From the dust jacket of Tomas' novel, Master of the Dust:
TOMAS DEL CERRO was born in Mexico in a small village not far from Mexico City. As a young man he traveled widely throughout his native land, as well as the United States and South America. His unique insights about culture and human nature were shaped by these travels, which proceeded his moving to the United States where he studied journalism and creative writing at Columbia University.
After publishing several essays and short stories which received excellent critical response, the young author turned his hand to the novel, a form in which his intricate plots and captivating word pictures have found their full expression.
Master of the Dust is his third novel, and places Mr. Del Cerro in the front ranks of young contemporary novelists. It is a work of wit and insight, remarking sometimes humorously, sometimes agonizingly, but always interestingly on the human condition. The current generation of readers will have much to look forward to in years to come from this innovative and talented writer.
Passage from the novel, and a critic's comment:
"The gaping brownness of the earth overrides all. The dust stretches into oblivion, like the tide that carries each grain of sand out to sea. All is washed away, leaving a pervasive sense of nothing at all. Thus, the playing field is restored. And we who are small, may rise again."
With these words, Tomas Del Cerro begins a journey which will captivate and enchant each new reader who comes along for the ride. It is a trip well worth taking, filled with excitement, emotion, and unexpected hairpin curves.
Nina Webster began emerging as a strong, confident, independent woman, a more refined version of the feisty young Nina of the past. She began working on her first novel-the story of her youth and her stolen baby. Nina met Tomas Del Cerro in a Genoa City restaurant, and recognized him from the photo on the dust jacket of his novel, which she happened to be reading. She hesitantly approached him and asked for an autograph. Tomas smiled and Nina told him what a fabulous writer he was, and wished she were as good. Tomas thanked her, but let her know that the life of a writer was not all fame and happiness. Further encounters turned into hours of writing together, then romantic dates. Although Tomas was apparently falling in love with her as she was with him, there was always a wall hiding his thoughts.
Nina finally discovered a closet full of unfinished manuscripts in his apartment. Tomas was experiencing writer's block and was convinced he was washed-up. Tomas became her mentor, friend, and lover. When Nina wrote a happy ending to her book, Tomas knew it didn't ring true, and helped her realize the only way to end her book, "A Cry In Thin Air," was with the truth-that she never found her baby. But finally getting it out and putting it into print helped Nina to move on.
Tomas' publisher loved her book, and agreed to be publish it. Tomas proposed, but Nina hesitated, knowing that Tomas was never open with her, and was not dealing with his own demons. He convinced her to accept his ring, and they became engaged. Then a movie producer became interested in Nina's book, and wanted Nina to go to Los Angeles to become the screenwriter. Tomas' old insecurities surfaced, he became jealous and nasty, and was often drunk, which shocked Nina.
In the end, Tomas convinced Nina to leave without him, and let her know that he would not be there when she returned. Nina left for L.A. brokenhearted, hoping to return to Genoa City one day. Her teenage son Phillip later joined her in L.A. Tomas left Genoa City for parts unknown.