Monday, January 25, 2010

"Cibolero" by Kermit Lopez

Before we begin, let me share something with you.

As you know, we’ve been having heavy amounts of rain this past week here in So Cal. I mean, it’s been non-stop everyday ever since Sunday.

Well, last Thursday was no exception. I woke up, got out of bed, and went out into the world, where it was (guess what?) raining. I couldn’t find my umbrella, and I got to work all drenched and muddy (not the best way to make a good impression on your boss, but there you go.)

The whole day was a drag from the start (Oh, my GGOOOD). Do any of you feel like your boss just thinks you’re a moron? Well, anyway, the whole day ended with me calling my boss a jerk (not to his face, of course – I waited ‘til I got in the car to call him that – best if he didn’t hear it.)

By the time I started driving home, the streets were flooded, and the rain just would NOT let up. So I got home, got a little more wet, and I picked up the mail. And stuffed inside that little mail box (underneath the massive pile of bills, yay) was a manila envelope.

I brought it inside, dried it off a bit, and tore it open. And inside…..was Cibolero by Kermit Lopez.

The excitement from getting a new book seared through me and made me burst. I was so happy! And it came at just the right time too, because I had just finished reading Meet Me Under the Ceiba by Silvio Sirias (excellent book, by the way), so, therefore, I had nothing else to read. And being stuck inside with nothing to read was bound to make go up the walls.

So it was perfect!

As I held that book in my hands with an infinite smile on my face, a faint ray of sunshine suddenly cut through the dark clouds and glistened brightly……even though it was still pouring out.

About the book: For years, Antonio Baca lived the wandering and restless life of a Cibolero, or buffalo hunter, following the great herds that roamed the endless Llano Estacado-the high plains of a region that would one day be New Mexico. After marrying and settling down, Baca has finally found a modicum of peace in the home he built for his growing family.
But Baca witnesses the transformation of Nuevo Mexico from an isolated colonial outpost of the Spanish empire to a province of the newly independent nation of Mexico and, finally, to a land conquered by the avaricious americanos. Following the United States's seizure of New Mexico, Antonio and his countrymen find themselves treated as foreigners and second-class citizens in their own land.
When his daughter, Elena, is kidnapped by a band of invading Texas Rangers after the American Civil War, Baca desperately tracks them across the llano of New Mexico and into Texas using his skills as a Cibolero. Terrified for his daughter's safety, he plunges into the world of the gringos, and discovers just how much the americanos have changed his homeland. But as the days pass without any sign of Elena, Baca fears for her life-and his own
So thank you, Kermit, for your wonderful timing and for your appearance on today’s blog.

1. Mr. Lopez, I read from your bio that the idea for Cibolero was inspired after researching your ancestry. How did the rest of the story come about regarding the kidnapping and all?

Cibolero was generally inspired by my family ancestry and the history of New Mexico. In particular, the story was based on the historical relationship between Hispanics and Anglos in New Mexico and Texas during the 19th and early 20th centuries. That is, Mexican American citizen were treated as foreigners and second class citizens in their own homeland. Hence, the attitude of the Texans/Anglos towards Hispanics in Texas and Mexico, which in the story, results in the kidnapping and so forth. In addition to these underlying themes, however, I wanted to create a story with "action" combined with historical interest. Hence, the novel can also be thought of as a "Western" from a Hispanic point of view.

2. I see you have another book, The Prodigy. What is that about and how is it different from Cibolero?

The Prodigy was a very different book from that of Cibolero. The Prodigy was my first attempt at a published novel and is essentially a legal thrilller, aka, John Grisham. Because in my "day job" I'm a patent attorney, The Prodigy covered themes of patents and intellectual property in the context of fiction.

3. Who are your favorite Latino authors and what books do you have on your book shelf?

My favorite Latino author is Rudolfo Anaya, particularly his novel Bless Me Ultima.

Thank you, Kermit! I can’t wait to get to the exciting conclusion of Cibolero.

Author Bio:
Kermit Lopez wrote “Cibolero” after researching his family ancestry, which spans four hundred years of New Mexico history. He received electrical engineering and law degrees from the University of New Mexico and lives with his wife and son in Albuquerque. Mr. Lopez is also the author of the novel The Prodigy.
ISBN: 978-0-595-43567-8

Blog Tour Schedule:

Mon Jan 25th: Sandra's Book Club
Tues Jan 26th: Musings
Wed Jan 27th: Latino
Book Examiner
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  1. Hi, Kermit! So sorry for the delay of this post. The internet is currently down in my home, so I had to wait to get into work to post this. But not to worry, here it is! I am currently reading Cibolero, and I gotta say it's very exciting! It's like reading a John Wayne movie.

    Are you into a lot of westerns? Or maybe John Wayne?

  2. Hello!! I really like your post Sandra! belive me i know that feeling....
    Kermit your book is very interesting, i'm learning a lot (still reading it). Congratulations!

  3. One of the things I really liked about Cibolero was the viewpoint from the "other side of the coin". Growing up in the American educational system, I don't recall reading any history books through the native or local population's eyes.

    I think it's important to acknowledge all sides of our history, even though it is painful.