I know I haven’t interviewed other authors in a long time on this blog, but R. Castro’s Elemental Linx is a book that attracted my attention. I’m sure it will be of interest to some of my fans as well. I strongly encourage anyone reading this entry to check it out. Links to the book and the book trailer can be found at the end of this interview…
1.) Author’s name:
Young Adult Fantasy
4.) What’s the approximate page count of your novel?
5.) Without giving away spoilers, can you give us a brief summary of the book?
“After experiencing a tragedy too painful to accept, Viviana Magnus starts having strange dreams. In them, she’s whisked away from her cloudy Seattle home to the sun-drenched city of Tenochtitlan during the height of the Aztec Empire. She thinks it’s only an escape—a way for her mind to cope with her harsh reality—especially the parts featuring the handsome young Aztec General, Tadeo.
But when a strange, consuming fire starts building inside Viviana, she discovers her family has been keeping a dark secret. Her dreams aren’t just dreams; they’re preparation for an ancient destiny.
As the old world and the new collide, Viviana learns she is one of the four Elemental Linx, a group of powerful new era Gods and Goddesses, destined to fight a vengeful Aztec Deity bent on destroying the human race.”
6.) I see this novel is Book 1 of a series. How many more books do you plan to write before the series draws to a close?
I’d originally planned on three books for the series. However, it may just work out to be four. The research and storyline most certainly give way for more.
7.) Can you gives us any hints/teasers/clues about what might happen in forthcoming books?
The next book, Five Pendants of Creation, sends the Elemental Linx on a scavenger hunt type mission to a few various parts of the world. The research has been exciting, and I’ve found some fascinating twists to incorporate into the story. I can’t wait to share this with you all once it’s finished.
8.) What are some of the reasons you decided to write this particular novel on this particular subject as opposed to writing about something else?
I’ve been fascinated with Aztec history since I was very young, triggered by the artwork of Jesus Helguera, a Mexican painter. His work is possibly among the most reproduced and or reprinted throughout the homes of Mexican descendants, especially popular in the Chicano community.
‘Grandeza Azteca’ fueled my curiosity as a child. Often seeing the image on print calendars, many in which my family owned, not realizing the impact this was having on me. Then I discovered ‘Caballero Aguila.’ Determined to learn more about the people depicted in his artwork, the civilization, the Aztecs, over the years I would learn of the artist’s name, more of his work, but more specifically, I’d come to know ‘La Leyenda de los Volcanes,’ the final piece that would become my official foundation.
9.) What are some of the major themes that are explored in this book? In other words, what kinds of ideas are you trying to impart to your readers?
First, introduction into Aztec deity. Most people know of the Roman and Greek gods and goddesses. But, little know of the Aztec counterparts. While I do introduce a couple in their original names, I shorten the names, because, let’s face it, the names are a mouthful. Not easy to roll off the tongue. While the book is fantasy, it’s important to me to introduce translatable fears that people face in real life. The emotions that we go through when confronted with our complexities. The series once read completely, should have the underlying message of good vs evil, and being accepting of the rich diversity our world has to offer.
10) Who is your target audience?
Elemental Linx was written for the Young Adult market. However, it is a read that should cross over the generational lines.
11) Some authors have favorite characters in their own books and characters they hate. Who are your favorite characters in The Tetrad Prophecy: Elemental Linx, and why? Who are the characters you dislike the most in The Tetrad Prophecy: Elemental Linx, and why?
It’s hard to say in book one, at least without giving away too much of the series. But, I like Henry Magnus. There is a lot more to his character than meets the eye. I dislike Mr. Anderson, Zoe’s dad. As the series evolves, readers will understand why.
Speaking of readers, there is an official #TeamTadeo vs #TeamAlasdair movement. (I need to get that hashtag going.) I’ve heard from many of my readers about who they like best. I never set out with this intention when I wrote the book, but, I’ll take it.
12) How long did you conceptualize the novel before you began to write it?
A very long time. I’m not even sure when the story started unfolding in my head, but, I’d had the idea all plotted out, mentally, before I took to pen and paper.
13) How long did your book take to write, and how many hours do you think you spent working on it?
It took almost two years! The truth is, I’d written another version of the book, but ended up canning it because it didn’t ring true to my heart. I’d made the mistake of allowing others to read as I wrote, and outside influences drowned my characters voices. I know this works for some, but, it certainly did not work for me. I rather write raw. In terms of hours, it’s tough to measure. I don’t know.
14) How much does the finished product vary from the original idea?
There is about 70% of the original idea within the pages. The modern-day setting has changed, and one of the main characters is completely different to what I’d envisioned.
15) What do you think makes your book something that other people will like to read?
The story, as aforementioned, includes actual history. So there is an educational element. Yes, its fantasy, so its important to read it as such. I feel I do a good job in isolating what is real and what is not to the characters, and therefore to the readers.
16) If, hypothetically speaking, your book was going to be put on film, what do you think would be the best medium for it: A television series, a television mini-series, or a feature film? And why?
First, allow me to say, the thought of my book being picked up on film is amazing! Having said this, I’d have to go with a feature film. There is enough punch within the pages to make it so. A great screenwriter would see this and easily make it happen. Also, because I’m more of a movie gal than small screen.
17) What inspired you to get into writing in the first place?
Reading. I’ve enjoyed reading since I can remember. I was that kid with the flashlight under the blankets.
18) What would you say to aspiring authors who are thinking of writing a book?
If you are truly interested in writing, do it. Write raw, write daily, and keep on writing. If you want to publish your work, do the research. Join writing communities, and most importantly, invest in your art. You have to be willing to accept your shortcomings, be open to constructive criticism, and most importantly, have your work properly edited before you publish anything as a self-published author.
19) If you could speak to your readers and tell them something here and now, what would it be?
Thank you! Thank you for giving me a chance. Without you, my characters voices would be sitting tucked away in a document that time would soon forget. So thank you. It’s because of you that I do this.
20) Please let us know where potential purchasers can find your book.
The Tetrad Prophecy: Elemental Linx
Book Trailer: https://youtu.be/E-iZMDDZ3LQ