A Funny Fish-Out-Of-Water Adventure

Ulises Silva
Ulises Silva Author Interview

The Modern Aztec’s Guide to Dating and Time Travel follows a savvy woman who must protect her DIY time travel device from some dangerous people. What was the inspiration for the setup to this fun story?

First off, thank you for your review and kind words about my novel! It’s always a thrilling and humbling moment when I hear that someone actually enjoyed it!

The list of things that inspired The Modern Aztec’s Guide to Dating and Time Travel would take up about 514 pages, but here’s the very condensed version. Time travel stories like Back to the Future, the delightfully comedic works of authors like Christopher Moore, Alexander C. Kane, and Jenny Lawson, the current socio-political climate, my own experiences as a Mexican-American, and, of course, my love of strong, female leads.

I wanted a story about a very exceptional but downtrodden character who, despite all her gifts and skills, just wants a normal, simple life. But because of those gifts and skills, normalcy just isn’t in the cards for her. With supervillains, evil corporations, and guardian demons and angels alike coming after her, the story really is about Quality having to decide whether she’s going to rise to the challenge and reluctantly embrace her role as badass heroine.

I wanted a funny fish-out-of-water adventure where this character has every reason in the world to be a jerk…yet somehow remains positive and committed to protecting this pesky little thing called the space-time continuum.

Quality Jones is an intriguing and well developed character. What were some driving ideals behind her character development?

I wanted her to be, at heart, a good, moral character despite a lifetime of never fitting in, never being accepted, and forever living under the fear of persecution and even death. It was important for me that she remain true to her core despite all the temptations to just give in and make lots of money off of her time travel technology. More importantly, I wanted her to be real. She’s not perfect by any means. She’s kind of selfish, a little bit immature despite her age, a little bit ditzy despite being very clever, and not the wisest person despite being a technical genius.

But I wanted her to endure lots of suffering, including the loss of her great love, but still be able to bounce back and fight through. Even though she prefers to live an anonymous, normal life, things outside of her control push her into extraordinary circumstances, and how she chooses to respond is at the heart of this planned trilogy.

Finally, I really wanted Quality to serve as a lens through which to view our own reality. She is, after all, an outsider that grew up in a parallel timeline where there never was a United States. Now, she’s in a world where corporations can invasively enforce brand loyalty, where corrupt police can do whatever they want to whomever they want, and where it’s illegal for someone like her (i.e., half Mexican) to hold a good job. Quality’s earnest observation of things is, in my opinion, the perfect vehicle for some much-needed satire for this day and age.

This novel delivers some very entertaining scenes. What was the funnest thing about writing this novel?

Without giving too much away, there are some characters that serve as perfect foils to Quality, and it was a blast to just put them in the same room and see what happened. When you have a character as relatively straight-laced as her, and when she has to deal with some genuinely absurd people (I’m looking at you, Sevastian), the results were often unpredictable. I’d have plot ideas, yes, but the most fun part of writing this was just letting loose and letting the characters’ respective foibles play off one another.

What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?

I’m torn between doing the sequel to my second novel, The Perfect Teresa (which you also reviewed, by the way!), and the sequel to this one. The good news is that the sequel to The Modern Aztec’s Guide to Dating and Time Travel is already kind of written. I began this story much farther along before realizing that the backstory was just too much (and too funny) to leave as backstory. So that’s how this particular book came about, and why I’m technically far along into writing the sequel.

And while I’d love to say, “Oh, the sequel is coming out in 2021,” every time I put a date on things, I tend to jinx myself. So let’s just say, it’s coming out in the near future!

Author Links: GoodReads | Twitter | Facebook | Website

Times have changed for Quality Jones…literally.

She’s survived two time-travel accidents and grown up in a timeline where the Aztecs defeated the Spanish. Her DIY time-travel technology could vaporize the space-time continuum. Her cat is abusive and her Guardian Demon is a jerk. She can’t even afford a real pair of Uggs. But all Quality wants is normalcy—and to start her own business.

Even normalcy is too tall an order when she runs into the world’s most lovable band of supervillains out to conquer the world in the name of EVIL. Turns out there are people who would do anything to get their hands on her time-travel technology. Who would have thought?

Now, Quality must work with friends and frenemies alike to protect her time-travel secrets at all costs. And she’ll need all the tacos and dating advice she can get if she’s going up against Amazon Prime battle tanks, quantum cataclysms, and one alarming possibility.

That maybe those time-travel accidents that completely upended her life weren’t accidents at all.

About Literary Titan

The Literary Titan is an organization of professional editors, writers, and professors that have a passion for the written word. We review fiction and non-fiction books in many different genres, as well as conduct author interviews, and recognize talented authors with our Literary Book Award. We are privileged to work with so many creative authors around the globe.

Posted on January 6, 2021, in Interviews and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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