Researching a book after the fact! Validation and Inspiration all in one visit to the amazing Chichén Itzá on the Yucatan peninsula in Mexico. When I wrote Enemy Deity, I had already been to Mexico before – well, that’s only partially true. I had been to Cozumel which, more or less, is like saying that you’ve been to America having only visited Hawaii. It is “technically true,” but you haven’t stepped foot on the mainland.
This time, however, our trip was different, and after a bumpy ferry ride and a long drive through some very thick jungle, we arrived at what has to be one of the true wonders of the ancient world: Chichén Itzá. The name basically translates as “The Itza people’s Mouth of the Well.” As the temple itself is built on a cenote (in Florida, we call those sinkholes), the name makes sense! As you can tell by the scale of the people standing nearby, this thing is BIG. So, although took inspiration from what I had seen when I wrote Enemy Deity, the real thing met and exceeded my expectations!
For tribes living only as hunter gatherers, a temple such as this would be an inescapably daunting structure to find in the jungle. The fact it exists over porous karst topography gives the underground caverns in the novel even more credibility. There’s so much more to say, but the best thing I can think to say right now is “Thank you” to the tour operators and the Instituto Nacional de Antropología e Historia for maintaining and improving such an amazing and inspirational site.
See you in the future! JTL