How long have you been writing? I’ve been writing for twelve years, but as far as Literary Fiction as a serious undertaking, five years.
When did you first know you could be a writer? The day I finished the first draft of my first novel. The thing was terrible, (hence I never bothered publishing it), but it showed me I had the discipline and drive to craft a book.
What inspires you to write and why? Basically non-fiction sources: life, travel, the news, science, history, etc. I’ll be exposed to something and the spark of a story will ignite.
What genre are you most comfortable writing? I’m confortable with all of them. But based on my interests, I’d say political thrillers and science fiction are a natural fit.
What inspired you to write your first book? It’s a long story, but basically I wanted to write a political thriller based in Venezuela with a Venezuelan protagonist, that could be projected to an international audience.
Who or what influenced your writing once you began? “The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao” by Junot Díaz. It showed me that it was feasible to write about a Latino character, culture and country for an international audience, in a way that was cool, unique and even funny. It also enlightened me to the potential of breaking off from narrative conventions.
Who or what influenced your writing over the years? Arturo Pérez-Reverte, hands down; his mixture of history and fiction, detailed research and jaded anti-heroes inspire me. Frederick Forsyth for similar reasons. John le Carré, for his morally ambiguous characters and stark representations of the intelligence world. Carlos Ruiz Zafón, for the quirkiness and humanity of his characters.
What made you want to be a writer? It’s one of the few creative mediums where an artist has total control of their creations. There’s no budget constraints, creative difference with other collaborators and—if you self-publish—no market considerations to skew your work.
What do you consider the most challenging about writing a novel, or about writing in general? The first draft. That’s when you’re trying to put all your ideas on paper for the first time in a coherent narrative. It’s the first step between concept and realization. Once that’s done, I can relax and start shaping up the story through subsequent drafts. I equate my writing process with sculpting. I start with a massive block and chip away towards the final, polished piece.
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Genre – Political Thriller
Rating – R