Brothers co-author New Mexican folklore novel

by Elena Mendoza for KRQE: https://www.krqe.com/news/new-mexico/brothers-co-author-new-mexican-folklore-novel/1867543405?fbclid=IwAR3NWFnHKpCi0L3lo1GraBVajQz31NqjjVDRzh5zyF9w7iDOGISW0uI_Iag

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – A fictional children’s book based on real New Mexican folklore started as a dream for two local brothers and now they’re trying to make it a reality—but they’ll need your help getting it onto bookshelves.

Set in the village of Algodones in 1949, “Under the Cottonwood Tree: El Susto de la Curandera” incorporates New Mexico’s rich history while sharing a valuable lesson about forgiveness and friendship.

“It’s highlighting just the same way Mark Twain highlighted that culture of that time, we’re hoping to highlight our culture,” said co-author Carlos Meyer.

It’s a fictional tale of a curandera who lives alone in the bosque. She casts a spell on a village boy that turns him into a calf, and the rest of the book involves a quest to turn him back.

“The children have an adventure that day amongst the cottonwood trees in the Bosque, and they would discover why the curandera has turned into a witch,” said co-author Paul Meyer.

Albuquerque natives, co-authors and brothers Paul and Carlos, grew up playing in the bosque.

The book itself is based off a dream Paul had as a boy about a talking calf.

“I said, ‘Wow, that’s a pretty cool dream,’ so I wrote it down. I wrote it down and I said I’m going to write a little story about it,” said Carlos.

Over the years it’s taken on many forms. A short version was even picked up by famed Chicano publisher Octavio I. Romano.

This latest one has been eight years in the making.

“Being a native New Mexican, I really wanted to shine a light on this culture that isn’t represented a lot in television or literature,” said Paul.

The 166-page graphic novel is now complete.

The brothers have reached out to the public via Kickstarter to help raise money to print the first set of books.

“There’s a lot of expenses for printing a book so that’s what we’re hoping to do. We’re hoping to help with the printing cost,” said Carlos.

“It started as a literal dream, and now is metaphorically a dream that is coming to fruition,” said Paul.

The brothers are currently about a third of the way to their $6,000 goal.

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