Steamboat author publishes 2nd book |

Steamboat author publishes 2nd book

Luke Graham

Jorge Avila

— Jorge Avila's first book was a project about passion.

But the local author soon realized that works about social issues don't always gain the most traction.

Although he's proud of his first work, "Maricopa Men in Pink: A Cry for Respect and Dignity in Maricopa Jail," his voice beams excitement about his second book.

Avila's first venture into fiction, "Suriana and the Sulfur Cave," is available on e-book and will be available in paperback in two weeks.

"Two years ago, I finished the other book and realized nothing was going to happen," he said. "I have a friend who makes documentaries in New York that said, 'The idea is good, but when you get into social stuff, sometimes people don't care or are not into it.' This one is a fantasy story for young readers."

The story follows 9-year-old Suriana as she gets a package containing a magical potion. She's relocates to a magical place in the Rocky Mountains and has to battle Alewitches to get the potion back to its owner.

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For Avila the story came easy because he always wanted to write for children.

Having lived in Steamboat Springs for 10 years, Avila said the book features many places familiar in the Yampa Valley.

The book takes place in a town called Noisyboat, and Suriana has to play a game against the Sailors in hockey masks.

"The location is very much like Steamboat Springs," he said. "It features a lot of locations in town."

The book is the first of four Avila plans to publish in his series titled “Gallows Hills Chronicles.”

He has nearly finished all four books but said he plans to wait a year to publish the second installment.

With his second effort in the literary world, Avila said he was better able to take more time and pick a topic that he thought would speak to a broader audience.

"Three years ago with Maricopa, I was so impressed I just went with where the pen took me," he said. "I didn't think if it had any potential or not. I wrote it because I wanted to write it."

He hopes to have it in Off the Beaten Path Bookstore in two weeks. The book also is available at by clicking here.

Local artist Abraham Rodriguez did the artwork for the book, and Raquel Marin translated it from Spanish to English. Sharon Heller edited it.

"When you read the copy, you'll see a lot of familiar places," he said. "Someone that has lived in Steamboat would say, 'I know that place or I've been to this place.'"

To reach Luke Graham, call 970-871-4229 or email

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