Fact may be stranger than fiction but in some cases they are deliberately similar. I routinely comb the news for inspiration for the Emilia Cruz mystery series so that “action torn from today’s headlines” isn’t just a tagline. Yes, readers will be entertained by fast-paced tales of intrigue and mystery. But they’ll also learn about the impact of Mexico’s drug war.
MADE IN ACAPULCO: The Emilia Cruz Stories is a collection of 5 short stories, many of which were inspired by real events in Mexico. The stories take place before the action in the full-length Emilia Cruz novels, including CLIFF DIVER and HAT DANCE:
The Beast captures Emilia’s struggle to become the first female detective on the Acapulco police force. It previously appeared in The Huffington Post’s Huff/Post 50 Featured Fiction showcase.
The Disappeared sees Emilia track a friend who goes missing. This story launches the continuing theme of missing persons, especially women, that runs throughout the series. It was inspired by the numerous reports of missing women in Mexico, such as this 2012 New York Times article about missing and murdered women in Juarez.
Related Post: Finding Mexico’s Missing: New Effort or Whitewash?
The Artist was inspired by Mexican poet Javier Sicilia’s efforts to raise the awareness of the plight of families whose loved ones have gone missing amid Mexico’s drug violence as well as threats to schools in Acapulco in 2011 that caused 140 schools in that city to close. For more see The Huffington Post report on Sicilia’s 2012 “caravan” tour of the United States as well as this report in the Christian Science Monitor about the school closings.
The Date explores the downside of a job that pits Emilia against Mexico’s enduring culture of machismo. It draws on real events that occurred at a nightclub in Mexico in 2006, as reported by the BBC.
The Cliff is the original Emilia Cruz story and was previously published in the now out of print first edition of MADE IN ACAPULCO. Written for a literary critique group, the story was initially entitled So Far from God and introduced Kurt Rucker. CLIFF DIVER, the first full-length Emilia Cruz novel, was based on this story.
The stories in MADE IN ACAPULCO draw on the headlines coming out of Mexico today, but it also shows the warmth and resilience of the Mexican people. Mexico is a beautiful and vibrant country with a rich heritage and culture, and Emilia represents hope for the country’s future.
2018 update: MADE IN ACAPULCO: The Emilia Cruz Stories is permanatly free across all ebook platforms.
You are invited to spend some time in Acapulco with Emilia, Rico, Kurt and the infamous Lt. Inocente, among others.
Will this short story collection prove that fact is stranger than fiction? Probably not, although it may show just how much art imitates life.
P.S. If you enjoyed MADE IN ACAPULCO, please leave a review!
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Mystery and thriller author. Retired Central Intelligence Agency intel officer. Dog mom to Hazel and Dutch. Recovering Italian handbag addict.