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Tuesday, July 16, 2013

FIGHTS: Multimedia inspirations for 'Room 26 and the Army of Xulhutdul'

When I wrote my first superhero story, Codename: La Lechusa, I didn't realize how much fun it was to write that kind of story.
That's why when I was exploring a local museum with my daughter several years ago, and her imagination took flight with all the mysterious possibilities about the abstract art all around the McNay Museum here in San Antonio, Texas, I was immediately pulled in to the concept of what was to become 'Room 26 and the Army of Xulhutdul'.

She shared names, ideas, and concepts that were beautiful and fun.  She found works of art and sculptures that brought other images and themes to the book in my head.  Before the day was done, I had jotted down enough notes to put together an outline.  And the rest is history.
Below are some video clips of some of the things that inspired the story.  Below are two segments from two local morning shows, putting the McNay Museum (which becomes the McNulty Museum in the book) on display.

Here's the other segment.

 Since my youth, being a fan of Indiana Jones, I absorbed all the information I could about archeology.  Ancient cities, civilizations, and other archeological mysteries have always fascinated me.  That's why when I came up with the concept for the story, the 'Costa Rican Sphere's' were a perfect 'MacGuffin'.  Naturally, I took some artistic license with the history and placement of the spheres, and applied more mystery to them.  But I also provided a reason for it.  You'll have to read the book for more.
 Some people believe we've found all we can find in the world.  That's far from the truth.  The protagonist in "Room 26", Jackalyn White, discovers clues that take her on a journey to find a hidden city.  No hidden cities remaining in the world, you say?  Check this out.
 As I began to conceptualize the story, I noticed a new TV show taking to the airwaves.  As I watched it for the first time after having constructed my outline, I realized 'Room 26' shared some of its same themes.  That show was the short-lived 'Warehouse 13'.
Similar, but different.
 As I thought about it, feeling like people might think I ripped off the show, the idea was really nothing new.  A variation on a theme of cursed objects.  Take 'Friday the 13th: The Series', for example.  The concepts the same.  The execution much different.
 'Room 26' even shares some of the same themes as the low-budget feature film, "The Librarian: Search for the Spear".
So 'Room 26 and the Army of Xulhutdul' might share some of these same themes and concepts, but its an entirely different story to tell.  A great story that I'm confident people will still enjoy.  It has themes that are universal like family love, greed and envy, helping loved ones with personal demons, growth and maturity, even sacrifice.  There are even some magical characters as well.  And it has a great through-line from start to finish.  Characters grow.  Good takes on evil.  It's a lot of fun.

Check out the start to the story here, then pick up your copy here in paperback or Kindle today.
I promise you, you will enjoy it.
BOWIE V. IBARRA is the author of the 'Down the Road' zombie horror series from Permuted Press and Simon and Schuster.  One of his earliest superhero stories, 'Codename: La Lechusa', is a Tex-Mexploitation story of a single mother who works during the day, but is a superspy by night.  It is currently available in Kindle form.
Network with Bowie at his official website,

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