What inspired you to write this book?
A lifelong dream of mine, and a need to escape my own realities. Where would we be without dreams?
What can we expect from you in the future?
I would like to write a second part of this book. I think anyone who completes reading the book (provided you like it), will want to know what’s next.
Do you have any “side stories” about the characters?
I was a gunnery department instructor like Citalli…but no, I did not make Citalli like me; I wanted him to be something more.
Can you tell us a little bit about the characters in Awakening Cocijo?
Citalli means star and is a feminine name, but I had to have that character to be named star…just something called to me. You’ll see in the book how I maneuvered into, and explained, the origin of Citalli’s name.
How did you come up with the concept and characters for the book?
I was gifted a book about how to write a book; what a great gift! I found developing the characters to be the most difficult part of the journey. Trying to figure out quirks and speech patterns for each of them. If you pay attention to those around you, or even to interviews on tv, we all tend to have repetitive words and phrases we covet. I wanted my characters to be mainly Hispanic, although I wanted Kara to be Native American. I wanted the American peoples native to this continent to be portrayed as children of the same god(s).
Where did you come up with the names in the story?
Some names I researched on the internet and some I came up with myself. When naming General Percival, I was searching for pretentious names, lol. Sorry General officers, nothing personal; he was a fictional character, I do not think General officers are pretentious. I just wanted something, I don’t know, different maybe.
What did you enjoy most about writing this book?
The escape! I quit worrying about the world around me and just pecked away.
Who designed your book covers?
Sue Campbell https://suecampbellgraphicdesign.com/
Did you learn anything during the writing of your recent book?
I learned tons! Things that don’t occur to new writers like me. If you have an animal stalking and killing another animal…how would that act occur specific to hunter and prey? How did people live? What did they eat? How did they speak?
If your book was made into a film, who would you like to play the lead?
What is your favorite part of this book and why?
My favorite part of the book was represented in Pecala’s dream world. I wanted to create a fantastic dream, have other gods revealed, and give a sneak peak into things that would come to pass.
If you could spend time with a character from your book whom would it be? And what would you do during that day?
I think I would choose Canneo because of his carefree nature.
Are your characters based off real people or did they all come entirely from your imagination?
Entirely from imagination except one…you can find that in the author’s notes.
Convince us why you feel your book is a must read.
I feel as though my book is unique. Moreover, I feel as though the Zapotec people have been overlooked…they are still with us today. I hope to have some Zapotec people read the book and admire the story.
Have you written any other books that are not published?
Nope! This is it. Please let me know if I should continue.
If your book had a candle, what scent would it be?
What did you edit out of this book?
Originally, I was going to have Kara die in child birth, but I felt the need for a strong feminine character. I needed a character to have smarts and to be able to gently maneuver through my story using an influential style leadership.
Fun Facts/Behind the Scenes/Did You Know?'-type tidbits about the author, the book or the writing process of the book.
I have a 3d printed replica of a funerary urn which represents Cocijo. I placed this urn next to my laptop for inspiration as I worked.
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.
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.
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