Interview with Tomas Gomez

Hello Everyone!

We are delighted to have author Tomas Gomez amongst us today at Musikdiv India Online Magazine at our Special ‘Authors Festival’ interview series to tell us about his new book On Equal Ground (The Dragon Slayers)!
Please read on …

The United States of America, The United Mexican States, One Border, Two Nations; forever linked by history and destiny.
On Equal Ground delivers an all-too-realistic portrait of these two great nations struggle with the international consequences of the ‘War on Drugs.’ In his first novel, Tomás Gomez has created cross-cultural hero’s that readers not only can identify with but cheer on as they battle corrupt politicians and businessmen and women on both sides of the border.
In On Equal Ground, the action begins in Tepoztlán, a Pueblo Mágico, or Magical Village located near Cuernavaca in the State of Morelos. Widely accepted as the ‘New Age’ capital of Mexico, famous for its mystical energy and for the frequent sightings of flying saucers, Tepoztlán is home to Santos Cardenas Lizarraga, a.k.a. El Grande or the Giant, the 6 foot 7 inch tall ‘enforcer’ lieutenant for the Beltrán Leyva Cartel, and operational leader of the cartel’s armed wing, Los Negros. When Mexican Naval intelligence confirms he’d be attending a Christmas Party in his home town, one hundred Special Forces commandos are sent in to arrest him; but the assault on the fortified compound goes sideways and el Grande once again eludes capture; this time thanks to the betrayal of a Mexican federal police officer.
When one of the naval Special Forces commandos killed in the botched Christmas raid is subsequently publicly identified by the President of Mexico, el Grande tracks down the dead Marine’s family and butchers them. Upon learning of the murders of the family, Lieutenant Commander Ernesto Héctor Vara Córdoba, commanding officer, Special Operations Command Detachment One (D-1), FES Pacific Special Forces Group, fly’s into a rage; as far as he was concerned his commander-in-chief was equally, if not more responsible than the thugs who had killed the petty officer’s family. It was a viewpoint that would ultimately cost the Marine his command, his rank, and his family.
Enter Vice-Admiral Jaime Morfin, Pacific Fleet Special Forces commander. He has just learned that President Cantu authorized the American government to set-up the Office of Cooperative Intelligence, or OCI, in Mexico City, to house an alphabet soup of well-known U.S. federal agencies — the DIA, the NSA, the FBI, the DEA and ICE. Fearing a Latin America return to the Cold-War days of dictatorships and death squads, he secretly forms a Special Forces commando unit to act as a counterweight to the American super-spy agency. This elite six-member team known as the Xiuhcoatl, a Nahuatl word, the language of the Aztecs, it can best be translated into English as Dragon Slayer. Brought out of forced retirement to command the unit is Lt. Cmdr. Vara.
In the course of investigating the authenticity of a planned terrorist plot aimed at American cities located along the U.S. / Mexico border, Vara and his team stumble upon information that a nuclear devise has been smuggled into Mexico. The race is on to find it before it can be used.
Brimming with ripped-from-headlines authenticity On Equal Ground is exciting, intense, and provocative – a must read finger-blistering page turner!

So Tomas, we’ll start your Interview with the very first question

1.Please introduce and tell the readers something about yourself.

I’m a child of the 60’s and 70’s. A religious and political progressive. I consider myself to be a socialist and my writing reflects this.

2.What brought you to writing?

Not sure how to answer this question.

3.How long have you been writing?

Since Junior High school when I started a student newsletter. I worked on my high school paper, then started an alternative/underground newspaper in the 1970’s. I’ve edited newsletters, periodicals,all my life but have only just started writing fiction.

4.Which was your first literary project?Tell us something about it.

‘On Equal Ground’ is my first project. Basically, I’m trying to tell the story of America’s War on Drugs from the viewpoint of Mexicans. But I am also telling the story of Mexico and its relationship with the United States. What’s that old saying, history is told by the winner. How many people know that Mexico lost over 1/3 of her territory to the U.S. as a result of the 1840’s war. Or that Mexico was invaded by the U.S. in 1914?

5.Is this your new/latest project?


6. Traditional books or e-books? How do you prefer to see your works published? Have you tried ever publishing the traditional way?

Both ways work for me. But I suspect the Hispanic market which I am trying to reach is not a big user of e-Book devises yet so I still need to look at traditional publishing.

7.Can you give a chapter sample preview of your book here for our readers to know more about it.

