Allende was approached by John Gertz, who owns the rights to Zorro, to write a
literary book about the famous character. Gertz's father had bought the
rights to Zorro from McCulley in 1920 and, in conjunction with Disney, had
developed Zorro into a TV series, comic book and feature film. When Gertz
Jr bought the rights back it occurred to him that Zorro had never been portrayed
in a 'serious' work of literature, so he started searching for a writer to hire
- someone who knew California well, could think in Spanish and had a track
record in historical research.
Initially Allende brushed him off but rather than take no for an answer Gertz left her with a boxful of artefacts - tapes of old movies, comics etc, and so Allende says, "I fell in love again with Zorro .... because I had been in love with him when I was a child. He's the father of Batman and Superman. He's the father of all the action heroes with the double ...