Sample Some of My Writing:
CODE TALKER: The first and only memoir by one of the original Navajo code talkers of WWII (as told to Judith Schiess Avila) - Now a best-seller from Penguin/Berkley! Chester Nez volunteers as a Marine during WWII even though his Navajo people are not allowed to vote. He becomes one of the 29 original code talkers, the men who developed the famous Navajo code and took it into battle against the Japanese. It is the only code in modern warfare that has never been broken. (Winner of the New Mexico Press Women's Zia Award and the New Mexico/Arizona Book Award.)
Buy Code Talker on Amazon.
Buy the short e-book (follow-up to Code Talker) The Life and Times of the Code Talker on Amazon.
THE CHANGE: REFUGE (novel, as yet unpublished) - Zee Winter has no idea she is about to become public enemy number one of big oil. All Zee wants is to hang out with her two best friends and to graduate from high school in New Hampshire. But floods and drought force her to flee to the Navajo Reservation in New Mexico – with her mother, five-year-old brother Robby, and medical alert dog Yoda – where she confronts forces larger than herself.
TAPROOT (novel, as yet unpublished) - America Davila, newly graduated from Columbia University, moves to New York City to escape the stranglehold of her traditional family. But she is dragged back by a fearsome foe, her ninety-eight pound mama.
BALLAD IN THREE VOICES (novel, as yet unpublished) - Tragedy ricochets through a family with surprising results. Three adult siblings, freed from accustomed roles, launch themselves in directions that are sometimes creative, sometimes illegal, but always surprising.
LIFE RAFT BLUES (novel, as yet unpublished) - Success traps a young professional in a job she has grown to hate. Inadvertently she becomes involved in a computer scam that threatens lives, including her own.
SECRETS OF THE DREAMCATCHERS (novel, as yet unpublished) - Even on a distant planet, teenagers yearn to buck the establishment. Orphaned, Alira Tenfoot joins forces with four friends. Living in a hidden tree house, they forge a secret society dedicated to survival in the face of a predatory government.
Hola! from Tijeras, NM
After growing up in New York and New Hampshire, I made New Mexico, with its wonderful diversity of cultures, my home. I worked as a social worker, an artist, an air traffic controller, and a computer consultant before finally discovering writing!
As a storyteller, I hope that my characters become fast friends with my readers.
My non-fiction project, Code Talker, is the first and only memoir of an original WWII Navajo Code Talker. Chester Nez's story, just out from Penguin/Berkley on Sept. 6, 2011, is a best-seller. It won the Albuquerque Press Women's Zia Award, the New Mexico / Arizona Book Award and was read in its entirety on National Public Radio (NPR)!!
My fictional characters live, like all of us, in an imperfect world. But they focus on what could be. This often requires grit, determination and the courage to step out of their own paradigms.
Please sample my writing by clicking on the tags at left.
-Judith Schiess Avila
If you would like to contact me, my e-mail is
JudithAvila_1 @ msn.com.