I’ve worked on the book Kanana: The Jungle Girl off and on for about five years. The original idea was to write another homage to Edgar Rice Burroughs. I wanted to recreate the enjoyment I got reading The Cave Girl, The Eternal Savage, and of course Tarzan of the Apes. That gave me the basis. Of course it was The Cave Girl that had the female primitive matched up with the modern male. This has been kind of my approach too, with Princess of Amathar, and for that matter, His Robot Girlfriend. I also wanted to set it in a historic and adventurous time, so the early 1900s. This also let me use Theodore Roosevelt as a character. But where to set it?
I was hesitant to place the story in any real world setting, not the least because it would have required a great deal of research. I didn’t want to emulate ERB by placing tigers in Africa. I also wanted enough empty territory to place the cultures and lost civilizations of my own imagining. Then I read a book called A World of Difference by Harry Turtledove. In it, the author simply replaced the planet Mars with his own world. I thought, “That’s it. I’ll just replace a continent on Earth with my own.” So I used the lost continent of Mu as a basis, but let it be discovered by Sir Francis Drake, who named it Elizagaiea (as Virginia was taken by then.)
I based the concept of Kanana on a (Sumerian, I think) mythological female, who was literally a woman from the forest. I had also had a student whose first name was Kanana.
Kanana: The Jungle Girl is currently available wherever fine ebooks are sold for 99 cents.