Julian Rosado-Machain has enjoyed pizza in three continents, worked in graphic design, armored vehicles, built computers, handcrafted alebrijes and swears that he has seen at least one ghost.
He lives in San Diego, California. And enjoys the sun with his wife, three children and cat.
His latest book is the YA fantasy adventure, Guardians Inc.: The Cypher.
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About the Book:
GUARDIANS INC.: THE CYPHER is two stories in one. A glimpse into a multinational company that is in reality the oldest of secret societies, one that spans close to seven thousand years of existence, weaving in and out of history, guiding and protecting humanity from creatures and forces that most of us believe are only mythology and fairy tales.
The other is the story of Thomas Byrne, a young man thrust into secrets he shouldn’t be aware of and dangers he shouldn’t face but, that he ultimately will, for he is a Cypher. The only one who can steer humanity’s future.
The ultimate conspiracy theory is that Magic is real. Kept in check by technology but, every five hundred years the balance can shift and, if it does, technology will fail and those creatures we’ve driven into myth will come back with a vengeance.
To protect the present, Guardians Incorporated needs to know the future, and to unlock the future they need a Cypher.
This is the first book of the Guardians Inc Series.
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Can you tell us who or what was the inspiration behind your book?
A Conspiracy Theory! The what if Magic was real and a select cadre knew about it and what would a teenager do if he somehow learned about all this? From there everything else came into being: The seven thousand year old company, the elves living in our national parks and the balance between Magic and Technology that has to be preserved to keep humanity alive and well and Magic in check.
Nature, Science, History, Mythology. I always read a lot about these themes and there is always something to explore about them, some hidden connection between all of them that should be brought to light.
Those connections with nature are the heart of Guardians Inc.
Is this your first published book and if so, can you tell us your experiences in finding a publisher for it?
I self published because Guardians Inc. was a pet project, but I’m beginning to look for a publisher now that I know that my market is the middle grade crowd. I’ll let you know how that goes!
Where do you live and if I were coming to town, where would we go to talk books?
I live in San Diego and there are many places where we can go and talk about books depending on the genre, YA? Let’s go to PacificBeach. History? Well, there’s Balboa park, Comedy? SeaportVillage is always a fun place to be or maybe Romance? Let’ go to the Coronado Hotel for dinner instead of just a walk and maybe, just maybe we’ll delve into Horror with all the Ghosts that supposedly live there.
When you’re not writing, what do you do to relax and have fun?
I am an avid strategy gamer! Yes, I know, I am old enough to have gone through that phase, but then again, I was Generation Atari and Pac man! And there is no denying just how powerful a jolt to the imagination some of these games can be.
Do you make a living off your books or do you have another job?
I am starting to make a living off my books, which is at the same time exhilarating and scary! I owned a restaurant for ten years and sold it because I was tired of slaving away watching my kids grow up from afar.
So now I’m devoting 100 percent of my time to writing (actually like 25% because promotion is taking a huge chunk of time!)
In your opinion, what makes a good book great?
Relatability… No I didn’t make that word up… I think… anyway, the more a reader can relate to the story being told, the more he will be into it. No matter what the genre is, there is a heart to each story, a conflict that resonates with the reader and that makes the story relatable to him/her.
That what I think makes a good book great.
Psychologists tell us the thing we think we’d most like to grow up to be when we’re ten years old is our avocation. What did you want to be?
I wanted to be an astronaut! But not of the mercury program, but of Carl Sagan’s Cosmos ship! I didn’t know how many people have seen it, but it SHOULD be mandatory viewing in all schools along with the remake with Neil Degrasse Tyson, which is just as good. It opens the mind to possibilities and to science and our natural world.
Can you give us a short excerpt from your book?
Sure! Here’s Thomas as he sees Pervagus Library for the first time:
Thomas felt a current of air moving through the library. He couldn’t hear the air conditioning, but he felt a draft on his arms and hair. The temperature inside the room had dropped and he shuddered involuntarily.
