Suzie Jimenez is a rabble-rousing Texas history teacher who’s always taught her students to fight oppression. Teaching an alternative curriculum that celebrates nonviolent protest, methods of peaceful rebellion and the state’s homegrown freedom fighters, Suzie encourages her students to question everything, including unjust state laws. But all of that is about to come to an end, thanks to Governor Nick Harry.
A week before classes resume for the fall, Suzie and the rest of the teachers at Rebel Yell High School are laid off by the Governor’s new budget cuts. Harry declares war on the teachers, cutting their jobs and confiscating their paychecks for his Rainy Day Fund. But Suzie won’t back down from this fight. Instead of getting mad, she goes rogue.
Joining a rebel band of ninjas Suzie starts a revolution in the state capital of Austin, but quickly discovers she’s in over her head. Not only does Governor Harry have a secret weapon, but he’s also employed a ship full of pirates to protect him as he launches a campaign for the Presidency! Suzie and the ninjas have to act fast to stop another arrogant Texan from taking the White House, but in the ultimate battle of good versus evil, it’s every ninja for himself.
Can one woman beat the system, or will Suzie’s ideals betray her?
Targeted Age Group:: 18+
What Inspired You to Write Your Book?
Texas Governor Rick Perry and his blatant abuse of power inspired me to write this book – which satirizes his government’s continuous attacks on the people of Texas as a war between ninjas and pirates. In my book, Governor Nick Harry shuts down one of the best schools in Austin just to save a few bucks, and in the process he sets of a chain of events that sees the heroine, Suzie Jimenez, banding together with a rebel ninja clan in order to reclaim her state from the hands of evil. Can Suzie beat the system? You’ll have to read the book to find out!
Who are your favorite authors?
Here are some of my favorite books of all time:
* Leonard Cohen, Beautiful Losers
* Jeanette Winterson, Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit
* David Sedaris, Me Talk Pretty One Day
* Anaïs Nin, Delta of Venus
* Charles Bukowski, Notes of a Dirty Old Man
* Xue Xinran, Sky Burial
* Douglas Adams, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy
I also like reading dirty books and pretty much anything about ninjas. As you can see, my reading list is pretty eclectic. I love reading books from many different genres.
How Did You Come up With Your Characters?
Governor Rick Perry was the inspiration for the evil character of Governor Nick Harry. For my ninja elder, I took bits and pieces from Mr. Miyagi from The Karate Kid fame and Yoda and stuck them in a blender with some of my real-life tae kwon do instructors from NYC. Suzie Jimenez – my reluctant ninja and pacifism-preaching high school history teacher – was inspired by one of my own high school history teachers, who taught us about all kinds of American history that we weren’t “supposed” to know. I’d also credit a dash of American History X and a handful of Howard Zinn for some of the inspiration behind Suzie’s rebellious streak and her antiauthoritarian take on history.
It was just another 105-degree Tuesday morning in Austin, Texas for Suzie Jimenez. Around 10 o’clock in the morning, the radio was already announcing the 27th straight day of 100+ degree weather for the capital city, hollering about margarita specials at an assortment of local bars and the importance of keeping your air-conditioning set at an absurd 80 degrees to prevent rolling blackouts.
Seated at her computer, sipping a cold-pressed coffee and listening to the purr of the ceiling fan (as well as the whir of the smaller electric fan trained directly at her face), Suzie was busy prepping for another back-to-school season at Rebel Yell High School. As the fans cooled her face, she searched the internet, trying to find out whether the Texas School Board had recently changed History yet again by removing such “un-American” characters as César Chávez from the curriculum. She was poring over the latest news in her RSS feeds, wondering how she could shoehorn a few new exercises in public dissent into her yearly agenda, when there was a loud Ping! from her inbox.
“This better not be another round of school lunch menus,” she muttered.
The previous school year’s big PR fiasco had occurred when a group of vegetarian students went on strike, refusing to attend classes until the cafeteria’s menu included anti-meat-lover’s options like deep-fried Tofurky sticks and black-bean burritos slathered in queso. Never mind the fact that the school’s queso was quite obviously thickened with gelatin, which was created by melting down horse’s hooves and pig’s feet. Suzie shook her head, marveling both at her students’ ignorance and their tenacity; even if they didn’t have all the facts straight, she was glad they were questioning authority.
As some of her fellow teachers occasionally pointed out, “You might could change a few things ’round here, but you can’t take no queso away from a central Texan.” She took that to mean that no matter how committed to a vegetarian lifestyle certain Austinites might be, queso was just a matter of course. A former “damn Yank,” Suzie still wasn’t sure what all the fuss was about when it came to queso; it seemed mostly to consist of melted Velveeta cheese, and was frequently mixed with the “New York City!” affront to Tex-Mex, Pace Picante Sauce. She was sure she’d had far more authentically Mexican dishes served to her from taco dives in New York City, but she knew enough to keep her mouth shut when she saw the gallons of queso the school bought every week. It was one of those peculiar “Texas pride” topics that people figured you shouldn’t question too deeply if you wanted to get along in polite society.
Suzie eyeballed the jumping icon of her email program for a few seconds, trying to fathom what item of interest it could possibly contain, and finally clicked over to find out. Scanning over the short note, her jaw dropped.
“Dear Teachers of Rebel Yell High School,” it read. “As per Governor Nick Harry’s latest round of budget cuts, our school will be closing its doors indefinitely. We deeply regret the loss of our excellent teaching staff, and will be in touch with further details as events progress. Sincerely, Principal Mylene Leroux.”
“Holy hot sauce, did I just get fired by email?!”
Laura Roberts writes about sex, travel and ninjas. Because what’s better than having hot sex on a dream vacation while dodging shuriken?
As the author of the “V for Vixen” sex column, Laura began her career chronicling Montrealers’ sexcapades, which are collected together in her book, The Vixen Files. Blending real-life observations with fictional fantasies, she’s also penned The Montreal Guide to Sex, 69 Sexy Haiku, Ninjas of the 512, and parts 1 and 2 of her serial novel,Naked Montreal. She’s currently working on part 3 of the Naked Montreal series, along with a sexy murder-mystery entitled The Case of the Cunning Linguist.
Laura lives with her artist husband and literary kitties in an Apocalypse-proof bunker in sunny SoCal, and can be found online at Buttontapper.com.
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