No sooner had I discussed the possibility of author blurbs for Tequila Sunset than I got an email from Serpent’s Tail that addressed that very subject. Great minds think alike.
As of right now it’s a question of whether blurbs can be gotten in the short time available before the book has to go into print. We’re less than three months away from publication, so time is seriously short. In the meanwhile, Serpent’s Tail has begun firming up the text that’ll go on the cover. I thought that was worth sharing with you.
To start off with, I think the tagline they came up with for the book is great: “Control the border and you control everything.” As of the time of my writing Tequila Sunset, the Barrio Azteca gang was responsible for 80% of all the homicides in Ciudad Juárez. That’s a staggering number. One can easily see how a gang like that could wield extraordinary power along the Texas/Mexico border. For the most part they’ve been flushed out of El Paso, across the river from Ciudad Juárez, but it’s a question of whether or not they’re actually gone or simply better at hiding their activities.
I wrote some sample copy for the back cover way back when the book was initially purchased by Serpent’s Tail, but that will not be what appears there now. Serpent’s Tail has come up with some new text, which I will share now:
El Paso, Texas.
Ciudad Juárez, Mexico.
Two cities. Different sides of the border.
They share streets. They share industries. They share families.
But most of all they share crime.
And one gang rules over it all: Barrio Azteca.
In Tequila Sunset, three people are confronted by Los Aztecas’ ruthless power: a reluctant gang member, an El Paso police officer, and a Mexican federal agent. As their paths cross with the gang and each other, they all become involved in a complex struggle between law and crime, violence and order, and ultimately, life and death.
I don’t know about you, but I think that’s pretty good. Maybe you can tell me: is that the sort of copy that would make you want to pick up the book? Assuming you weren’t inclined to already due to your reading and enjoyment of The Dead Women of Juárez, that is.
Recently I’ve been reading a lot — well, maybe not a lot, but a noticeable number — of complaints from readers about The Dead Women in that they wanted more detail into the feminicidios than the book provides. I tend to think they’d be better served by reading nonfiction, if that’s the kind of thing they want, but I can see where the title and the cover copy might make them think they’re getting something a little different than they do. I don’t think that’s going to be a problem with Tequila Sunset. This is unabashedly a crime story with cops and gang members and murder and dirty deals. No one will mistake it for non-fiction, even though it is taken from actual events and factual sources.
Anyway, I think we’re on the right track. Throw in some glowing blurbs and we’ve got ourselves an attractive cover that will bring in readers. All we have to do is spread the word.