I am really excited to share with you a guest blog from author Mary Pauline Lowry. Her new book, The Earthquake Machine was released back in September.
"How I came up with the concept for THE EARTHQUAKE MACHINE"
The summer I was 15 I climbed out my bedroom window in Austin, Texas and ran away from home. I left a note for my parents with a quote from John Irving’s novel THE HOTEL NEW HAMPSHIRE. The note said, “Life is serious, but art is fun!” I made it all the way to Matamoros, Mexico.
I knew even back then that I wanted to both immerse myself in great adventures and in literature. But sometimes I felt that being a girl held me back from being as daring as I wanted to be. First off, I felt like being female made many things more dangerous and risky. And most of the stories of great adventurers I read were about men and boys (ex. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, The Count of Monte Cristo, etc).
I decided to commit myself both to writing books with interesting female protagonists and to living life fully. At 21, I became a forest firefighter on an almost all male, elite Hotshot crew. I then wrote a novel about it called THE GODS OF FIRE. (The novel has not yet been released, but has been optioned for film. I wrote the screenplay and the film is in pre-production).
I then moved to Durango, Colorado and began to work as an apprentice carpenter. I kept thinking about my adolescent fascination with running away and my wild trip across the Mexican border when I was only 15. And so finally I began to write THE EARTHQUAKE MACHINE about an American girl who runs away to Mexico and “passes” as a Mexican boy while she searches for her one true friend, who has been deported to the state of Oaxaca.
Thank you Mary for visiting Simply Books! If you would like more information, just scroll down for a book synopsis and author bio.
The Earthquake Machine
The book every girl should read,
and every girl’s parents hope she’ll never read.
The Earthquake Machine tells the story of 14 year-old Rhonda. On the outside, everything looks perfect in Rhonda’s world, but at home Rhonda has to deal with a manipulative father who keeps her mentally ill mother hooked on pharmaceuticals. The only reliable person in Rhonda’s life is her family’s Mexican yardman, Jesús. But when the INS deports Jesús back to his home state of Oaxaca, Rhonda is left alone with her increasingly painful family situation.
Determined to find her friend Jésus, Rhonda seizes an opportunity to run away during a camping trip with friends to Big Bend National Park. She swims to the Mexican side of the Rio Grande and makes her way to the border town of Milagros, Mexico. There a peyote- addled bartender convinces her she won’t be safe traveling alone into the country’s interior. So with the bartender’s help, Rhonda cuts her hair and assumes the identity of a Mexican boy named Angel. She then sets off on a burro across the desert to look for Jesús. Thus begins a wild adventure that fulfills the longing of readers eager for a brave and brazen female protagonist.
Mary Pauline Lowry has worked as a forest firefighter, screenwriter, open water lifeguard, construction worker, and advocate in the movement to end violence against women. Due to no fault of her sweet parents, at 15 she ran away from home and made it all the way to Matamoros, Mexico. She believes girls should make art, have adventures, and read books that show them the way.