuse, substance abuse, death, extreme religious viewpoints, and grief.


  • Is this novel about real people or a real group?
    No. All characters, including the religious group, are fictional. However, the faith-healing statute referenced in the novel has been a part of Idaho's history in real life. Character commentary on that statute is not intended to be construed as legal advice.


  • Is there sex/violence/profanity?
    Sex: implied, not explicit. Violence: yes. Profanity: $%* yes.


  • Is this a good book for kids?
    That's going to be a hard no. "A Faithful Following" is intended for mature readers.


  • Is "A Faithful Following" critical of religion?
    Some characters express attitudes towards extreme religious views that may be viewed as critical. However, there are also positive religious themes throughout the book.


  • What inspired you to write "A Faithful Following"?
    While I was pregnant, I read an article about new mothers who had discovered they were being watched via baby monitors during their most vulnerable moments (nursing the baby, etc.). It made me realize that, although my rural hometown always struck me as safe, ever-increasing connectivity and technological advances made breaching that security easier than ever. On the other hand, some rural communities were still so far behind - declining even the most basic medical treatment in favor of faith healing practices that I knew from my experience as a criminal defense attorney were still protected through a loophole in Idaho laws. That same summer, I visited the Palouse region (just a few hours South), and I felt inspired by the rolling, golden fields and vast prairie. A Faithful Following marries all of these elements in a contrast between the rural, seemingly peaceful small town; the dark, religious sects that can tuck themselves away into the folds of such communities; and the malicious, insidious nature of high-tech crime.


  • What are your characters drawn from?
    I was inspired by a combination of work experience and my own family dynamic. As a former criminal defense attorney (specifically, a public defender), I saw firsthand how trauma could dramatically change the trajectory of a person's life. While a person with resources and support might find it easier to bounce back, for those in society who struggle to meet basic needs and/or do not have healthy connections with family and friends, the outcome is usually much different. I wanted my characters to demonstrate the various impacts of trauma on a person, but also the moral ambiguity of man - essentially, what makes a person bad or good? I also drew on my own fears of inheriting generational issues based on family struggles I witnessed as a child.

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