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Interview with David Wood, Author of Cibola and Dourado

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David Wood is the author of the thrillers Dourado and the forthcoming Cibola, which will be released this week. David took time to chat with us about his current book, and his work in general.

How would you describe Cibola to someone who is not familiar with it or your previous work?

Cibola is a modern-day adventure story about the search for the “true” story behind the legendary Seven Cities of gold. There’s a bit of mystery, archaeology, biblical lore, legend, a few cryptids, and lots of action. 

Your “bad guys” in this book are a sect of militant Mormons. Where did that idea come from?

Almost all of the story takes place in the American Southwest, much of it in Utah, so it was a nice fit. Plus, it wasn’t something I’d seen before.

Are you concerned about backlash?

Not from people who actually read the book. Aside from the fact it’s a work of fiction, I make it clear in one of the later chapters that the sect is not affiliated with the LDS church, but is a breakaway group of zealots.

What was your inspiration for Cibola?

It began with an article I read about a Utah rancher who concealed the presence of untouched Fremont ruins for decades. Then along came a story about the discovery of a Spanish outpost in Argentina. Something about those two stories sparked an idea and away I went. Somewhere along the way I connected it to the Bible, Egyptian history, Anasazi ruins, cryptozoology, and the legend of the Seven Cities of Gold.

Cibola includes a very controversial slant on a well-known biblical character. Any potential problems for you there, considering you’re also a pastor?

It’s an exercise in imagination. Anyone who reads the “From the Author Notes” and understands the concept of fiction shouldn’t have a problem with it. Besides, people who have seen me in the pulpit sort of expect me to do and say things that are… edgy.

How is Cibola different from Dourado?

With Dourado, I was aiming for a light, fast adventure like the old pulp stories. Cibola maintains a good pace, but is richer and more fleshed-out than Dourado. I also heard from many readers that they wanted [main character] Bones to get more scenes, which he does in Cibola.

Without giving anything away, will what happened in the epilogue have repercussions in a future book?

I don’t have any plans to do that, but I suppose anything’s possible.

You have some great author endorsements for Cibola.

It’s such a high when some of your favorite authors praise your work. The fact that these writers took the time to read it at all is very generous of them. I have to say a special thanks to Jeremy Robinson, who actually gave me a very helpful critique. There are three scenes in Cibola that are there thanks to his feedback, and they definitely improved the final product.

What's next after Cibola?

I’m taking a short break to co-author a novel with my dad. It’s historical fiction based on the life of Jonathan Wood – one of our ancestors who settled southwest Virginia, fought in the American Revolution, and had some interesting exploits. Fortunately, his life was such that we can remain true to history while still telling an adventure-filled story with action, romance, mystery, and humor.

How did you come up with the Dane Maddock and “Bones” Bonebrake characters?

My characters are what I’m most proud of. One reviewer praised Dane and Bones because they are “real,” and not “Heisman Trophy, Nobel Prize-winning, male models,” like so many of the too-perfect heroes in the genre. In the character of Dane, I wanted to create a character who is bright, tough, and resourceful, but not over the top like so many action heroes are. Readers can almost see themselves being him and doing the things he does. In terms of Bones’ character, I wrote him as a six-foot-plus Cherokee because you don’t tend to see many sidekicks that fit that mold. He’s the comic relief, but he also has strengths Dane does not, and there’s a mutual respect between the two.

Are you more like Bones or Dane?

I’m not a great deal like either one. I’m a huge smartass, like Bones, but I’m also a bit cautious, and a reflective thinker like Dane.

You’re donating a portion of your royalties to the Brain Tumor Foundation. Tell us the story behind that.

I’m doing this in honor of my dad, who is fighting a brain tumor, and in memory of a close family friend who lost his life to a brain tumor at a very early age. I’m asking everyone who loves adventure novels, or knows someone who does, to buy the book on on March 17. I’m hoping that if we can make a big splash on the Amazon charts, that it will raise the profile of the book and the cause.

Any parting words for our readers?

Thank you very much for reading my books and especially thanks to those of you who have taken the time to e-mail me or send me a message via my website. It’s both thrilling and humbling to know that people are enjoying my work. I hope you’ll pick up your copy of Cibola on its release date – March 17. Feel free to drop by my website and friend me on Facebook!

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