Please introduce yourself and your book(s)!
I have an IQ of 380 and the strength of 10 men. But I don’t like to brag.
I’ve also written three books:
A detective novel (“Barrio Imbroglio”)
A horror-comedy novel (“Zombie President”)
A collection of essays (“The Hispanic Fanatic”)
In addition, I’ve written for various publications like the Huffington Post and Enclave. And I’ve edited over 100 books.
What inspires/inspired your creativity?
A supernova exploding a billion light years away.
A demented clown doing somersaults in a rundown circus.
Lithe gymnasts leaping through the air.
Grotesque travesties of justice.
An ambidextrous dentist shouting, “Fetch me a drink, Tallulah!”
Yes, absolutely everything inspires me.
How do you deal with creative block?
I stay inspired, which is pretty easy to do if absolutely everything inspires you.
What are the biggest mistakes you can make in a book?
Writing upside and backward. Or writing with a quill-tip pen dipped in gravy. Or setting fire to each page after you finish writing it. Yeah, those are all big mistakes.
Do you have tips on choosing titles and covers?
If I knew how to title books, I would not have chosen “Barrio Imbroglio” to be the title of my first novel. I don’t know how many times I’ve been asked what either of those words mean, and I have only myself to blame.
I’m smarter with covers, in that I hire great visual artists who know what they’re doing.
How do bad reviews and negative feedback affect you and how do you deal with them?
I hunt down people who give me bad reviews, and I egg their houses.
Do you tend towards personal satisfaction or aim to serve your readers? Do you balance the two and how?
Are these goals in conflict? If I’m not personally satisfied with something I’ve written, there is no way a reader is going to like it. And if I’m striving only to please the reader, I will be personally unsatisfied, and the writing will suffer. So make yourself laugh or cry or feel tense or get angry or swoon with abandon, and with hope, the reader will feel those emotions too.
Do you have any creativity tricks?
Writing with a quill-tip pen dipped in gravy. But this is a bad idea (see above).
What are your plans for future books?
The sequel to my first novel is coming out in a few months. Then I have a collection of short stories that I co-wrote with my wife that will be published soon. Then I will complete the trilogy that I started with my first novel. I’m also toying with the idea of becoming one of the 17 million podcasters out there, but I wouldn’t create one of those annoying podcasts that try to sell you mattresses and underwear. It would be… well, I’m still working on it. But trust me — it will be great.
Tell us some quirky facts about yourself
I have no memory of ever believing in Santa Claus.
I taught myself how to swim when I was 11 years old.
I am obsessed with time and being punctual, but I have never worn a wristwatch.
I’ve broken bones five times in my life.
I have two tattoos and will show them to you with little provocation.