All my life I’ve watched movies, TV shows, and advertisements set in tropical locations and wished I could travel there. So far I’ve yet to have that experience, but it didn’t stop me from going vicariously through my characters.
When the notion came to me to write an action adventure romance I immediately knew I wanted a jungle setting. And I needed illegal drugs to be in the story to have a hero who is a DEA agent. Not wanting to stray from the branding I’ve worked hard to instill in my writing, I had a heroine who studies Native American cultures. With this combination I came up with the idea to set the book in the Guatemalan jungle at an archeological dig.
I dove into the research—ordering books and dvds on the rain forest, Guatemala, and the Maya. I also found online newspapers about the area, read all the information for people visiting the country and contacted a blogger who lives in Guatemala. While writing the book I spent lots of time watching Youtube videos and getting a feel for the area where I set the book and learning about the people.
To help me show the dig site as authentic as I could, I read books and about archeological discoveries in the area. Then I made up a dig, set it in an area that worked for the drug trafficking angle and started writing the story.
To further help me become ensconced in the feeling of the jungle and the ancient carvings talked about in the story, I listened to Mayan music.
While I never set foot in the rain forest, I used all the information I gathered to help me feel like I was traipsing through the jungle with my characters. Experiencing the mosquitoes, the cry of the howler monkey, and the downpour of rain.
Have you ever been to a rain forest or a tropical island?
Secrets of a Mayan Moon Blurb:
What happens when a brilliant anthropologist is lured to the jungle to be used as a human sacrifice?
Child prodigy and now Doctor of Anthropology, Isabella Mumphrey, is about to lose her job at the university. In the world of publish or perish, her mentor’s request for her assistance on a dig is just the opportunity she’s been seeking. If she can decipher an ancient stone table—and she can—she’ll keep her department. She heads to Guatemala, but drug trafficking bad guys, artifact thieves, and her infatuation for her handsome guide wreak havoc on her scholarly intentions.
DEA agent Tino Kosta, is out to avenge the deaths of his family. He’s deep undercover as a jaguar tracker and sometimes jungle guide, but the appearance of a beautiful, brainy anthropologist heats his Latin blood taking him on a dangerous detour that could leave them both casualties of the jungle.
Secrets of a Mayan Moon is available at:
Wife, mother, grandmother, and the one who cleans pens and delivers the hay; award winning author Paty Jager and her husband currently ranch 350 acres when not dashing around visiting their children and grandchildren. She not only writes the western lifestyle, she lives it.
She is a member of RWA, COWG, EOWG, and EPIC. Her contemporary Western, Perfectly Good Nanny won the 2008 Eppie for Best Contemporary Romance, Spirit of the Mountain, a historical paranormal set among the Nez Perce, garnered 1st place in the paranormal category of the Lories Best Published Book Contest, and Spirit of the Lake, the second book of the spirit trilogy, was a finalist in the Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence.
You can learn more about Paty at her blog; www.patyjager.blogspot.com her website; http://www.patyjager.net or on Facebook; https://www.facebook.com/#!/paty.jager and twitter; @patyjag.
Thanks for having me here today, Chris.
Hi, Paty! Never been to a tropical island, but would love to own one and spend part of the year there. That would indeed be paradise!
Love the way you research!
Hey, Genene! Thanks! I like your idea of owning an island and spending time there.
Very interesting to learn how you did your research. I also love your book cover!
Thanks Lyn! My daughter designed the covers.
Paty, love that you are bravely writing a new area for you. Wishing you lots of sales.
Hi Caroline, I find by challenging myself it makes the writing more fun.
I have had the good fortune to travel to a few tropical islands, with Hawaii being my favorite. Living in the Pacific Northwest there are many rainforest options. However, a more jungle-like environment as depicted in your Mayan Moon novel is not in my experience.
I love your Isabella Mumphrey character and the action/adventure combined with romance that you've managed to execute beautifully. I hope this series continues for a long time and you get lots and lots of new readers.
Hi Maggie, I agree about rain forests. I've been to the rain forest in Alaska. My daughter lived in Ketchikan for several years.
Thank you! I hope other readers like Isabella and Tino as much as you do because they are a fun couple to write.
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