Hey guys! Welcome to my online serial novel, Children of the Wind. I’m Charles Anthony Almanza, and I post a new chapter every Thursday or Friday (or at least I try to, with wifi outages and the random kookery of life getting in the way). Thanks for clicking on my site, I really do appreciate it. If you’d like to start reading, you can click here for the Table of Contents or here for the first chapter.
About The Story:
My story, Children of the Wind, is a magical realism story composed of journal entries by the main character, Lucas, as he navigates the daily struggles of life, love, family, being a first generation American from a Nicaraguan family, and, naturally, magic.
When twenty-something year old Lucas, a gifted empath and globe trotter who ‘travels after the wind’, gets a phone call from his sister, Percy, he learns that all is not well at home: his mother, in the middle of a nasty divorce with Lucas’ odious stepfather, Roberto, is suffering from a brain tumor that causes seizures, his youngest sister, Dee, is battling with depression, and Percy herself is thinking about dropping out of school just to help out with bills. Without hesitation, Lucas promptly packs up his bags and leaves his comfortable home in New York, returning to his beachside hometown of Playa de Oro, California, where he manages to find a job at a restaurant as a server.
However, someone else follows on the tail end of the wind that blew Lucas back home: his Abuelita arrives in the middle of a storm, determined to help. But her help consists of a very different kind of help; as a Mayan witch, she brings with her more than just a touch of witchcraft, and upon her arrival, the status quo of the household becomes increasingly upended as she urges Lucas and his mother to embrace their ‘gifts’, unleashing a barrage of magic that slowly begins to turn into a new normal, full of dreams, card readings, Mayan Gods, and mythic figures springing to life.
As the family adjusts to the influx of witchery in their house, Lucas attempts to hone his ‘gifts’ under Abuelita’s tutelage while balancing a normal life; he meets a new friend, Aleah, (who may also be a witch but she’ll never tell) and he also catches the attention of the mysterious and charming Noah, whose advances may be marred by his mysterious and dark past. On top of that, Lucas still has to face his manipulative stepfather, whose history of physical abuse, hatred of Abuelita and her teachings, and his recent diagnosis of pancreatic cancer leaves Lucas feeling conflicted, especially since he constantly uses the deteriorating health of Lucas’ mother as an excuse to intervene in the family affairs. And then, when Abuelita decides to open up a botanica to help out with bills, the Jarquin family earns the wrath of another witch, Pepper, who is set on doing anything she can to send them blowing away as quickly as they came. As the stakes of survival pile up, with Roberto and Pepper becoming increasingly aggressive in their own quests for dominance, so does the magic, and Lucas begins to realize that with all magic performed, it comes with a price…
The question is, how far down the rabbit hole will he go?
When I was younger, I learned that my own family were refugees from Nicaragua during the civil war that tore the country apart. They were originally from the indigenous area, the Atlantic Mosquito Coast called Bluefields in Nicaragua. Growing up as a first generation American with a rich, broken, and varied family history, I always heard stories of folktales like La Cegua or La Carretanagua or La Llorona, and I was instilled with a deep love of mythology, cultures, and travel. I grew up reading everything, from Harry Potter and The Lord of the Rings to Stephen King and Hemingway to even dictionaries, and for this story I was heavily influenced by the works of Joanne Harris and Gabriel Garcia Marquez, for their seamless weaving of the supernatural and the divine into the mundane, for their uncanny ability to make people realize that the greatest of magic comes from the strength of a beating heart and the beauty of words.
I drew a lot from my own well of experience growing up as the son of immigrants in Southern California, and from my manic-depressive travels abroad, when I first started writing this story; in fact, I almost feel naked because of how liberally I lifted passages from my own journals, inserting them into Lucas’ own account. I began to seriously write this story as kind of a love letter to the culture I was brought up with, the city I hate/love that I grew up in, and some (not all, though I wish I could) of the people that influenced me in some way or another, along with my memories.
If you’re reading up to this point, I really do appreciate it so much; it means you care enough to hear me blab on about what I’m writing. That being said, I do genuinely hope that you enjoy reading Children of the Wind, and that you like it enough to tell your friends and family! Word of mouth promotions are much valued and are amazing in my opinion; there’s nothing like knowing someone you love has decided to check out what you thoroughly enjoy. Also, feel free to tick a like, drop a line, opinion, question, or any kind of feedback in the comments section of each chapter, or just directly email me through here.
Once again, thanks, if you’ve continued reading this far. I hope that we can both enjoy this journey as it plays out, for both reader and author. Love you guys.