ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – As soon as she could hold a crayon, Pari Noskin Taichert has been concocting stories and sharing them with whoever would listen. “It appeared to me as a form of expression from a really early age,” Taichert said. “I’ve dabbled in visual arts and other kinds of creative activities, but my solace, my heart, is around painting with words.”
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Born and raised in Albuquerque, Taichert works in the public relations industry, but still makes time for writing. Her most well-known series is mystery books that take place in various areas of the state. Her main character, Sasha Solomon, similarly works in PR and the readers get to view each town she visits through a visitor’s lens.
She says she finds freedom in being self-published, after having experience trying to fit her stories into a market that wasn’t suited for them. “My stuff’s too quirky, too weird for New York publishing houses. They told me my stories ‘aren’t New Mexico.’ They said it’s cowboys, Native Americans Hispanic people, the wild west. That was the New York-mentality about our state,” Taichert said.
After dealing with the blow of these major publishing houses not accepting her work, she found a different balance and something that feels better for her, even if she doesn’t earn her living as a fiction writer.
What matters most to her, is that her writing gives readers a new perspective on the Land of Enchantment. “When people come to New Mexico, a lot of people only see brown. What I want to do if I can with at least some people, is I want them to see all the gradations,” Taichert said. “I want them to see the ochre and the yellow, the maroon, and the different shades of green. I want them to be able to see as much of that as possible in what I consider the most beautiful state there is.”
Taichert said she has taken time during the pandemic to focus on the current conversations focused on social justice and has taken a step back momentarily to find where she fits and what stories she has the right to tell. “That’s why I probably won’t write about somewhere like Española. There’s [sic] so many stereotypes, I’d be too worried that I wouldn’t do a good job at representing their community,” Taichert said. “The same reason I wouldn’t write about a Native American community. I have too much respect for those communities and I would worry too much about whether or not I was being correct with their tribal government, and everything else.”
Through that, she’s also learned about the importance of how she represents people and their struggles through this book series. “Between the second and third books, I made the decision that Sasha would not drink and drive, because she was still doing that. That’s something where I feel a responsibility as a New Mexican, knowing how bad it is in our state that I won’t contribute to that,” Taichert said.
She’s currently working on another Sasha Solomon story that takes place in Las Cruces which centers around the chile industry. She’s also working on another series about a New Mexico psychic.