June 24, 2022

This

 

Image credit: Kerin Cunningham

June 23, 2022

Well, fuck

Heaven Park, the work previously known as the Disaster in Progress that was my endeavor for over four years, is not happening. 


Although the book was signed on with a publisher back in September 2020, long delays on their side had already put a huge strain on my relationship with the editor, who earlier this year finally slotted the book for publication in September 2023, three years after acquisition, which was unprecedented and untenable. But the editor's insistence on making sizeable cuts nearly two years in has been the last straw. So I'm walking out.

I do not make this decision lightly. Canceling this contract means delaying my next book even more, whichever it is, and it puts me in a terrible position financially. While teenage me is proud I stood up for the integrity of my work, adult me is about to jump out of a fucking window. 

But Heaven Park is personal. Its real counterpart, the place the novel is based on, has become my perfect vacation spot much faster than Los Angeles is becoming a nice place to live in. Heaven is square one, but it's a very comfortable square one. Crawling back to die in it is not that bad a deal. 

What I regret most is not being able to share it with you guys yet. But I will. It belongs to Heavenparkers already.

More images at @heaven_park_snaps

February 27, 2022

5K

Here's a stat I've been watching for a while now: Meddling Kids just reached five thousand five-star ratings on Goodreads.

That's...amazing. I get sales reports too, but those numbers only say, "What you do works." These say, "What you do, 5,000 people love." 

For context: my debut novel sold less than 1,000 copies. My second, less than 500. Put together, I doubt 5,000 people ever read them, let alone liked them. Of course I'm not comparing markets or perfomances; that would be unfair to both my country and my former self. But still: *knowing* that at least 5,000 people loved one book of mine? My heart bursts. :D

December 20, 2021

"The Eye has now seen. And this is its verdict."

And suddenly the video and audio smash back in. There is a jumble of flashes and cries just slow enough to follow, each scene shown from infinite angles, the echo of each voice overlapping the next. There is no coherent narrative, no story, no time sequence. There is only an illusion of time. There is a city on fire. There is a boat in the storm. There are protesters lying prone, and cops stomping their heads. There are airborne gas canisters and a masked girl with a baseball bat. There are families on the dinghy and a man at the tiller. She whacks the tear gas back over the lines and it falls through a tank’s hatch. She whacks a cop’s skull and the bloodied teeth hail on a riot shield. He steers the dinghy over a twelve-feet wave, and they don’t capsize. There’s a hobo in a public library. There are children in a stage play. The hobo’s reading Aristotle. The kids are not in school. They’re dressed as princesses and knights and laughing their asses off along with the audience. There is an old lady planting flowers in a pot; her house stands on stilts in the river. There is a girl masturbating in her bed, to nothing in particular. There is a flannel blanket; a golden toad on the window sill. There is a Chinese man in a raincoat letting go of the bicycle his son is riding. There are two blonde girls in shorts shooting photos of each other. There are daisies brushing their waists. There is a lighthouse in the background. There is a girl in hijab sitting in lotus, chatting on her phone, her smile lighting up the room. There’s a parrot saying hola in an empty lobby with celeste wallpaper. There’s a two-hundred-fifty-pound man in a locker room, astraddle a bench. There’s blood on his boxing gloves and his eyebrow. He’s sobbing. There are three corpses sitting in barber chairs. The interrogator is washing his hands. He turns from the basin to fold up his knife roll; there is a blade missing. He turns again, and now there’s a corpse missing (but not for long). There’s somebody in goggles and scarf, not an inch of skin exposed, walking through brutalist ruins to the cheers of citizens in the windows. There is a white-haired Black man slamming a domino on the table, and the onlookers go insane. There is a maid in a golden palace. There is a slob writing code in a hazy basement. There is a battle in a desert village. There is a toddler reaching for the stars above their crib. There is a Taliban firing an RPG from a minaret. There is a tear on the eye of a mannequin. There is a white woman catching the missile in midair. There is a short-haired girl in dungarees drinking beer. The white woman hurls the missile back at the assailants; bodies torn apart, bone shrapnel flies into Foxtrot’s face.

[Excerpt from Foxtrot/November — a sequel to The Supernatural Enhancements (unpublished).]


October 14, 2021

Quidnuncs and Aardvarks

Y'all ask, I answer, this blog looks active despite the dearth of new published material.

 

I want to know if you’re working on any new books?

I swear I haven't stopped writing, despite what my Wikipedia page seems to imply! Sadly my upcoming novel Heaven Park has gotten stuck somewhere along the publisher's manuscript-to-book assembly line, and it's still far in the horizon. This is extra frustrating because the logjam is also preventing me from shopping around my new manuscripts, of which I have completed two since Heaven Park (one and two).  


How old were you when you started learning English? And then writing in it?

I was 7-8 when I took my first lesson, and 17 when I took my last. The real learning came later, when I started reading books and watching movies and shows in the original English (in Spain all foreign media is dubbed, a practice I strongly oppose now). I started writing in English around 2004 (23 yo), but never for publication till The Supernatural Enhancements in 2011.

 

How do you come up with the expressions in your books? I swear I'd never heard 'borborygmic' until Meddling Kids. Is it just a process of reading more? Are there secret thesaurus tricks you know?

Thesauruses are awesome, but mostly I come across new words in books and movies. The crux of the matter is that many of those words wouldn't be exotic at all to you, but I make an effort to use them all, regardless of whether they're only new to me or merely obscure. If I only used words with which I am 100% familiar, my English vocabulary would be very limited.

 

Will we see the characters from Meddling Kids again?

In book form, no.

 

Do you see yourself writing a saga? About what? What main character / villain do you imagine for it?

I have considered (even written) loose sequels set in old universes, and I wish I could give A.Z. Kimrean a new case, but I've never envisioned a saga or a multi-part novel. My brain just can't operate at that scale. I am certain that Heaven Park is the longest story I had in me, and right now it's about 570 pages.

Bear with me, I promise it's coming.