Can you tell us a little about yourself? My name is Leila Marvi. I live in Marin County, just north of San Francisco, and I’m thirteen years old. Before my parents forced me to go to summer camp at Camp Saddleback my life was lonely and boring. At Saddleback I met Koolura Akopyan and everything changed. Since I’m near deaf, it’s really hard for me to understand what people say to me. I guess that’s why I’m lonely. But Koolura, she’s something else. When I met her she didn’t know any American Sign Language (ASL), but by the end of the summer, she was fluent and I had a best friend to chat with.
What is your role in the story? I met Koolura in Koolura and the Mystery at Camp Saddleback. After returning to my home in Marin County, Koolura dropped by often to see me. Now Koolura doesn’t live close. She and her dad live in the Los Angeles area. Since Koolura has these incredible psychic powers she can teleport anywhere she choses. So she drops by often.
Anyway, during Christmas break she and I teleported to Oaxaca, Mexico for her dad’s wedding. My job was to hang out with her and keep her company for the few days between our arrival time and the wedding. Who knew those few days would become the most exciting event that ever happened to me. It even topped the excitement I had at Camp Saddleback.
While exploring a Mayan archeological dig (I love Mayan culture) Koolura and I found a weird device that transported us two thousand years back in time. What happened next still feels like a dream or perhaps nightmare. (I almost died a few times. If it weren’t for Koolura I wouldn’t be here for this interview. I’d be dead.) Read Koolura and the Mayans to find out what happens.
What is your favorite hobby? My parents are archeologists, so I’m really interested in their work, especially anything that has to do with the Mayans. My mom even taught me their language. And let me tell you, it’s a tough language to lip read. I especially enjoy the stories about the Maya moon goddess. Later in the book I found out who this goddess really was.
What is the challenge you’re trying to overcome during the story? My biggest challenge in life is communication. Deafness can be very lonely. Koolura makes things bearable because she took the time and effort to learn ASL. She also sets up conversations with others making it easier for me to understand. She’s so considerate.
In Koolura and the Mayans, I’m kidnapped by Mayan tribesmen that have decided to sacrifice me to their gods. Let me tell you, I was so close to becoming shish-kabob. But the biggest challenge was dealing with the Aquarians, invaders from another star system many light years from Earth. Most of the people on board the ship were teenagers. Since they have very white skin and blonde hair, Koolura and I call them Vanilla Teens. We had to find out if they were friends or foe?
If you could make one wish, what would it be? I would love to have one psychic power. Koolura can heal the sick with a touch, she can move objects with her mind, and she can teleport from one place to another. In Koolura and the Mayans she learns that she can actually travel through time and space. How cool is that? All I would like is the power of telekinesis.
Anyway, read Koolura and the Mayans to find out if my wish comes true.
Catch you between the covers (of the book).
Title: Koolura and the Mayans
Author: Michael Thal
Genre: YA Science-Fiction
Koolura, a girl with extraordinary psychic powers, is back again with pal Leila. The duo is off to Mexico for Koolura’s father’s wedding. When touring a Mayan archeological dig, the girls uncover a mysterious device that hurtles them 2000 years back in time. They soon discover aliens from the planet Aquari living amongst Mayan natives. Are these Aquarians planning to take over Earth? And can Koolura and Leila stop them in time?
Michael Thal is the author of five published novels--Goodbye Tchaikovsky, The Abduction of Joshua Bloom, and The Koolura Series--The Legend of Koolura, Koolura and The Mystery at Camp Saddleback, and Koolura and the Mayans. He is also a columnist for the Los Angeles Examiner writing articles about parenting and education.
Moving from the frigid Northeast to comfy Southern California in 1973, Michael taught elementary and middle school for 28 years until a freak virus left him deafened at the age of 50. He reinvented himself as a writer composing over 80 published articles in print magazines as well as novels for middle grade and high school aged students.
You can learn more about Michael Thal on his website and blog at www.michaelthal.com. His books can be purchased on Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble in print and as e-books.
Amazon Purchase Links:
Goodbye Tchaikovsky: http://amzn.to/1iLT46V
The Abduction of Joshua Bloom: http://amzn.to/1Vro1K4
The Legend of Koolura: http://amzn.to/1iLTiv2
Koolura and the Mystery at Camp Saddleback: http://amzn.to/1M2aSSL
Barnes & Noble Purchase Links:
The Abduction of Joshua Bloom: http://tinyurl.com/h9tawtf
The Legend of Koolura: http://tinyurl.com/j9hm8ek
Koolura and the Mystery at Camp Saddleback: http://tinyurl.com/gkq6y44
Goodbye Tchaikovsky: http://tinyurl.com/bh95ht7
The Abduction of Joshua Bloom: http://tinyurl.com/zd3es8p
The Legend of Koolura: http://tinyurl.com/h4pqry9
Koolura and the Mystery at Camp Saddleback: http://tinyurl.com/zl6mvlm