There have been a lot of firsts associated with my historical western/crime epic Blood and Gold: The Legend of Joaquin Murrieta. It’s the first time I’ve written a novel about a real person. First time I’ve written one so long. First one I’ve written in collaboration with an Emmy Award-winning TV writer/producer (Peter Murrieta, who happens to be a fifth-generation descendant of Joaquin), and the first with a cover by an Emmy Award-winning animator/director/actor (Jorge Gutierrez, the genius behind Netflix’s Maya and the Three, among others). First novel to be optioned before publication. First novel to be a finalist for the coveted Peacemaker Award from the Western Fictioneers organization (I was previously a finalist in the short fiction category). First book to be covered by Deadline Hollywood, the Los Angeles Times and People en Espanol, which named it one of “five literary titles every Latino should read.“
Now it’s achieved yet another first–it’s my first novel (that I’m aware of; a writer isn’t always informed) that will be the subject of a book-club discussion. The Fresno State Chicano Alumni Book Club is devoting two consecutive meetings to Blood and Gold, and has invited Peter and me to join in via Zoom.
I’ll let them take it from here. In the club’s words:
The Fresno State#ChicanoAlumniBookClub is proud to present not one but TWO virtual evenings with acclaimed authors Jeffrey J. Mariotte and Peter Murrieta who will share insights with us about their book, #BloodAndGold, the incredible story of the Chicano legend #JoaquínMurrieta.
This two-part session will be presented in-person (Betty Rodriguez Regional Library in Fresno) and virtually (the authors will join us via Zoom 6-7 p.m. both dates):
AUG. 1 – Part 1: Author Jeffrey J. Mariotte will discuss chapters 1 thru 31;
SEPT. 5 – Part 2: Author Peter Murrieta will discuss chapter 32 to the end of book.
Registration details through the Fresno State Alumni Association will be forthcoming. Mark your calendars, get your copy and join us!
It’s truly an honor to have written something that has met with the kind of response that this book has. Thanks to the Chicano Alumni Book Club for considering it worthy of discussion.