You read that right! My friend, and amazing author, Darby Karchut has returned a second time this month. In case you are just now joining us this month, Darby Karchut is the featured author on the blog. This week is another visit, and next week is something else. I am not sure what that will be so stay tuned.
This time Darby is here to tell us about the inspiration for her upcoming book, Del Toro Moon.
The Inspiration Behind Del Toro Moon
It all began with a song:
“From whence came the cowboy, the history is plain,
He rode out of Europe on a frigate from Spain,
From Mexico southward, and northward he spread,
From the Gaucho and the Huaso, the Vaquero was bred,
Your everyday cowboy, and o’ what a sight,
More dashing and daring than a Medieval Knight.”
Lyrics by Jack Hannah
Taken from the selection:
From Whence Came the Cowboy
Great American Cowboy Music
Recorded by Sons of the San Joaquin
I first heard the song years ago (in the late 1990’s, if you can believe that) and couldn’t get it out of my head. The lyrics conjured up a mishmash of iconic images: cowboys, knights, horses, and a sailing ship bearing the Spanish flag. These mental pictures stuck with me for a long time—way before I ever thought about becoming a writer. Then, about three years ago, and with twelve books under my belt, I decided to saddle up and see where those images might lead.
To my surprise, the first character to appear was Santiago Del Toro, a Knight of the Coffer, who stepped off a Spanish frigate in the 1600s and waded ashore to what is now modern-day Mexico. He carried a mace, of all things. Before I could even figure out what he wanted or why he had journeyed in the New World, a talking Andalusian warhorse appeared at his side. As I recall, the stallion was arguing with Santiago about the best way to safeguard the chests filled with monsters they had brought over from Spain.
Monster hunters. Caballeros. Talking horses. The American Southwest. Old Spain and the New World. Okay, then.
Since I knew I wanted the story to take place in the modern-day Southwest region of the US, I planted the descendants of Santiago Del Toro on a ranch in southern Colorado near the New Mexico border. The story is told from the point of view of the family’s youngest member: Matt Del Toro. His family consists of his older brother Ben, and their father, the legendary monster hunter Javier Del Toro. Together with their Andalusian warhorses (the greathearted El Cid, the infamous Turk, and fiery Isabel) they guard the local folks from evil creatures lurking in the nearby canyons and foothills.
Del Toro Moon combined so many passions of mine: horses, cowboys, the American Southwest, the Hispanic culture (I’m a native of New Mexico), and father/son relationships. It was a whoop and a hoot to write.
Del Toro Moon
Owl Hollow Press
Middle grade fantasy
Bad enough Matt Del Toro is the greenest greenhorn in the family’s centuries-old business: riding down and destroying werewolf-like creatures, known as skinners. He must also learn how to match his father’s skills at monster hunting. Odds of doing that? Yeah, about a million to one. Because Matt’s father is the legendary Javier Del Toro—hunter, scholar, and a true caballero: a gentleman of the horse.
Now, with the skinners multiplying, both in numbers and ferocity, Matt is desperate to keep his father and hot-tempered older brother from killing each other, prevent his new friend, Perry—a horse-crazy girl who recently moved to their small town of Huerfano, Colorado—from discovering the true nature of his odder-than-oddball family, and save a group of paleontologists from getting skinner-ed.
Luckily, Matt has twelve hundred pounds of backup in his best friend—El Cid, an Andalusian war stallion with the ability of human speech, more fighting savvy than a medieval knight, and a heart as big and steadfast as the Rocky Mountains.
Serious horse power.
Those skinners don’t stand a chance.
About the Author
Darby Karchut is a multi-award winning author, dreamer, and compulsive dawn greeter. A proud native of New Mexico, she now lives in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, where she runs in blizzards and bikes in lightning storms. When not dodging death by Colorado, Darby is busy at her writing desk. Her books include the best selling middle grade series: THE ADVENTURES OF FINN MacCULLEN. Best thing ever: her YA debut novel, GRIFFIN RISING, has been optioned for film. Her latest book, DEL TORO MOON, releases August 2018 from Owl Hollow Press. She is represented by Amanda Rutter at Red Sofa Literary. Visit the author at www.darbykarchut.com
The Adventures of Finn MacCullen series:
Book One: Finn Finnegan (2014 IPPY award winner)
Book Two: Gideon’s Spear
Book Three: The Hound at the Gate
Book Four: Finn’s Choice
Del Toro Moon (releases Fall 2018)
The Griffin series:
Book One: Griffin Rising
Book Two: Griffin’s Fire
Book Three: Griffin’s Storm
Adult Urban Fantasy series (writing as Darby Kaye)
The Stag Lord
Non-fiction co-authored with Wes Karchut:
Money and Teens: Savvy Money Skills (2013 EIFLE for best book/personal finance for teens)
Essential Money Guidebook: Simple and Sustainable Personal Finance for Real People
Thanks again, Darby, for stopping by the blog this week. I am really looking forward to reading Del Toro Moon. And, I’m still waiting on another Griffin book, just sayin’.