(CBS Local)– Rebecca Roanhorse is one of the most gifted fiction writers out there and her new book “Black Sun” from Simon & Schuster doesn’t disappoint. The New York Times bestseller has created an epic world where she blends indigenous characters with a fascinating futuristic sci-fi world.

Photograph by Stephen Land

While this is the fifth novel Roanhorse has written, this one hit her on a deeper emotional level than the others.

“This is really the book of my heart and the one where I felt most free to follow my muse,” said Roanhorse, in an interview with CBS Local’s DJ Sixsmith. “I explored a world that I created whole cloth. It’s inspired by the pre-Colombian Americas, the various cultures, architecture and poetry. Everything from those cultures makes its way into this book. The biggest challenge was finding the time. I actually did a draft of 95,000 words, turned it into my editor and he thought I could do better. I took it back, broke it down to its bones and re-wrote the entire thing.”

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Roanhorse’s editing and revising took her nine months to complete. While science fiction writing about indigenous people has been around for a long time, this genre of work has largely not been given much mainstream focus. The author wanted to use this book to bring that narrative back to the forefront.

“I think sometimes people have trouble imagining indigenous people in the future,” said Roanhorse. “I think often in popular culture we are stuck in the 1800s. We are out in the west and riding horses and that sort of thing. In fact, indigenous people are here. They’re still around and still creating stories and they will be into the future. Sometimes sci-fi fails us in that way. There are a lot of folks out there writing right now and trying to make a difference and trying to bring pop culture up to date.”

Roanhorse’s book is available now wherever you get your books and watch all of DJ Sixsmith’s interviews from “The Sit-Down” series here.