Tuesday, January 7, 2014
AUTHOR INTERVIEWV Lillian R. Melendez
1. When and why did you decide to become a writer?
When I was a child, I found myself writing a lot. I didn't believe that I was a writer at that point. But when I grew up people would say to me, “Oh, you’re a writer” or “You’re an author.”
2. What authors inspired you when you were younger? What books do you enjoy today?
I read several books by R.L Stine when I was younger. Today, while I read contemporary books, I also enjoy reading the classics. Some of my favorite stories are Bram Stoker's Dracula, Leurox's The Phantom of the Opera, and Geoffrey Chaucer's The Canterbury Tales.
3. Are any of your characters based on people in real life?
No, they are not based on real people. But art imitates life. I believe there are people in this world who have similar personality traits to each of these characters.
4. In Auditory Viewpoint the main character, Gloria, is blind. Why did you decide to give her such a disability?
I think we all have some kind of struggle, whether its physical or mental, but we can all learn from each other how a ‘disability’ can become a ‘strength’.
5. Instead of relying on police to solve the crime, you had Gloria and Anna work with Benjamin, an IT pro. Why do that instead of waiting for the police?
The police take their time to gather information and any break that can help solve the case. Gloria felt she didn't have a lot of options and with limited time, she thought the killer would strike at any moment. Gloria didn't want to undermine the police work by putting herself in danger, but she trusted her instincts and sought extra help from Benjamin since he is an expert in the technology field. Sometimes we may feel like the police do not act fast enough to protect us and our families, or that we do not get swift justice.
6. With Gloria's lack of sight, did you intend for there to be a hidden meaning/metaphor?
No. Cyber criminals work where the visual eye cannot see. It's plain and simple and hackers know this. That's why they are successful most of the time at what they do. It takes more than eyesight to catch them and Gloria did it well in her own way.
7. In Dismantling Vindictiveness, why did you choose for the characters to be architects?
To me, it’s a metaphor for creating what was nonexistent and rebuilding what was destroyed. In this case, relationships were damaged because of Christopher's greed. Can Christopher rebuild what he has destroyed? He will have to work extra hard to rebuild it again.
In reality, many people know what happened on Wall Street a few years ago and many voiced their frustration. I think greed is a sad part of human nature. It's good to have materialistic things such as money to help us sleep better at night without worrying about financial issues, but we cannot let materials be the center of our universe. Whatever we obtain can be taken away just as quickly as we receive it, and at the end of the day, the only thing that really matters are people. If you hurt someone for selfish reasons there's a likely chance that they will not be there when you need them. Negative words and reputations will spread, making potential colleagues and friends turn their backs and disown you.
8. Dismantling Vindictiveness is a very involved novel where everyone is related to or works with everyone else. Was it difficult to write because it is so?
No, it wasn't difficult. I think in life, we all are connected in some way. We all have to deal with each other, whether it's family, friends, colleagues at work where you spend 7-hours 5-days a week in, or even a stranger. I believe every day we are figuring out how to continue to respect each other and care for one another so that we can continue to become better individuals in society.
9. One of the main characters in Dismantling Vindictiveness is a reporter and your description of the job is very well-written. Did you study the profession for the book or has it always been an interest of yours?
I did some research on this profession. In my opinion, novelists are similar to reporters, because we have to ask questions to write effectively on what we do not know well. Reporters are also writers so it wasn't that hard to understand their occupation. They ask questions to voice their findings and concerns to the world. Novelists voice it through creative writing.
10. Will there never be a sequel (or prequel) for Dismantling Vindictiveness?
No. I am satisfied with the ending. I think life is full of chapters that are different from each other and so this chapter is closed. Maybe with future books I'll right a sequel, but I don't see myself prolonging the same (chapter) unless it's really needed.
11. Thank you for taking part in the interview! Can you please leave the readers with one thing that might surprise them about you?
Many believe writers today write solely on computers. I simply cannot do this. I have to write on paper first, and not only that, I cannot write on paper with lines on it. It simply distracts my thoughts. I always go to art stores to buy a sketch book to write my stories
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