Follow along the tour with these hashtags: #MayanBlue #Mayans #legends
My guest today is authors Michelle Garza and Melissa Lason
Welcome to you both, let’s start with you telling us a little about yourselves including where you are from?
Michelle Garza and Melissa Lason- We are a twin sister writing duo from Arizona. We have written together since we were little girls and didn’t start trying to get published until about three years ago and now we have a handful of stories in different anthologies, two novellas in a science fiction boxset, and our first novel put out through Sinister Grin Press.
Can you tell us about your new book and how your got started?
M&M- Our first novel, Mayan Blue, started as a conversation about how some people claim that the Mayans could have migrated to the southern states of America and settled there. Being horror writers we decided it would make an interesting book so we began researching Mayan mythology and came upon their version of the underworld, Xibalba. We built our story around a group of people that are pulled into Xibalba and the horrors they experience there.
What made you decide to write books?
M&M- When we were young our mom and big brother would read to us. We liked stuff from Roald Dahl, Goosebumps, scary stories to read in the dark, etc. We were always interested in spooky and magical things. We were eight years old when we first wrote a book together, it was about a werewolf and a ghost on the moors in England.
What was your inspiration for your books
M&M- We get inspiration from everything, pieces of conversations, things that actually happened to us, reading mythology, watching the news on TV. Our brains latch on to these tiny threads and start weaving them into something larger.
How do you create your characters?
M&M- While we outline our story we make a list of players, make notes about their personalities, what they look like, and if there are any major roles they play in the plot.
Who is your publisher?
M&M- Sinister Grin Press
Do you have an agent?
What challenges did you face as you wrote this book?
M&M- Since this is our first novel we wanted to make it a unique story and also as true to the mythology as we could without taking too many creative liberties.
What is your writing schedule like? Do you strive for a certain amount of words each day?
M&M- We have two novellas and two novels lined up for our future. We try to set a reasonable word goal for the day two thousand, three thousand sometimes but of course sometimes that doesn’t happen. As long as we stay on target and meet our deadlines we are very happy.
How do you cope with writer’s block?
M&M- We read, watch movies, and listen to music. Reading books of mythology, demonology, true crime stories, etc. can get your imagination flowing. Watching movies in the same genre we are writing in can also stimulate the imagination and we get inspired to keep our story flowing. Music paints pictures in your mind, sometimes planting little seeds that grow into whole plots.
Did you do any research for the book? If so, how did you do it? (searching Internet, magazines, other books, etc.)
M&M- We did our research on the internet and read stories of the Mayan culture and their myths about the underworld, Xibalba.
Where do you write? Is there something you need in order to write (music, drinks)?
M&M- We are busy moms, we write in our cars, in the school parking lot, at midnight with a flashlight, haha. We do need some coffee and snacks!
You have told us what you like to write, what do you like to read?
M&M- We love horror, dark fantasy and science fiction, stories that blur the lines between those are the best.
What plans have you got for future books?
M&M- We are writing a horror novel now. It deals with characters from one of our first published stories called A Church In The Middle Of Nowhere. After that we have a horror novella to finish; it’s collaboration with our friend Kam Lee who is a very talented musician, it’s called Sin Alma. After that we are working on a super-secret science fiction project that has not been titled yet. We just wrote a few sci-fi novellas for a boxset called Galactic- Ten Book Space opera Sci-Fi Boxset and from it came an invitation to write more so we will definitely be doing that.
Can you describe the feeling when you saw your published book for the first time?
M&M- It was better than Christmas morning!!
Lastly is there anything else you would like to add?
Thank you so much for taking the time to interview us!
Mayan Blue, Synopsis
• File Size: 488 KB
• Print Length: 149 pages
• Publisher: Sinister Grin Press (May 25, 2016)
• Publication Date: May 25, 2016
Xibalba, home of torture and sacrifice, is the kingdom of the lord of death. He stalked the night in the guise of a putrefied corpse, with the head of an owl and adorned with a necklace of disembodied eyes that hung from nerve cords. He commanded legions of shapeshifting creatures, spectral shamans, and corpses hungry for the flesh of the living. The Mayans feared him and his realm of horror. He sat atop his pyramid temple surrounded by his demon kings and demanded sacrifices of blood and beating hearts as tribute to him and his ghostly world.
These legends, along with those that lived in fear of them, have been dead and gone for centuries. Yet now, a doorway has been opened in Georgia. A group of college students seek their missing professor, a man who has secretly uncovered the answer to one of history’s greatest mysteries. However, what they find is more than the evidence of a hidden civilization. It’s also a gateway to a world of living nightmares.
Melissa Lason and Michelle Garza have been writing together since they were little girls. Dubbed The Sisters of Slaughter by the editors of Fireside Press. They are constantly working together on new stories in the horror and dark fantasy genres. Their work has been included in FRESH MEAT published by Sinister Grin Press, WISHFUL THINKING by Fireside Press, WIDOWMAKERS a benefit anthology of dark fiction.
Find them on Facebook!
Praise for Mayan Blue
From the outset, Garza and Lason let the blood spill, plunging their small cast of characters into the depths of Mayan hell. There’s plenty of action to go around as the group is confronted with a number of horrors, from the labyrinthine and booby-trapped maze of the newly discovered Mayan temple to the angry gods and their owl-headed, sharp-clawed servants.
Michael Hicks, Author of Convergence
Their short works are wonderful to read. However this book proves that they can tackle longer works without missing a beat.
These two show no quarter dragging the characters–and by extension, the reader–into the depths of the Mayan version of Hell. There’s vividness to the scenes they craft that made me want to make sure I was reading in full daylight, or at least with most of the lights on.
John Quick, Author of Consequences
Thank you for being my guests today and good luck with the tour and future books