Sure, but my chapters are short so I’ve attached the first couple.
( Please look at the bottom of the interview for book excerpts )

8.What are your hobbies?Things that you enjoy doing besides books of course.

Fishing and working in my garden.

9.Who is your favourite author?

Oh, I have many. Jack London is one of my favorites. He was a socialist you know.

10.What is your favourite genre to read and also to write?

Science Fiction and Political Thrillers

11.Do you have a role model that you get inspiration from?

Not really

12.Where do get your ideas from?Do you take your story ideas from real life situations?

Real life situations taking place in Mexico right now. You do know we are in the midst of another civil war even though the government denies this.

13. Do you have a pseudonym?

Yes. This is because it so dangerous to write about the cartels in Mexico. Reporters are killed all the time and just recently bloggers and twitters have been murdered.

14.Whats your experience been like in the publishing industry?Postive or negative?Please share your experience with our readers.

No experience yet so I can’t comment.

15.Where do you see yourself 10years from now?

I’m an old man; hopefully I’ll still be alive and writing.

16. What keeps you going? What motivates you to write?

Telling Mexico’s story to a non-Hispanic audience. Letting people see what is really going on in Latin America but through works of fiction rather than non-fiction.

17. How important is good cover art for your books?

Very important. It is a sign of quality and reflects how you feel about your work,

18. What is your pricing strategy? Do you have one?

Don’t have one.

19. How do you feel if you read a bestseller not as good as yours?

Hopeful. If that book can make the list than I can.

20.Why do you think readers should buy your book?What can you offer them through your book?

It is entertaining but intense and provocative. I can offer the reader a glimpse into Mexico’s history with the U.S. and with the Catholic Church.

21.Where is your book available?Any Buy Link for our readers?

Amazon link

22.Do you have a website or a blog that you’d like to share here.

23. What advice would you give to other writers ?

It’s hard work but a necessary part of the job.

24.Anything else you’d like to share with our readers

Yes, that Mexico is a beautiful country as are its people. The current climate in the U.S. towards Mexicans is not surprising. People seem to forget that at one time the Irish were the Mexicans.

Also, the Spanish version will be available sometime in January / early February.

  • Thank you Tomas Gomez for gracing us with your presence.It was a sheer pleasure.Good luck with your book.We conclude the interview here

