Interview with Silvia Moreno-Garcia

Silvia Moreno GarciaSilvia Moreno-Garcia’s short story King of Sand and Stormy Waters appears in the Autumn 2006 issue of Shimmer.

Questions about the story:

Where did the idea come from?
This was something I started a while ago. I had this image of a man standing by the sea and a single line, the title. It went from there.

How did the story change as you developed it?
Originally, it was a poem. It evolved from there. A lot of things changed, point of view, a real narrative structure, a name for the protagonist, etc.

You know the advice “Sometimes you have to kill your darlings.” Was there a scene or line that it really hurt to cut, but cutting it made the story stronger?
Well, the original, it was just a couple of lines, this poem. And I tried to keep the lines in the story but with every revision I began picking away the lines. The final line of the poem was “mythology must have ended like this” and I think that feeling of loss remained even if the poem disappeared.

How is this story like your other work? How is it different?
I try to explore magic realism, stories that distance themselves from traditional fantasy and stories that are less about Hollywood action sequences and more about character development. I think this story is traditional fantasy oriented but still retains the
character heavy emphasis I enjoy.

Questions about writing:

did you celebrate your first sale?
I think I giggled madly.

Does your work tend to explore any particular themes?
Growing up in Mexico, you have magic realism which is different from the fantasy most people in English speaking countries are used to. I discovered what would be considered traditional fantasy, writers like Tolkien, and it’s very, very different.

I found that with many traditional fantasy writers you would often be presented with a quasi-medieval European world and a hero going on a quest scenario.

When I write, I try to bring my Latin American heritage and some of the feeling of magic realism into the stories. This does not mean my stories are always set in Mexico, but I do want to bring this Latin American sensitivity and literary heritage into a fantasy setting. Often, I end up with the “too real for fantasy” comment from editors because of this. So you’ve got conflicting cultural and literary ideas right there and that can get reflected on my work.

What people have helped you the most with your writing?
My husband and my mom. He tells me when something sucks and she’s always cheering for me.

Favorite book you’ve read recently?
I’ve been reading Rayuela, by Cortazar. It’s very fun. It’s a non-linear book and it’s basically surrealist and it’s been very fun because I’ve been reading it in Spanish and I rarely do that these days.

Random Questions:

If you have a day job, what is it? What do you like about it?
I work for a post-production company. I like the people I work with and just the fact that I’m surrounded by monitors. It’s kind of neat.

Favourite food?
My mom’s cooking and sushi.

What are some of your hobbies?
I like to doodle.

All-time favourite movie?
Blade Runner.

What do you want to be when you grow up?
Something fun.

Quiz: How many writers does it take to change a lightbulb? Please explain your answer:
Oh dear. Zero. The writer would get into a fight about why we should change it in the first place. It works fine!

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Speculative fiction for a miscreant world

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