Michelle Black divides her time between Kansas City and a log home in the mountains of Colorado. She was born in Kansas and studied anthropology in college. She created her first “book,” an illustrated survey of ancient Olmec art, as her undergraduate thesis. She went on to law school and graduated with honors.
In 1993, she moved to Colorado and began to focus on her fiction writing. For three years, she owned a bookstore in Frisco, Colorado, a small town nestled high in the Colorado Rockies at 9,000 feet, where she resided with her husband and two sons.
In September 2003, Tom Doherty Associates published her novel of historical suspense, The Second Glass of Absinthe, under the Forge imprint. Set in 1880 Leadville, Colorado, the story unfolds against the backdrop of the town's first labor strike. The shocking murder of the heiress owning Leadville's wealthiest mine unleashes all sorts of intrigue and scandal. The title is taken from a quote by Oscar Wilde (who once visited Leadville but does not make an appearance in the novel).
The story touches on many facets of Leadville life including the Victorian obsession with the occult.
Solomon Spring, Absinthe's predecessor, was published in 2002, and was released in paperback in 2003. Though primarily an intriguing mystery novel, the story tackles many social issues enmeshed in the commercial exploitation of a sacred Native American shrine which actually existed on the Kansas prairie and was thought to have miraculous healing properties by white men and Plains Indians alike.
Her previous historical novel, An Uncommon Enemy, a story set during the early years of the Plains Indian Wars, was also published by Forge in the fall of 2001. The book was a finalist for the Oklahoma Book Award given by the Center for the Book.
While researching that novel, she began to study the Cheyenne language and became involved in the movement to save our Native American languages from extinction. In 1999, her company, WinterSun Press, began to publish a Cheyenne language course called “Let's Talk Cheyenne” in a not-for-profit collaboration with a linguist on the Northern Cheyenne Reservation in Montana. The course was so successful that in 2002, it outgrew her small press and she negotiated to have the project taken over by a national publisher.
She is a former member of the board of directors of Women Writing the West, a national organization of writers and other professionals who are writing and promoting the Women's West. Her leisure time activities include snowboarding, horseback riding (she prefers an Australian saddle), collecting Absinthe spoons, and building Victorian dollhouses that resemble the ones she describes in her novels.
In the American West of 1880, Leadville, Colorado, is the wealthiest mining district on earth and by far its richest mine is the Eye Dazzler.
When Lucinda Ridenour, the notorious widow-heiress...