Author Spotlight: The 52nd by Dela (Interview + Giveaway)

Hey everyone! I’m so excited to have Dela, author of The 52nd (Out Now) here for an interview today! Here’s the official cover and synopsis for the book:

52nd cover
Not one of the sacrifices chosen over the long history had survived–until now.

On the tip of the Yucatan peninsula, the immortal Castillo family gathers in Tulum. Weary and haunted, they receive the names of fifty-two human sacrifices chosen once every fifty-two years for the Underworld, a tradition thought to have disappeared with the fall of the Aztec and Mayan empires.

Driving home one night, college freshman Zara Moss swerves to avoid hitting a ghastly figure in the road. Lucas Castillo witnesses the car crash, but when it comes time to supervise her abduction from the wreckage, he intervenes. Something is different about Zara: Lucas has been having dreams of her arrival for five hundred years.

As Lucas and Zara come together to put an end to the bloody sacrifices, they discover that the ancient tradition isn’t so easily broken. The gods are angry, and they have until the Winter Solstice to drag Zara to the Underworld.

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Hope you guys enjoy the interview!

Question: What was the last book you read?
Answer: Me Before You by Jojo Moyes

Question: What did you do before THE 52ND took over?
Answer: I went for long walks on the beach and ate apple pie every day…not true. I wish—but no. Actually, not much has changed. In fact, my schedule is still the same busy as before, only I get to add the hours of writing and revising to it. So fun!

Question: Why did you write THE 52ND?
Answer: THE 52ND was a product of my love for the Latin culture and wanting to create something fresh in the Young Adult Paranormal genre. When I begun writing this novel nearly 4 years ago, nothing out there existed like my plot. To this day, nothing exists like THE 52ND.

Question: Speaking of the plot, how’d you come up with the plot?
Answer: My coin phrase—research. I had to do a ton of research for accuracy on certain details with the Aztec and Mayan myths and legends. It helped develop my plot in the sense that I would find cool things and would say “Ooh, I want to add that.” I very much like the Aluxes. Read it, you’ll see what I’m talking about. Love me some Aluxes.

Question: What is your favorite scene?
Answer: Although I love multiple scenes for different reasons, it was always one scene that involved a snow-mobile ride. It isn’t the most fun or intense, but in my mind, it was pivotal—and most definitely magical.

Question: Who is your favorite character?
Answer: Easy… Zara. She gets to fall in love and be courted by a hottie, all the while having outer-body experiences. But writing Lucas was great too. He makes me giddy just thinking about him.

Question: What was the worst part to write?
Answer: My closest friends know that I hate two things: blood and ghosts. So yeah, those things. Why I chose to write a book that have either I have no idea why. Blood makes me pass out and it’s disgusting. And I can’t even watch scary movies. Well, I don’t even have ghosts, I have executioners, which are like ghosts but worse. They are horrible creatures that abduct people and sacrifice them in the Underworld. Plus they’re scary looking. Writing the blackouts that Zara suffers was a newer addition to the book, and makes my stomach queasy. It was more difficult to write old, bloody habits than it was in writing the medical scenes. Oh and the ending climax scene, forget it. I recall the clock saying two in the morning on many nights when I wrote that scene. And each night I went to bed super scared. I literally would pull the sheets all the way up to cover my face. I was a wimp. But it was so real in my head writing it that I just couldn’t even.

Question: What in the book is real history and what is fiction?
Answer: The events in the book are all historically accurate as far as dates and actually taking place, except when they involve the fictional family Castillos. So naturally, the councils don’t really exist because we all know that the sacrifices stopped when Cortez came…or did they? I believe they did. At least I HOPE so. But the battle between Cortez and the Tabascans is real. El Tajin being a ghost town because of the belief that it was the place of the dead, real. The mythical gods are another real element in the story. In the Aztec and Mayan cultures: Tezcatlipoca, Huitzilihuitl, Chaac, etc, were all loved and cherished gods. The Mayan Hero Twins are also real. Hunahpu and Xbalanque have always fascinated me. Picking a modern name for Hunahpu was difficult because he plays such a prominent part in the book. It had to be right. Also trying to decide which gods to put in the Council was difficult. There were hundreds to choose from, but I’m happy with who made the cut. And then of course we have detailed things like the color jade all over their home in Mexico and pet jaguars. Anything that symbolized the primal culture I tried to implement throughout the book.

Question: What’s something fun about yourself?
Answer: I went sky-diving when I was 18 and I just recently got to meet Taylor Hicks. I play tennis twice a week and will soon attempt my first 62-mile bike ride. Yikes! If I don’t survive, it was nice knowing you…

Question: What’s your favorite food?
Answer: Sandwiches and Mexican. I want to eat all the tacos in the world, and I make some mean red rice.

Question: If you could pick one band to write a soundtrack for THE 52ND who would it be?
Answer: The Killers or Twenty One Pilots.

And now for the awesome giveaway, courtesy of Dela! ONE winner will win a signed copy of The 52nd!

-Giveaway is INT

-Winner has 48 hours to respond. If winner does not respond, a new winner will be selected.

-You must be 13 or older to enter OR have your parents’ permission.

-I reserve the right to change any rules as I see fit for each individual giveaway

*The above giveaway rules were borrowed and modified from Jessica @ Just a Book Lover.

With that being said, I wish you luck! May the odds be ever in your favor!

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HeadshotAbout the Author:
Dela is the debut author of THE 52ND saga, a multicultural paranormal for young adults. Before tracing the minds of Aztec gods, Dela worked as a paralegal and could be found snowboarding at Brianhead, Utah. She currently lives in Las Vegas with her husband, three kids, and two exceptionally fat Chihuahuas.

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3 thoughts on “Author Spotlight: The 52nd by Dela (Interview + Giveaway)

  1. I love the paranormal and mythology so this is right up my alley. I love that it deals with Aztec and Mayan mythology because it seems to be a topic that isn’t very common.

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