They say he just rolled in with the tumbleweeds one day, the mysterious mariachi without a past. But when demons from a former life rear their ugly heads, it’s his past that Antonio Salas must confront head on or risk losing everything he loves.
Antonio couldn’t tell you how he ended up in the colorful, colonial town of San Miguel. He also couldn’t tell you where he got his old wooden guitar, and he definitely couldn’t tell you how he knew to play it so well. Music, to him, comes as naturally as breathing. His talents earn him the title “El Mariachi Milagroso,” The Miraculous Mariachi, and it isn’t long before the shrewd Anita Hernandez offers him a permanent gig at her cantina downtown and an apartment upstairs.
His song wins him the heart of the governor’s beautiful daughter, Isabella, and the two are soon married with a baby on the way. Things couldn’t be better for Antonio Salas, and whatever memories he’d lost before could stay lost for all he cared.
That is, until the cantina is bombed, Anita is killed, and Isabella is kidnapped. His only clue? A strange letter from Isabella’s captor, addressed to Antonio and signed, Your Maker.
Together with Anita’s street-savvy young daughter, Eppie, and San Miguel’s most notorious bandit, Sancho, Antonio must embark on a journey to save his wife and confront his past. A past made even stranger when Antonio makes a bizarre discovery: he is half robot.
The Mexicandroid is a wild romp, assembled out of equal parts humor and heart, sci-fi and adventure. On the way, Antonio will battle with bandits and wrestle with robots, but it’s his struggles with his own humanity that really make this story a song worth singing.
The Mexicandroid landed in the top 50 out of 10,000 in the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award competition and received a stellar review from Publishers Weekly. I decided it's time to put this novel out to the world!
I want the cover design to reflect the heart of the story. On the outside, The Mexicandroid is campy, kitschy, almost a novelty book. It isn't until you open it up and start reading it that you realize the heavy themes of biracial identity, autonomy, control, culture, and family.
It's a weird novel, but the punchline is that it can be moving and sophisticated. I've attached the Publishers Weekly review for you to read.
So in other words, camp it up! I want to see a trashy homage to cheesy science fiction book covers or a humorous robotic take on Mexican folk art. The important thing is that it grabs people's attention, and brings to the forefront the absurdity of the premise.
IMPORTANT NOTES: Antonio Salas does not have a mustache or a beard. He's handsome and has black hair. It's very important that he is depicted wearing the mariachi uniform, the trajes de charro. It's also important to know that his left arm is a laser cannon. His left hand flips back from the wrist to reveal the barrel that shoots violet light. In his right hand is usually his old wooden mariachi guitar. The story starts out in San Miguel, a colonial town on the edge of the desert based on San Miguel de Allende, Mexico (where my relatives are from). Along the way, he is joined by Eppie, a fourteen-year-old little Mexican girl whose father was a gringo. She has brown hair, ears that stick out, and wears oversized boots. She wants to be a bandita one day. She's very clever and is always getting Antonio out of trouble. Antonio is also joined by Sancho, San Miguel's most notorious bandit. He has a thin mustache and beard, is skinny, and his hair is always lacquered back. He usually wears a white bow tie. If you want to depict him, just think "sleazy but sharp."
A significant portion of their journey is on horseback. Antonio rides a brown horse, Sancho a black horse, and Eppie a burro.
For the front cover I really want something that leaps off the shelf. Something that demands attention, reflects the absurdity of the premise, makes you laugh, and incorporates or plays with the rustic Mexican aesthetic and high technology. I will be sharing the link to buy the book on Facebook, Twitter, my blog, and more. I want the front cover design to make people stop scrolling.
For the back cover, I have something a bit more specific. There is an Aztec artifact I really want spoofed. I have attached it. It's a face inside a face inside a face. I want that, but I want the outer face to be the mariachi Antonio Salas, then inside that a robot skull, then inside that a Day of the Dead sugar skull.