Wednesday, April 4, 2012


Guest Blog by Lori R. Lopez
In March of Twenty-Twelve A.D., I released the E-book version for my novel DANCE OF THE CHUPACABRAS, Tome One in my TOME TRILOGY OF TRILOGIES book series. While it combines an array of elements such as horror and humor, fantasy and epic-adventure, the series also contains a serio-comic portrait of Mexican culture as well as aspects of Meso-American history. I plan to release Tome Two by December 2012. Most people are aware, I'm sure, that December 2012 is the month the Mayan Calendar is fated to expire. Numerous theories abound regarding the end of the world based on ancient prophecy, when the truth is likely that this was simply as far into the future as one particular calendar extended. Then it would be time to begin a new count. But it is certainly fun for authors like myself to tie doomsday hysteria into our works of fiction. My Tome Trilogies overall is an epic fairytale, combining myth and prophecy with actual science – Global Warming and Climate Change, for example – along with ancient and modern religious beliefs. Much of it is humorous in vein, and it is not intended to offend anyone. I am striving to capture some of the world's rich diversity in cultures and customs, while also presenting the contrast of both outsider and insider perspectives on Mexico. I am of German and Swedish descent, but my sons are half-Mexican and I wrote this for them. The whole thing was inspired by a curious blend of fact and myth. In 1996 I saw a local newscast about a creature being dubbed "El Chupacabras", meaning "The Goat Sucker". The creature (resembling some hairless hybrid of a greyhound and a kangaroo) was being sighted in Puerto Rico and Mexico, also near the U.S. southern border. I decided to write a screenplay with characters based on my young sons, who were performing in groups and as a brother act of Mexican Ballet Folkloric dancers. They were appearing on stages including San Diego Symphony Hall, the Del Mar Fair, and a number of television programs. I hoped my script would become a film in which they could play the leads. There was interest in the project, such as a personal letter from the head of the story department at Warner Brothers, who declined the proposal due to my lack of an agent and urged me to get one. The agent I found neglected to promote my script. My sons were accepted at John Robert Powers and began attending acting classes. A Hollywood agent signed them after Rafael was cast as a dancing Jack Junior for a Jack-In-The-Box commercial. I continued to send out DANCE OF THE CHUPACABRAS. Then a local production company wanted to option the screenplay but refused to consider Noel and Rafael. I was further informed the company would own all rights to book versions, so I turned down their offer. It was for my sons. Additionally, I wanted to write books. I planned to turn the script into a novel and already had ideas for sequels, which would develop into a trilogy and then three trilogies – what I dubbed "a trilogy of trilogies". I now have the first novel out, after a series of delays, and two of the sequels rough-drafted. The producer contacted me for a couple more years to see if I had changed my mind. I feel confident I made the right decision. Another decision was to self-publish my books to ensure creative control, that it is my untampered vision and voice, another original concept I call an "Author's Draft". The writing style consists of humor and vividly concise description, as well as a flair for inventive vocabulary and other quirks. The plot is imaginative, complex, and unpredictable. Characters, whether unique or classic, are intricately drawn. The multicultural story, extensively researched, should hopefully appeal to a broad range of interests and age groups. The Tome Trilogies take place in a mystical realm I've created called Zone Zero, also The O-Zone (based on an actual stretch of latitude with some of the most extreme points on Earth), where strangeness is common. The book's plot and style are humorous, frightful, dramatic, legendary, unusual, quirky, and not what you're used to reading. But if you keep an open mind, you may be amazed.
In this whimsically wacky legend, a Mexican-American brother duo of folklore dancers and a desert farmer — along with a diverse band of offbeat mortals, angels, and ghosts — battle supernatural forces to protect an oracle-princess as well as the past, present, and future from an Aztec serpent god’s wrath. Not to mention a volatile dragon, crews of feuding barbarians and pirates, a malevolent wizard-scribe and more. Throughout the imaginative course of events flows an undercurrent of apprehension, for the brothers must one day confront each other over the fate of the planet. The challenges overcome by the heroes cannot prevent what was set into motion before their time. An ultimate showdown is destined to occur on December 21, 2012 A.D., the date the Mayan Calendar expires. Mother Nature is old, and damaged by the careless progress of Mankind. Her ecological clock is ticking. A symbolic sacrifice is necessary to restore the balance, just as all people must make sacrifices, a lasting commitment to save the planet. Whether the new age that dawns is another period of foolishness, or a time of harmonic co-existence, will be up to humanity. Tome One, DANCE OF THE CHUPACABRAS, is available in both print and digital formats: PAPERBACK: E-BOOK: --Lori R. Lopez (Thanks to Lori for her Guest Blog in the Cinco de Mayo celebration this issue. --The Black Glove)