Tick Tock
Hello, Amigos. I have been busy with Facebook and twitter lately, waiting for the code-writer genius cadre to tighten all the bolts on the new website. Man, it's pretty! I have been promising this for a while, but we're days away. All new, all colorful, all kinds of neat things to look at. And, after a while, we'll be adding the Teresita/Saint of Cabora page with photos and songs and archival stuff like death certificates and citizenship papers and the bibliography. Scholars and term paper writers can have a field day. I'm so happy--we have downloaded reams of my drawings, cartoons, illustrations and even some paintings. I will be doing "Sketchbook Satuirday"--new art every week in the blog section. Yes! Will bring back the old "Writing Church" sessions on Sundays--where I'll answer any writing questions you have. That's usually a lively convo.

I just returned from the BEA in NYC. (Book Expo America.) It was, as ever, a mad crush of a million book buyers, sellers, collectors, librarians, publishers, editors, publicists, costume-wearing characters, promoters, Twitterers, book-bloggers, reviewers, agents, freebie-hunters...oh, and writers. We were there, too. Lots and lots of writers. There was the occasional whiff of desperation, like a cheap cologne, in the air. You know: Amazon Publishing loomed in the corner like Darth Vader's Death Star! News of favorite bookstores dying seeped across the floor--our beloved Bookworks in Del Mar, for example. One dude told me my "legacy" publisher would be dead and gone in five years, and I'd better get to Kindling. Huh. Little, Brown? Gone? Ask Louisa May Alcott. They will prevail.

I was thrilled, and worn out, by the event. As usual. Big doses of coffee helped. I wa slucky enough to be around when L,B unleashed the ARCs (gorgeous) of QUEEN OF AMERICA. I stood with my editor, Geoff Shandler. He smiled and said, "Now you'll see what it's like to man a booth at BEA!" Well, it's interesting. Lots of people at first picked it up, looked at it, and dropped it. But then, suddenly, the lines formed and we burned through every single copy! Hundreds gone! I sweated through my jacket. Yes! My kind of work!

You can never tell if your book will do well or not. Many times, people asked me, "Does it stand alone, or do you have to read Hummingbird first?" So I can see that bit of info will be a big part of my task between now and December. Just to make sure people know it stands alone. HEY, PASS IT ON.

Happy to be home, and happy we went. Super excited that we discovered the best first book, ever: Eowyn Ivey's THE SNOW CHILD. Just wait. Seriously, just wait till you read this one. Neil Gaiman fans? You're going to be hooked. And she's the nicest person out there. Psst--don't tell Eowyn, but I'm grabbing an Alaska cruise so I can hang out some more!

OK. Watch this space. I'll let you know via FB and Twitter when this thang pops. Hope it knocks you out.

Love, L

How Bad Is It?
Palm Sunday, 2011 -- Although the website is not done reconstructing yet--expect it before May--I had to post a commentary today. To all the Into the Beautiful North readers, especially. Do you recall the beach in the novel where Nayeli and Aunt Irma take everybody crab fishing? This is a real Sinaloa beach in a real Sinaloa community where we used to go back in the 70s and 80s. The beach community thereabouts is called Caimanero. Basically, "The Alligator Area." Makes a real impression on a teenaged boy. Last night, there was a quinceanera at Caimanero. You know, the fancy dress-up party/dance that celebrates a girl's fifteenth birthday. The kind of celebration Nayeli would have loved. Except, after midnight, the narcos showed up. Armed. And they opened fire. The massacred six teens at least and left them scattered in the sand. All along the route in Mexico where my novel takes place, there have been massacres, dismemberments, beheadings and kidnappings that lead to torture and often death. I have tried to sketch out a new horror novel based on the narco world, but guess what. They outstrip my worst imaginings every week. If you are interested and have a strong stomach, I recommend the heroic--and appalling--Mexican website blogdelnarco.com. I warn you: there is snuff fottage on display. But if you care to know how deadly the drug war is, right now, take a look. Say a prayer for the children.

New short story in Tin House
Tin House is one of the best literary magazines out there and if you're not a subscriber, you should be! The latest issue, just out this week, features my strange, mysterious short story called Chametla. You can read it on-line by clicking here: Click fiction, then my name. Enjoy!

New Nuevo Nouveau
Thanks for your patience. The electro-gnomes are hammering and sanding madly: new website will be up before May. While you wait, won't you join us on Twitter? Twitter.com/Urrealism.

The Queen of America

Wanted you all to see the new cover of my sequel to The Hummingbird's Daughter. Titled The Queen of America, she's scheduled for Dec. 2011. I LOVE this cover! What do you think?

We are currently rebuilding luisurrea.com with an all-new design team. Thanks for your patience. We'll be back with fresh new features very soon.

And so a new year begins. It was a big 2010 for us at Urrea World Headquarters. I can't even remember what all happened--did I really win an Edgar Award? Did I really get the National Hispanic Cultural Center Award? I know I finished Hummingbird's Daughter II (Queen of America), and we are in the editing process now. I know my graphic novel with Christopher CVardinale came out (MR. MENDOZA'S PAINTBRUSH). Cinderella and I went on book tour. We took the kids to Quintana Roo, Belize, Guatemala and Cozumel. Had soldiers point machine guns at us on a jungle road. Megan graduated high school and we lived in London for a month and scurried over to Paris 'cause ya gotta. And I toured and I toured and I toured.

So. Now. Change.

We have hired a pro web design artist to re-engineer this website. Our dear friend who has handled this for us can't do it right now. So there's a whole tech re-think and redesign. Hope you like it.

Fewer peeps come here since the advent of Facebook and Twitter; we will be adding FB and Tweet feeds to the front page. The blog will still be here, and the archives will remain in place since I seem to have written you a couple of books' worth over the years. I have long promised a Teresita section--photos, documents, etc. Expect that, too.

All kinds of whiz-bang gewgaws.

Thank you for sticking with me all this time. I am starting my new book projects, adding poetry to the work list, writing many notebooks, thinking about Kindle books of cheap-o esoterica you fans might eb interested in. The first effort of 2011 is my story, "The Soutshide Raza Image Federation Corps of Discovery" in this month's ORION magazine. Or you can listen to me read it at orionmagazine.org. Or, if you're feeling iPoddy, you can pick it up on iTunes. I was lying abed when I recorded it. How louche. I tell my FB pals to imagine we're in the ol' sach and I'm reading you a naughty bedtime story. The second effort will be U of AZ's re-reissue of my beloved first novel, IN SEARCH OF SNOW. Between the old hardcover, the trade paperback, and AZ, there have now been four editions of this book. Unbelievable. I am CERTAIN, that since it appeared in 1994, it has racked up an astounding 103 readers! Yes!!! After that, a story in TIN HOUSE, and a story in SAN DIEGO NOIR. Keeping busy, y'all.

I wish you a magical, powerful, unasailable, unflagging, clear-heart, healthy, well-fed, safe, yet daring, productive, poetic, romantic, sexual, spiritual, active, successful, stressless, astonishing year.



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