Clare B. Dunkle

A Photographic Study for The Walls Have Eyes

By Clare B. Dunkle. New York: Atheneum, 2009.

Venice glass

I wrote The Sky Inside and this book, its sequel, while my family was living in Germany. We had been away from home for four years when I started The Sky Inside, and I was feeling very homesick. Europe is beautiful, but it is nothing like the part of the United States I call home. I'm a child of the Southwest: I grew up in north Texas and live in south Texas. My husband's family lives in Arizona, so family trips have taken us across New Mexico, Arizona, Utah, and Colorado.

I wrote the landscapes of the Southwest into this book as vividly as I could recall them. If you are unfamiliar with Martin's world, here are some photographs to bring it to life for you. You can find a photographic study for The Sky Inside here.

Southwest landscape

Martin and his parents have to find shelter in the semi-arid landscape. Those readers familiar with more moderate climates may have wondered why the grass and weeds aren't chest high. Answer: in the Southwest, if large animals are grazing in the area, grass and weeds may not get a chance to grow much at all.

desert scrub

Mom, Dad, and Martin escape into thickets of scrub oak, juniper, and pine.

desert scrub

This sort of scrub can be very frustrating to the hiker: hardly taller than a person, but very difficult to walk through.

Southwest stream

Streams in the Southwest often run very shallow. This isn't like the sandy stream they find near HM1. It's more like the mountain stream they find near their new home.

Arizona desert

Later, Martin travels to the high desert when he visits Malcolm's laboratory. The landscape is pink, and it seems to shift around them as their rail car rolls through it.

Arizona desert

When I wrote about the scoops and mounds of the pink country, the odd pinnacles, and the piles of rocks, I was thinking about landscapes like this one.

Arizona desert

These are certainly odd pinnacles!

Arizona desert

This is the desert Martin wants to come back to explore with Chip. Who wouldn't? It's beautiful.

Photographs copyright 2009 by Joseph R. Dunkle.

All webpage text copyright 2003-2014 by Clare B. Dunkle, unless attributed otherwise. All photos copyright 2003-2014 by Joseph R. Dunkle, unless attributed otherwise. You may make one print copy of any page on this site for private or educational use. You may quote the author using short excerpts from this website, provided you attribute the quote. You may use the photos in both print and virtual media to promote the author's books or events. All other copying or use of this website material, either photos or text, is forbidden without the express written consent of the author.