“The cold helps preserve the collection,” Mrs. Pianova told him. “Humidity is also controlled. Do you have any known allergies to chemicals?”
Now that she mentioned it, Thomas perceived a faint smell of leather and a more distinct smell that he couldn’t quite place, like when entering a hospital. It was chemical, but he didn’t know what it was.
“Mr. Byrne?” she asked when he waited too long to answer.
“No, ma’am,” he said. “Not that I know of.”
“Good, this is your station,” she said pointing at the desk. “The computer already has your clearance, but to use it you need to be wearing?” She paused and lifted her eyebrow.
“The tag?” he offered.
“Correct.” She pointed at the screen. “Some days one or two people will come in, some days fifty or more, and some days you’ll get someone screaming at the top of their lungs about a life or death situation. Don’t get nervous. Just punch the information into the program and the computer will tell you which aisle to send them to. You can cross-reference any way you like, words, titles, authors or by need. You’ve used the Internet before?”
“Yes ma’am,” he said. His head pounded and he felt overwhelmed. Was he cut out for this job? He swallowed the lump in his throat and meekly asked, “Life and death?”
“Those books will appear on this tray.” She pointed to a drawer on the right side of the desk. “All others on the aisles. Follow me.” She walked through the middle of the hall. The bookcases were arranged alphabetically. Each had a golden letter on the sides and tags on each shelf.
As they reached the end of the hall, she stopped in front of a wooden wall etched with thick concentric circles. The circles covered a full quarter of the wall and extended all the way to the ceiling.
“Some books will not be readily available to you. If such is the case, you can contact me through the computer and I will search for the book in the library.”
It was Thomas’s time to lift an eyebrow. “Isn’t this the library?” he asked, and Mrs. Pianova adjusted the pair of glasses she was wearing.
“No, Mr. Byrne, this is your station.” She paused. “I don’t need to remind you of your Non-disclosure Agreement. Do I?” she asked.
“You just did ma’am,” Thomas answered with a playful smirk that made Mrs. Pianova purse her lips unnervingly.
“Welcome to Pervagus library Mr. Byrne,” she said pressing a panel on the wall. There was a short hum and a mechanical sound as the wall with the etched circles began to rotate, disengaging internal locks, and the circles moved to the sides inside each other. The wall became a set of double doors that opened to a hall beyond what Thomas could describe as immense.
The ceiling was at least ten stories high and the bookshelves disappeared in the distance. A clear crystal floor and metal beams supported each row of shelves. Robotic arms and elevators loaded with books ran on rails above the bookshelves loading and unloading their cargo into them. Thomas had been to a football stadium before, but he was sure that this room dwarfed that.
“I don’t know how many books there are, so don’t ask,” Mrs. Pianova said as soon as the question formed in his head. “The best answer I can give you is that we probably have at least a copy of every book ever written after the year 269. Before that, well… a lot of things happened.”
The mind reading trick again! “How did you… “
“Everyone asks the same thing,” she snapped, cutting his question short. “I even know how to answer the next one.” She stared at him as if daring him to ask it.
Thomas pursed his lips, “Very well then,” he said. “What’s the answer?”
“We do have them in electronic format too, but we need them in print for a very specific reason.” She raised an eyebrow at him, his face betrayed that she had answered correctly.
Behind her, a glass elevator appeared on a rail from the left.
“You don’t need to check out with me, Mr. Byrne. But if I need you to stay longer I can notify you up to five minutes before your shift ends.”
“So you work here alone?” he asked as she entered the elevator.
“Not anymore. Apparently.” The elevators doors closed. “Bathroom is on the left. I’ll see you tomorrow. Won’t I, Mr. Byrne?”
“Definitely,” he answered but saw the eyebrow lifting. He added, “Mrs. Pianova.” The librarian nodded approvingly. Apprehensive or not, now that he saw the library he wanted to work here.
He wanted to know more.