It’s Coming Back…The Aztec Eagle

Written By: catherinewells | Categorized In: Book news, Enrique, EPIC Award, Speculative Fiction

Gosh, to look at how long it’s been since I posted here, you might think I’ve been, well, writing or something.  In fact, I have been editing. I have a small press interested in The Aztec Eagle, which was a finalist for an EPIC Award way back in 2011. That publisher folded, and the book became unavailable in 2012. Sigh.

Now another small press is interested, and I have been working with their editors in anticipation of publication in 2022. This time around, I have amended the story to include a character absent from the previous edition, but part of the original concept back around 2000. Xopil is a companion spirit, a non-corporeal entity existing between particles of matter–which of course knocks the book right out of SF and into cross-genre. Publishers have been slow to accept cross-genre, so I removed Xopil for the 2011 edition.

But now he’s back.  So far, at least. We are not through the editing process, and Xopil is, well, a conundrum. As a companion spirit, Xopil follows the main character, Enrique, throughout his life. Xopil relates the emotions he observes in people to colors. Enrique is a sunny amber when he’s at peace, navy blue when he confronts an adversary, and churning with olive green when he’s physically unwell.  And when Lyla comes by, whoo, there comes that purple stuff Xopil really doesn’t understand. Enrique’s problem is he’s a poor kid with a big dream and many obstacles to surmount; Xopil’s problem is he can’t do anything about it. He can’t even communicate to Enrique that he’s there, although our perceptive hero sometimes wonders about that thing he can’t quite see, there at the edge of his vision. Hence the conundrum: Xopil does not influence the action. He is simply an observer with a unique perspective.

So Xopil gets mixed reviews from beta readers. Some don’t see the point, and his colorful asides can interrupt the flow. Others find his take on things humorous and charming, a whimsical and (pun intended) colorful aside. As the author, I find him useful in conveying feelings and motivations about which Enrique is often clueless.

I’ll keep you posted as the publication process proceeds. At the moment I’m feeling a little tangerine about it, with some streaks of umber doubt and a current of stubborn charcoal running through me. I doubt I’ll ever settle in to a soothing aquamarine.

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