Let’s take a brief look into what’s happening on page 99 of The Earthquake Machine. As told to us by the author herself!Â Open up your copy of the book and turn to page 99 which starts like this:
“…crazy moonlight and howl their crazy howls.”
Did you find it?Â Let’s see what’s going on inside Mary’s head.
By p. 99 of my novel THE EARTHQUAKE MACHINE, the protagonist Rhonda has run away while on a river rafting trip in Big Bend National Park in the desert of West Texas. She swims across the Rio Grande to Mexico, steals a burro and rides him up the hill to the town of Milagros. There she finds a bartender named Juan Diego to help her. Juan Diego is kind, but whacked out on peyote. He helps cut and die her hair black so she can âpassâ as a Mexican boy and travel south across Mexico to the state of Oaxaca to search for her familyâs gardener.
Juan Diego dubs Rhonda with the moniker Angel (which is a boyâs name in Spanish) and sends her off to ride across the desert on the burro Pablo. Juan Diego tells Angel that if she rides for long enough in a certain direction she will hit a highway and be able to catch a bus to the city of Oaxaca.
On p. 99, Angel is alone in the desert with only the burro Pablo to keep her company. She has water and food that Juan Diego has packed for her, but sheâs scorching in the desert and worried about making it all the way to the highway. Sheâs left her family, friends, country and everything she knows behind. Even her watch has already broken, so she doesnât even have the familiar comfort of knowing what time it is. Sheâs on a big adventure with no one to protect her. But being so vulnerable and so alone opens her up to the possibility of miracles, for amazing things to happen to her, for a great transformation to occur.
Iâve read so many books and seen so many movies that depict a guy going on a big adventure while his female love interest waits at home for him to return. Iâve never wanted to wait around for a guy to come back from doing something spectacular. Iâve always wanted to have the adventures myself, and encourage other girls to do the same. I hope girls and women will read THE EARTHQUAKE MACHINE and be inspired to take risks and live life fully.
I couldn’t agree more with Mary and one way to go on adventures is through books!
The Earthquake Machine
The book every girl should read,
and every girlâs parents hope sheâll never read.
The Earthquake Machine tells the story of 14-year-old Rhonda. On the outside, everything looks perfect in Rhondaâs world, but at home, Rhonda has to deal with a manipulative father who keeps her mentally ill mother hooked on pharmaceuticals. The only reliable person in Rhondaâs life is her familyâs Mexican yardman, JesÃºs. But when the INS deports JesÃºs back to his home state of Oaxaca, Rhonda is left alone with her increasingly painful family situation.
Determined to find her friend JÃ©sus, Rhonda seizes an opportunity to run away during a camping trip with friends to Big Bend National Park. She swims to the Mexican side of the Rio Grande and makes her way to the border town of Milagros, Mexico. There a peyote- addled bartender convinces her she wonât be safe traveling alone into the countryâs interior. So with the bartenderâs help, Rhonda cuts her hair and assumes the identity of a Mexican boy named Angel. She then sets off on a burro across the desert to look for JesÃºs. Thus begins a wild adventure that fulfills the longing of readers eager for a brave and brazen female protagonist.
Mary Pauline Lowry has worked as a forest firefighter, screenwriter, open water lifeguard, construction worker, and advocate in the movement to end violence against women. Due to no fault of her sweet parents, at 15 she ran away from home and made it all the way to Matamoros, Mexico. She believes girls should make art, have adventures, and read books that show them the way.