Fiction Fest: 10 questions with Marcia Mickelson, author of ‘The Huaca’

Marcia Mickelson photoHold onto your 10-gallon hats, y’all! Texas-based author Marcia Mickelson, who is a big sports fan, does not root for any of the Lone Star State’s teams. Her sporting allegiance lies elsewhere. “Where?” you might ask. You’ll have to keep reading.

Mickelson’s most recent novel, “The Huaca,” was released in May 2013 and is available in bookstores and on, and

Her previous novels include “Star Shining Brightly” (2006), “Reasonable Doubt” (2007), and “Pickup Games” (2009).

Mickelson recently took some time out of her summer vacation (she’s a teacher) to field a few questions. Take it away, Teach!

Why a story about a huaca?

First, let me say you should always listen to your mother. My mother suggested I write a book about Mayan myths. At first, I dismissed her suggestion, but as I thought more about it, I loved the idea of writing a contemporary novel based on the myths of indigenous people. As I researched, I found that the Incan myths were more in line with the storyline that was floating around in my head. I especially loved the idea of a huaca. A huaca is a revered object or place. I chose to have it refer to a revered object and then added my own spin on it.

Based on your social media posts, we gather you’re a sports fan. Who are you rooting for in the NBA Finals?

It is funny you should ask me that. I lived in San Antonio for over five years, but I do not like the Spurs. I’m from New Jersey, and have always liked the Knicks. I am not one to ever change teams. The Knicks are my one and only NBA team. I lived in Utah for seven years and never became a Jazz fan. No matter where I move, I will always be a Knicks fan. My three teams are: the Knicks, the Mets, and BYU.  I am loyal to my teams and will never change. So, I guess to answer your question, I’m not rooting for either team.

As a third grade teacher, how do you find time to write?

I have only been a teacher for three years, so I did most of my writing before I became a teacher. I haven’t been able to write very much in the last three years. I find time to write on school breaks and in the summer. I’m hoping to finish my next book this summer.

What is your current work in progress?

My current work in progress is called “You Don’t Belong Here.” It is about an 18-year-old girl whose parents came to the U.S. illegally. I, myself, came to the U.S. illegally with my parents when I was a baby and had the privilege of becoming a naturalized citizen when I was in the eighth grade. Huaca 2x3

What is the most joy writing has brought you?

It is so wonderful seeing the cover of your book for the first time. That is definitely the most joy that being an author has brought me.

What author has had the most influence on your writing style?

I love Jane Austen, and while I don’t think she’s influenced my style, she has definitely influenced my desire to write a good love story.

What do you like most about being an author?

I love the beginning of the writing process as a story begins to formulate. It is such an exciting time as the story unfolds in my head and I begin to quickly add details.

What do you like least about being an author?

Thinking of different ways to market my book is the most difficult part of being an author.

Which of your published works do you think would make the best movie?

I think “The Huaca” would make a great movie. It has elements of fantasy and romance which always make for a great movie.

What advice would you like to offer aspiring authors?

Getting published is such a long process, but don’t give up. Don’t get discouraged. Think of each rejection as the next step in the process of getting published.