I’ve been a writer for the better part of my life. Starting off in earnest as a pretentious poet in high school and then a crummy, melodramatic short-story writer in college, I finally found my groove—kind of—in grad school, where I wrote my first novel-length work. Admittedly, it was just a novel-length Anime fanfic called Nightmares in the Apocalypse and, when I read it now, I cringe and claim no knowledge of having been involved in it at all. But still, writing Nightmares was the first time I realized, “Wow, I can write a novel! Kind of!”
So, in 2004, I began work on my first “real” novel, Solstice. Three years later, I published Solstice to the delight of a few people, mostly family and friends.
Writing my first novel was important because I wrote it at a time in which I felt very disempowered by mainstream media. Oftentimes when watching a movie or reading a book, I’d often note the lack of Latino/a characters, or meaningful characters of color of any kind.
I saw and continue to see writing as a way of seizing control of the narrative. Of effecting a takeover of an identity that was systematically being marginalized and minimized, if not re-invented altogether, by mainstream elements. Writing gives you the power to build what you wanted to see but that no one else was creating.
It’s ironic, I suppose, that Solstice was about people who could make anything they wrote come true. In a way, that is what my writing does for me: it creates a reality that didn’t previously exist. It helped me dissolve pre-existing narratives about who I was supposed to be and let me define who I was on my own terms.
I’m happily married to a great woman named Kate who is amazingly supportive of my reclusive writing habits. We have one baby, albeit of the furry, meowy kind, named Indie, who wakes us up every morning at 5:47 am begging for food and who then snuggles between us like a little Indie taco.
Literary and cinematic influences: George A. Romero, Stanley Kubrik, Phillip K. Dick, Lucha Corpi, Sandra Cisneros, Christopher Moore, Jenny Lawson, Khaled Hosseini, Sofia Coppola
Favorite books: House on Mango Street, Adulation, Ubik, Secondhand Souls, The Kite Runner, 1984, Furiously Happy
Favorite movies: Lost in Translation, The Shining, The Exorcist, Night of the Living Dead, Dawn of the Dead, Moneyball