by Thomas Juarez
Genre: Metaphysical Fiction
Chaotic skies reveal untold prophecies. A storm rises. Can a boy quell the fury of a god?Join the Zapotec on a journey through time and across generations.
Referring to themselves as the cloud people, their fierce warriors conquered and ruled the Oaxaca for centuries. Witness rites, rituals and incantations aimed at appeasing the divine in an attempt to gain favor; favor that would grant them greatness. So, where did it all go wrong? Why would such powerful gods allow their disciples to be conquered? These answers and more would be offered many centuries later by their descendants. Descendants of a civilization whose glory can only be revived by the awakening of the most powerful deity in Zapotec lore: Cocijo, the god of lightening and rain.
Drawing upon freshly-minted memories, Gus began to tell them of the vision, and of the two fascinating figures he witnessed in the vision. He kept repeating the fact that he had never been noticed by any living creature in his visions. “Never, Citalli. Never,” he quipped. “I can still see the intense gaze of immortality in his eyes. Almost as if he could see forever and beyond, demanding my fear; he wasn’t just demanding my fear, he got it.”
Thomas (Tom) Juarez is a retired United States Army soldier with about twenty-one years of active federal service. Hailing from Wetumpka, Alabama, Tom currently enjoys his military retirement with his wife in Sterling, Oklahoma.
What are your top 10 favorite books/authors?
I love the Altered Carbon trilogy by Richard K. Morgan! Fair warning, this masterpiece is very violent, sexual and in your face. Typically, I do not read such progressive books, but the storyline is just so unique that I could not help myself. Mister Morgan has a way of piling adjectives on top of other adjectives while leaving you wanting even more.
What book do you think everyone should read?
Bram Stoker’s Dracula. The imagination required to fabricate such a story still baffles the senses.
Do the characters all come to you at the same time or do some of them come to you as you write?
I feel you must develop the main characters before you begin. The “small players” can be revealed to you as continue to develop your story.
What kind of research do you do before you begin writing a book?
Study the terrain and surroundings of the area you will be portraying. Learn about the people and wildlife in that area,
Do you see writing as a career?
I truly hope so; I could use a new reality.
What do you think about the current publishing market?
The publishing landscape is tricky at best. Mainstream may take the glory, but as an independent author I can choose to ignore editorial advice. Having said that, I used 99% of the editorial advice I received.
Do you read yourself and if so what is your favorite genre?
I love Fantasy and Science fiction, but I am a sucker for history books (specifically ancient cultures).
Do you prefer to write in silence or with noise? Why?
I need silence! I get side tracked too easy.
Pen or type writer or computer?
Advice you would give new authors?
Hire an editor; trust me, you need it! Amber Byers of https://www.tadpolepress.com/ helped me in so many ways, I truly would have been lost without her.
What is your writing process? For instance do you do an outline first? Do you do the chapters first?
First you need some form of inspiration to make a story from. Then begin studying some of the information you think may pertain to your story. After you have a basic premise, develop an outline along with character names. Take at least a day to define the characters and picture them in your head. How do they look, act and talk? I use my outline as a sort of living document because it changes so much. For example, the ancient part (part one) of my story was going to be a prologue. I found there was too much of a story to tell there to leave it as a prologue…so there is no prologue.
What is your writing Kryptonite?
Noise! I wish I could make a sound proof room to write in. This soundproof room would need color and smell though…continue to tickle the senses.
Do you try more to be original or to deliver to readers what they want?
I try to write in a manner in which people do not feel the need to grab a dictionary mid-read. If the word is too big or complex, I feel it takes away from the story.
If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?
Smell every flower without a bug on it. Breathe life in slowly, allowing you to exhale your observances into your story telling.
What’s the most difficult thing about writing characters from the opposite sex?
Nothing…it’s fiction lol. I have found that trying to make someone act predominantly male or female sets a type of stereotype. I tried hard not to make my characters robots, but I did want traditional family structure in this story. There are stories which demand you stray from mainstream family thinking, and I get that; but this story demanded what I envision as a traditional family. Keep in mind, my normal is not necessarily your normal. I believe that is because there is no such thing as a universal norm, and that is a very good thing.
How long on average does it take you to write a book?
This was my only book. I researched for months on end, then wrote the book in a month. After all of that, it took 3 months to finish editing.
Do you believe in writer’s block?
Yes! Writers block is real. Sometimes you may have to just take a day off…try not to make it two.
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