Weaving together the threads that make up my passion for the written word…as an author, editor, and follower of The Word.
Help us get to know you better! What do you write, and how do you describe yourself as an author?
My stories are what I’ve dubbed Southwest Contemporary Fantasy because of the New Mexico setting. I’ve also found my work closely resembles what is called “Magical Realism.” I am most interested in crafting stories from out of my own imagination, creating my own world that compares to my home, New Mexico, but with interesting twists. This allows me to use a setting and environment I’m familiar with, yet gives me the freedom to re-create it according to my own vision.
Of all the characters you’ve created, which one do you wish you could hang out with in real life and why?
Nersite, a small Nohmin who lives underground and is a great little storyteller, seems the most friendly and compatible to me. He likes a good time, has an ironic sense of humor, and doesn’t make high-maintenance demands on his friends. Nersite is an outdoors kind of guy and ready for an adventure which also makes him appealing to me. Some of my other characters, especially my main character, Don, would probably wear on my nerves after a while. On the other hand, Raquela, Don’s love interest is a fascinating woman who brings together many of things I like about the interesting women I’ve known.
What innermost passion drives your writing, and what do you hope your readers feel or experience when they read your work?
I get these atypical ideas all the time: strange plots, odd characters, bizarre situations, settings with surreal features, anomalies of all kinds. Writing is the only way I can pull them out of my imagination and make them “real.” That passion to re-create these ideas is what drives me. It is my hope that my readers will be equally fascinated and inspired by my work. Being a life-long teacher, I’m always trying to move people to start their own explorations. That is my hope with my work.
All this leads to a unique modern fantasy involving curanderas, an alcoholic looking for escape from the failures of his life, an enigmatic bat who manipulates events behind the scenes, adventures, a beautiful woman, and more surprises in this contemporary New Mexico-based tale.
Though the book ends, the story doesn’t. Book 2 of the Rio Grande Parallax: Extreme Dust Storms May Exist is now available. Many familiar characters from The Tower return along with new exciting personalities to spice up the adventure:
Extreme Dust Storms May Exist (release date coming up in mid-July 2015):
It is five years after the final events of The Tower of Il Serrohe and Esther, a sixteen-year-old honor student and athlete, suffers a mysterious accident and dreams of a valley much like her Rio Luna home, yet ominously different. Next, a bat repeatedly slams its body against her window during a powerful wind storm and she hears a whispering in the darkness.
It is the bat, Nightwing, who persuaded Don to take on his mission in The Tower. Nightwing begins to persuade Esther, Don’s younger cousin, to use her intelligence and resourcefulness to drive away the Soreyes from the Valle Abajo—the valley of her dreams. As she shares these disturbing details with her best friend, Markey, they both worry Esther is going insane.
However, new dangers threaten when word reaches the Valle about a murderous clan in the far away Mountains of Sky east of the Valle while in the west there lives another band of Soreyes. Meanwhile, a mysterious presence lurks in the background as the saga of the Rio Grande Parallax continues.
How real are my characters?
Some of my characters are obviously fantasy, but based on interesting human peculiarities of most every person I’ve ever met. Even Don, though a regular human, is not based on any one person, but a collection of individuals I’ve known and other characters I’ve encountered in literature. I’ve tried hard to “test” my characters—even the fantasy ones—against reality so that I hope readers will find them believable given the setting and plot I’ve created.
What larger social message does my series convey?
People tend to put themselves in little groups and the groups come into conflict with each other… I think people from different cultures are a bit suspicious of each other. The clans in the book have some elements of New Mexico, but they are also universal; they could be from any part of the world.
What is the general theme of The Rio Grande Parallax series?
The message is: “All of what we perceive to be reality is a function of our perception which is informed by our normal senses and our emotional and philosophical states of being.” And, as always: evil is bad, kindness is good, and love is essential to life.
No big agenda other than entertaining my readers who will share in my imagination as they read the book.
Personal Comments: Why New Mexico Fantasy?
I’ve always loved the way fantasy and science fiction take my imagination beyond the ordinary. Realizing the obsessive creation of stories in my head meant I should be a writer, I set out to fashion a unique niche for my musings calling it Southwest Contemporary Fantasy, specifically New Mexico fantasy. Thus Don, Nersite, Raquela and all the other characters were born and sent out on their unpredictable adventures.
But like many children, they have their own ideas, and I struggle to keep up with them, attempting to tell their story as accurately as I can. I admit they share some of my life experience growing up in New Mexico with its unique culture, terrain, and climate. But at times, I wonder where these people came from!
Join me as I chronicle their adventures and challenges.
RJ Mirabal loves the Middle Rio Grande Valley having lived there for most of his life. Los Lunas High School 2006 Teacher of the Year, author RJ Mirabal, went on to win the Excellence in Education Award for NEA-New Mexico in 2007, having taught English, speech, drama and computer literacy. Now happily retired, he purses writing and music while volunteering with a motorcycle club and teachers’ organizations. RJ enjoys exploring New Mexico’s wilderness areas on his four-wheeler and traveling with his wife, Cheryl. The Tower of Il Serrohe is his debut novel.
For a limited time, RJ’s first book, The Tower of Il Serrohe, is available in Nook and Kindle formats for free on his publisher, Black Rose Writing’s site: The Tower for Free!
Black Rose Writing: http://goo.gl/fZXWgF
Barnes & Noble: http://goo.gl/42OHpk
Signed copy from the author or other questions, email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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