If you've read any of my newer indie books, or shopped in my store, you've probably seen this little guy. Yep, he's a grasshopper. Why a grasshopper? And why Chapultepec? Well, there are a couple of reasons, actually. I remember first learning the fable about the grasshopper and the ants way back when I was..well, knee-high to a grasshopper, I guess. I never liked the version where the ants didn't want to share their food, so instead they let the grasshopper freeze to death. I think the moral was supposed to be, "he had it coming!" But, to my way of thinking, the only acceptable moral to that particular story is: "Some people are dicks. Don't be one."
Is this a good place to mention that it also took me FOREVER as a child to understand WTF was wrong with the father of St. Francis of Assisi, that he was annoyed with his son for being generous? (yeah, okay, it's a lot easier to give away other people's stuff than your own. I get it now. But still...)
Anyway, getting back to grasshoppers, I much preferred the version of the fable where the ants invited the grasshopper into their home and he entertained them, fiddling for his supper, so to speak. In that version, everyone enjoyed the long, cold winter. Maybe it speaks to my part-Irish heritage, where bards were revered and wandered from house to house entertaining their hosts and being feted in return.
So (long story short) I guess I relate to the grasshopper. And I view authors as somewhat analogous to the grasshopper in the story. It might not always look like we're working. And, I know, I know! If you've attended any author conferences, or author-reader get-togethers, I'm sure it really didn't look like we were! But it takes energy to create entire worlds--not to mention populate them all. It's hard work. And, yes, believe it or not, talking for hours with like minded people, eating and drinking far too much, getting re-inspired about our own fictional worlds (and our friends' worlds, as well; because we're all readers first!) is one way that we recharge our creative batteries.
But, just because we love what we do, doesn't mean it's easy, or unimportant, or without value. People need to be entertained. All of us. We all occasionally need to take a break from our real life drama, and immerse ourselves in...well, someone else's, I guess? Whatever. I believe authors provide a valuable service. And being paid to do it is a wonderful thing!
A second reason for the name is the fact that, metaphysically speaking...and, really, is there any other way? grasshoppers symbolize "leaping forward in unexpected directions." Anyone who's seen my booklist, and noticed all the different directions I like to go in, how I'm always hopping from one sub-genre to another, can see why I might identify with this little guy. I get bored doing the same thing over and over again. Also, I suppose I kind of like to keep my readers guessing, "What will she do next?"
Which, by the way, is not a great business model. I don't recommend it. Like...at all. But, what can I say? It is what it is. This is me. This is how I write. And any time I've tried to change that in an attempt to fit into a more commercial mode, it's killed my creativity. So...I guess I'm stuck with it. Good thing I don't mind that much!
Still, why did I name my "publishing house" Chapultepec Press? I don't really have a good answer for that. Chapultepec Park in Mexico City is one of my favorite places, despite having only been there once. It's the largest city park in the world--which, having grown up right across the river, from Central Park, impressed the hell out of me when I first learned it. I believe the word means Grasshopper Hill, although I might have been misinformed. As mentioned, I visited there only once, when I was young, newlywed, and in the midst of writing my first novel (yeah, the one that never actually came together) which was far, far more angsty than anything you've seen. You'll just have to trust me on that. And for some reason I just fell in love with the name, the place, the experience. It's a grasshopper thing, I suppose.
I just remember deciding, way back then, that if I ever got into publishing, that's what I would call my publishing house. There may have been jetlag, altitude sickness, or alcohol involved, I suppose, but I honestly can't remember.