I’ve been blessed with many things in my life, including the chance to visit over a dozen countries as a result of my full-time job, but that’s not necessarily a good thing. You may be wondering what could be so bad about that? Maybe that I am really afraid of heights and hate to fly.
Despite that, I have on more than one occasion forced myself onto that plane to venture to that new place and I’ve never been disappointed. Scared, surprised and sometimes inspired, but never disappointed because as I said, it’s a blessing to be able to do this.
One of the trips that I took stayed with me and inspired AZTEC GOLD which is set in the Mexican jungle. During a visit to Mexico City, I was able to journey to Teotihuacan, a pre-Columbian city that has some of the world’s largest pyramids.
As soon as I set foot in the Avenue of the Dead, named for what the Aztecs thought were tombs along the sides of the thoroughfare, I knew I had to write a story set in a similar locale.
So I wandered along the avenue and the many paths leading in and out of it and the pyramids of the sun and moon as well as some of the other smaller tableros, ceremonial platforms with small temples atop each one. There were gorgeous murals and I discovered some of the history behind the city, including that ritual sacrifices were likely done there. My writer’s mind immediately pictured the city housing the home of one of the goddesses to whom they might have made such sacrifices.
I continued walking until I reached the Pyramid of the Sun, the taller of the two structures. Here is where I met a real challenge. Stay at ground level or risk a climb to the top to where the ancient inhabitants of this city believed the greatest energy could be felt.
Fear of heights, remember? Well, I forged ahead and climbed to the top which was actually the easier part of the trip.
The view at the top was amazing. I was able to look down on the Avenue of the Dead and the Pyramid of the Moon. Imagine what the ancients must have felt as they, too, did this. Unfortunately, then it was time to head back down, a much harder task. The lines of the pyramid are steep and you feel as if you are falling headlong down the sides. At one point I had to go down on my bum, but I did it.
I DID IT! And because I did, I was able to not only write this book, but understand a little better about the heroine, who has her own fears she has to overcome. Cynthia is a strong woman, but the deaths of her parents while on a scientific expedition have made her fearful of adventure. In AZTEC GOLD, Cynthia has to face those fears to venture out from her safe shell and find her ex-lover, who vanished months earlier while in search of an ancient Mexican temple.
But like me, Cynthia leaves her safe zone and what follows is an adventure she is never going to forget or regret.
What’s the most memorable place you’ve visited?
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Please check out the book video for Aztec Gold:
Caridad Pineiro is the USA TODAY and NY Times bestselling author of over twenty novels. STRONGER THAN SIN, her November release, is her 25th publication and the second book in the exciting new paranormal suspense SIN HUNTER series from Grand Central Publishing. Also look for AZTEC GOLD, a vampire novella, from Carina Press in January 2011. For more information on Caridad, please visit http://www.caridad.com/ .