Children of Mariposa
Genre: Urban Fantasy/Magic Realism
Publisher: Daydreams Dandelions Publications
Date of Publication: December 24, 2014
Number of pages: 293 pages
Word Count: 106,993
Cover Artist: Lawrence Mann
What if the best night of your life was also your last?
On the eve of a much-anticipated proposal, Meg is happier than she could have ever imagined. The future she sees for herself on that magical night is bright, one that’s full of love and laughter and dreams finally realized.
That is, until one random act of violence changes everything…
Consumed by fate and forces she can’t comprehend, Meg finds herself at the center of a spectral conflict that transcends life and death.
Her very soul is up for grabs in this war, and what’s worse… she’s not the only one.
Now, she’s fighting not just for the love she lost, but the daughter she would have called her own. She must fight the battle of her life, for the sake of her friends and family, and find out for herself if love can indeed be stronger than death.
Intertwined with true-ghost stories, some heart-warming, some heart-breaking, this love-note to San Antonio combines history, myth, and vivid description.
This is the full story of Meg & Amelinda's quest-journey, what author Laura Metzger calls "A beautifully written story with compelling characters that reach between the universe of the living and the dead to embrace their mutual destiny" and author Elena E. Giorgi calls "A beautiful tale of love and redemption."
Book Trailer: https://youtu.be/u8wWa70P7ck
Meg: Vanilla and Lavender
On the day I died, I was wearing a great outfit. This is important to know because it turns out that your default look for eternity as a ghost is what you’re wearing when you die. I mean, seriously. Who knew? If I’d have known that, I wouldn’t have risked any days in mediocre clothes. In that respect, I was lucky I was on a date when I was killed, but of course, if I hadn’t been on a date, on that date, maybe things would have turned out differently.
Not everyone gets to be a ghost. In fact, some people disappear immediately, and I don’t know what happens. But they just wink right out of existence, only out of their bodies for a few seconds. Maybe it has something to do with intent, or their last actions, or their own belief systems. I hope the good people go somewhere good, no matter what they did in the last moments of life, that there is a way for them to make up for those Big Mistakes.
Some people, people who haven’t Figured Things Out, people like me, linger for a while. We hang around those we love and sometimes try to influence their choices, trying to keep loved ones from making Big Mistakes.
My grandmother had been my ghost–I was not surprised when it came right down to it. Back when I was alive, I used to smell her perfume in the apartment we shared, vanilla and lavender. I could never figure out what actual perfume brand she wore to get that scent, and believe me, I tried. I loved it and wanted that for my signature perfume. I haunted the local drugstores, especially the old ones, and vintage stores, looking for an old- fashioned perfume that featured those fragrance notes, but never found anything that smelled even remotely like hers.
I guess it was just her individual magic that combined the scents that way. It seemed to linger in our apartment, long after she had been gone. Especially at certain important moments. I wouldn’t know those moments were important ‘til later, but looking back, it’s obvious.
I’m getting ahead of myself, moving way too fast for normal people. First, you probably want to know more about me, right? You can’t just start in the middle of the story; you have to work up to these big deals. I made it 23 years on the planet before checking out. I guess you’d say I was pretty, although I was never very stylish or together. I thought that would come with maturity, but I never got to find that out. When I died, I had shoulder length wavy copper colored hair, cut in a bob that was always tickling my chin and sometimes made me want to cut it all off. I certainly never had the patience to grow it all out. It was “in between” hair, lack of decision hair. My eyes were basic gray, nothing exciting, although I desperately wanted the “limpid blue” or “decisive green” eyes of a romance heroine. A light plague of freckles scattered across the bridge of my nose showed my Irish- Scottish mutt background, and I had fair redhead’s skin that burned, rather than tanned, which kept me indoors most of the time or slathered in sunscreen. 5’8’, skinny without being too skinny. I did have my family’s big butt, which we will not discuss.
Why I have to go through eternity with that butt is beyond me. I tended to prefer jeans and a comfortable cotton shirt, paired with flat old- fashioned Converse tennis shoes as my daily outfit, but I could clean up pretty nice when I had to.
About the Author:
Kim wrote her first critically acclaimed (if you call her fourth grade teacher a critic, and she does) short story when she was 9 years old. It was about Christmas in a Cave, and it featured such topical, ground-breaking subjects as homelessness & cave dwelling. She's been writing ever since. The state of publication depends on who you ask.
She has a Ph.D. in Literature, with specialties in American Lit, Women Writers, Feminism, Sci-Fi/Fantasy & Film Studies but please don't hold any of that against her. She teaches academic writing and how to read literature at a university in her hometown and tries to convince college students that it really is cool to like poetry.
She lives in the South, has twin children (one girl, one boy) and a husband who is the model for all her best romantic heroes. She also has two cats-- one black and sassy, one stripey and fat, and also kinda sassy.
Where are you from?
