One of the best things about writing the Crystal of the Ukteena was that I was able to utilize my knowledge of organic chemistry, which allowed me to accurately describe the creation of methamphetamine in a modern lab. This was part of the modern setting. The story travels to the past as well, and here I utilize my knowledge of prehistoric Mississippi Native American tribal life. The Ukteena was a traditional monster of this area. It was depicted as a sort of dragon with a crystal on its head. It could only be defeated by destroying this crystal.
The Ukteena monster can be put to rest by magic, but when Professor Aydin kills a student who he feels has put his drug operation at risk, the blood from the murder seeps into an Indian burial area and activates the Ukteena, who rises, filled with the hunger of centuries of waiting.
Although Aydin also wants to destroy beautiful Professor Clarissa Ford, she is the only one who can save him, and the rest of the world from the ancient curse.