Photo: New Shanghai Circus
An astute reader recently brought to my attention the fact that the beautiful, aerialist twins in The Mumbo Jumbo Circus, Lin and Mai Zeng, do not have Korean names. Well, that is because the girls are from a famous Chinese circus family. However, the characters originally started out as being from Korea. Turns out I failed to change a reference that said as much in the book. Whoops!
I've corrected the ebook files and will have Amazon contact those who already purchased the book so that they can get replacement files. This can take a few weeks to happen.The updated print version will be available soon as well. I am re-formatting it so that it will match Book Two: The Daring Young Man, when it comes out in December.
I have not been blogging much because I am working furiously to introduce you to Dante Delgado, our protagonist in The Daring Young Man.
Stay tuned, however, because the cover is close to being finished. And you will see it here first!
I've been working on The Daring Young Man, the sequel to The Mumbo Jumbo Circus, for (I kid you not) a couple of years now. The Mumbo Jumbo Circus took a couple of years to come to its present, published state as well. But I have given myself some extra-special, mighty challenges with my main character in DYM, Dante Delgado.
Dante is sixteen, from Patzcuaro, Michoacan, and is of Purepecha heritage. He used to be a star trapecista in his family's circus, able to do a quadruple somersault. When our story begins, Dante is orphaned and his hand is forever maimed. He will never fly on the trapeze again. He is understandably angry and confused.
I am none of those things. But I AM highly empathetic and I love research, so I blithely set about writing my story. Along the way I have battled the demons of sophomore-book self-doubt, (MJC is not my first completed novel, but it's the first to enter the world), and the challenges of building a book that both fits in a series and stands alone. Each book in the Mumbo Jumbo Circus series is told from the viewpoint of a different teen. I've been meeting these challenges with grace, chocolate, and teeth-gnashing, but the process has been horribly slow.
And that's about to get WORSE. But it's a REALLY GOOD THING!
Danza de los Viejitos. (Dance of the Old Men) Image from KUOW.org.
I have discovered that among my acquaintance is a lovely man who is a Purepecha from Michoacan. He speaks the native language. And in a spectacular bit of real-world magic (as in the universe providing me with the tools I need), his sister is a bruja (witch or wise-woman) and can assist me with details regarding Dante's abuela (grandmother) who was a bruja. He himself is the male equivalent, shaman would probably be the closest English word.
My friend is helping me with both the Spanish and Purepecha language in the book, and with cultural details. As I discussed Dante and his story with him, I was AMAZED, and I'm not using that word lightly, at the similarities, coincidences, and serendipitous alignments between my story and his experience. I was seriously blown away. I love it when the world throws me a bone and encourages me to keep going. Dante's story will be told, and a few of the riches of the Purepecha will be shared with a wider audience. It's just going to take a little more time. I'm now shooting for a February publishing date.
In the meantime, I will also publish my novel X-IT. So I will have a title coming out between now and February.
When I'm writing, I often feel that the book already exists in time and it's my job to reach through the veils and pull through the best possible version, bringing it into the present piece by piece. I was able to share Thanksgiving with my friend who will be such a gift to my work, and I am grateful, humbled, and excited at the magic at work here.