I live now in Shreveport, LA, but consider my home San Antonio, TX (which is where Mariposa is set.) Other than that—I’m not really “from” anywhere. My family moved around a ton when I was a kid, so I’ve lived all over the country. Illinios, Kentucky, Mississippi, Florida, Louisiana, Texas, and just for a difference, Washington state.
Tell us your latest news?
I’ve been in a couple of super fun anthologies lately, and am curating one myself which is scheduled to be released on International Women’s Day in March. The submissions are about to start rolling in, and I can’t wait for that.
When and why did you begin writing?
I actually say that I started writing when I was in fourth grade, which would make me nine? I guess? My very first story was about a family that had become homeless at Christmas time, and had to live, therefore, in a cave. The dad manages to scare up a Christmas tree, then a Christmas miracle happens and he gets a job! I’ve been writing ever since. The why is probably more complex—I have always read voraciously, and I think most full time readers harbor a secret desire to also write, to participate in that conversation.
When did you first consider yourself a writer? Gosh, I think I’ve always considered myself a writer. Since I’m also an academic, much of my writing has been scholarly in nature, but I’ve written regularly since I was a kid. I just can’t NOT write.
What inspired you to write your first book?
The first like just popped into my head one day. That happens to me a lot. Then I start to imagine what that character looks like, what they’re up to. I talked it over with my hubs—at first I envisioned it a little more “star-crossed lovers”—and we came up with some of the general ideas. Then I moved from San Antonio where it’s set and I kind of got a big crush on the city, and that inspired me to keep going.
Do you have a specific writing style?
I think I’m a “pantster” with heavy research. I don’t really outline that much formally, but I always have a general idea where the story is going. But I think about it constantly, then sit down to write, and sometimes the story surprises me. I dream about my stories too, and sometimes get the best ideas from there!
How did you come up with the title?
Because the book is set in San Antonio, which is a very Hispanic-pride kind of city, and because there is a good deal of Mexican-American mythology in the story, it seemed perfect to tie together one very crucial plot element with the Spanish name for said plot element. I got some flak from people about it because Mariposa can mean a negative slang term, but I decided anyone looking at the cover and looking for the book would get it.
Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
One of the underlying themes to the story is the horrible tragedy of domestic abuse. I mean, when you’re writing primarily about ghosts, you can expect their deaths to be tragic, and horrible, and these ghosts are trapped in their worst moments. But Meg, the main character, learns through her quest how to cope with and finally overcome the pain of that theme. With a little help from some tough chick friends.
How much of the book is realistic?
It’s pretty realistic, in a way. I call it magic realism with a southern slipstream flair—it depicts San Antonio as it really, truly is. I describe real places, know exactly where every moment of the story takes place. Most of the ghost stories in the book are my imagination of real-rumored ghosts in San Antonio, and how those ghost stories might have come to pass.
Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
None of the actual events are real, other than that I base a lot of the ghosts on real-ghost stories. But the descriptions of San Antonio are based on my real life. The restaurant that they are at before the “big event” is one I used to go to all the time! And will again when we get to move back home!
What books have most influenced your life most?
Since I’m an English major, pretty much ALL THE BOOKS. I was that kid who haunted the library, so much so that the librarians all knew me and had me be the kid who kept track of the reading contest. I had my own little desk and everything. I love Charles DeLint, Alice Hoffman, Seanan McGuire, Margaret Atwood, Tad Williams, Tanya Huff, Chitra Divakaruni, Sean Stewart, Nalo Hopkinson. I wrote my Master’s Thesis on Louisa May Alcott and read Little Women about 100 times, so I’m sure she needs to be on the list, too.
If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?
Pavarti Tyler & I have recently developed a very good friendly beta/helper/reader editor relationship. She is a powerhouse, and I think we try to mentor each other.
What book are you reading now?
I’m reading UnCommon Bodies, the fairly dark & twisted anthology that I was just in, as well as Carniepunk and the Seanan McGuire series called Indexing. I’m also listening to J.C. Nelson’s Armageddon Rules on Audible every time I drive my car. I love audiobooks!
Because I’m in the indie pub world, I’m constantly meeting new authors, and they’re all driven, exciting writers. I think if I have to choose, I’ll say Jason Anspach and Eamon Ambrose. They’ve both just recently dropped their first books and they’re just great.
What are your current projects?
I’m finishing up the sequel/companion book to Mariposa, which is called Orpheus & the Butterfly, and tells the story of the men from the Mariposa world. I’m also working on a tri-story collection related to my Undead Cyborg Assassin Girl. There’s also a book in progress which is a follow up to my short story Mrs. Johnson’s Blues that’s about ¾ done. I have a short story coming out in the Shapeshifter Chronicles early next year that I need to get finished, and I am curating the Indie Women Anthology, which will be a charity anthology. I want to write a story for that one, too. I can’t sit still, so I flit about sometimes.
What would you like my readers to know?
That I’d love to meet them! I love hearing from readers and I hope they find something fun to connect with in my stories!
Find her on Facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/kimwellswrites
Twitter here: https://twitter.com/dandeliondreams
Pinterest here: http://www.pinterest.com/daydreamsdandel/
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