    Thanks again from Team MusikDIV

    Book Exerpts – Sample Chapter

    On Equal Ground (The Dragon Slayers) By Tomas Gomez


    THE INCIDENT BEGAN last year on December 11, in Tepoztlán, a Pueblo Mágico, or Magical Village located near Cuernavaca in the State of Morelos. It ended tragically five days later, on December 16, in Villahermosa, in the State of Tabasco.
    Widely accepted as the ‘New Age’ capital of Mexico, famous for its mystical energy and for the frequent sightings of flying saucers, Tepoztlán is not only the birthplace of Náhuatl, the language of the Aztecs, but of Quetzalcoatl, the 1,200-year-old feathered serpent God once widely worshipped throughout Mexico.
    Naval Intelligence had confirmed Santos Cardenas Lizarraga, a.k.a. El Grande or the Giant, the 6 foot 7 inch tall ‘enforcer’ lieutenant for the Beltrán Leyva Cartel, and operational leader of the cartel’s armed wing, Los Negros, would be attending a Christmas party in the exclusive Ahuatepec neighborhood in Tepoztlán. Implicated in a number of political assassinations a criminal warrant had been issued by a Mexican court for the arrest of the former federal police officer.
    Among those he was accused of killing was Mexico’s national Police Chief, Tomás Édgar Rodriquez Reyes. Naval intelligence suggested the ‘hit’ was in-kind retribution for the arrest earlier in the year of Alfredo Beltrán Leyva, one of the four Beltrán Leyva brothers who founded the cartel that bore their name.
    The third highest-ranking member of Mexico’s Secretariat of Public Security and acting commissioner of the Federal Preventive Police, Rodriquez was gunned down outside his apartment building in the Colonia Guerrero neighborhood a little over three months ago. His home was close to his office but located in one of the poorer sections of Mexico City; shot eight times in the head and chest, and once in his right hand, a defensive wound, he died almost instantly. There were no witnesses.
    It was just before midnight, the cartel Christmas party in full swing, when Lieutenant Commander Ernesto Héctor Vara Córdoba, commanding officer, Special Operations Command Detachment One (D-1), FES Pacific Special Forces Group, was ordered to launch his assault on the fortified compound. A three-story mansion surrounded by a five ft. high concrete wall, topped with a five ft. high-electrified mesh fence, El Grande’s holiday guests were being entertained with live music and the favors of over twenty prostitutes, women and transvestites.
    However, moments before the one hundred naval commandos breached the perimeter the music and laughter of the party suddenly was replaced with silence; the element of surprise had been lost.
    From inside the compound sirens began to blare; followed shortly by the rapid pop, pop, pop of automatic weapons fire as floodlights flicked on. During the ensuing thirty-minute firefight, two navy FES and three Los Negros gunmen were killed; their intended target, Santos Cardenas Lizarraga, escaped along with several other high-value targets, including his boss –Arturo Beltrán, the founding leader of the Cártel de los Beltrán Leyva, one of Mexico’s most notorious transnational criminal organizations, or TCO’s.
    Forty-eight partygoers were arrested after Cmdr. Vara had secured the compound; among them was Tony Espinosa, the three-time Latin Grammy award winning ranchera superstar, who along with his band was performing at the house. Over a quarter of a million U.S. dollars, thirty-two AK47’s, nineteen AR15’s, along with dozens of cell phones and computers were confiscated in the raid.
    A short time after forensic technicians were called in to examine the seized evidence, a startling piece of information was recovered from a cartel cell phone; its call log recorded an incoming call ten seconds after Lt. Cmdr. Vara had given the ‘GO’ order to breach the mansion’s wall.
    Upon learning of the treason that cost the lives of two good men under his command, Cmdr. Vara ordered all non-naval personnel on the scene to be arrested, their weapons, and cell phones confiscated. Less than two hours later, it was determined who had placed the call to ‘El Grande.’ The Nokia belonged to a federal police officer.
    After a brief interrogation, the officer admitted his treachery. Justice was swift –– he was dragged inside the house, taken to the roof, a rope tied around his neck, and thrown off. Lt. Cmdr. Vara had sent a clear message; Mexico was at war, and traitors would be dealt with no mercy. While the commander’s actions nearly cost him his pension and prison time, the execution of the federal police officer was soon buried and forgotten –– Cmdr. Vara had stumbled upon where Arturo Beltrán had slithered off to hide.
    On Friday December 16, around 4 pm in the afternoon, a Marine patrol spotted Beltrán, the Jefe de Jefes, or boss of bosses, in the Colonia Lomas de la Selva, an upscale neighborhood just ten minutes outside of downtown Cuernavaca. Since his escape the previous week from the Christmas party the narco-kingpin had been staying in apartment 201 at the ‘Altitude’, a twelve story, high-end apartment/condo complex located at #215 Poder Legislativo Boulevard. Within hours of confirmation of Beltrán’s location, Cmdr. Vara and the D-1 commandos, supported by two hundred Marines, two Russian-build Mi-17 helicopters and two French-build AMX-13 light tanks had surrounded the complex, the tallest building in Cuernavaca.
    Over the course of the two-hour gun battle that followed, Beltrán’s personal security detail, former Mexican Army Special Forces soldiers known as the ‘Fuerzas Armadas de Arturo’ responded with automatic weapons and concussion grenades. Beltrán and six of his soldiers were killed in the firefight, as was a naval commando, thirty-year old Petty Officer Third Class Miguel Angelo Soto; he had been severely wounded by a U.S. made fragmentation grenade.
    Buried on December 21, in his home state of Tabasco, Petty Officer Soto was carried to his grave by an honor guard of his fellow commandos; camouflage fatigues, and face-paint hiding their identities. The following day, Mexican President Luis Cantu held a press conference, presenting the dead naval commando’s mother, Irma Soto Palma, with a folded Mexican flag. He had publicly identified the dead navy commando; telling a weary nation where his family lived.
    Several hours after returning to her home to continue her grieving, armed masked men broke in; they murdered the dead petty officer’s mother, brother, sister, and aunt. A ‘retaliatory hit’ had been ordered by Carlos, Alfredo, and Héctor Beltrán Leyva to avenge their brothers’ death by Mexican Marines. It had been carried out by Los Negros sicarios (assassins/hitmen) under the command of Santos Cardenas Lizarraga, ‘the Giant.’
    Upon learning of the murders of the Soto family, Lieutenant Commander Vara flew into a rage; as far as he was concerned his commander-in-chief was equally, if not more responsible, than the thugs who had killed Petty Officer Soto’s family. It was a viewpoint that would ultimately cost the Marine his command, his rank, and his family.

    Buy On Equal Ground (The Dragon Slayers) by Tomas Gomez On Amazon Kindle >>

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