Monday, March 25, 2013

Interview with Austin S. Camacho

What have you learned about yourself as a writer from your first book to your latest novel?

I've learned that no story is ever quite as good as I want it to be... and that the next story will be better because of what I learned wrestling with the last story.  Also, I have learned that creating great fiction requires more than talent - you need to study your craft and never stop learning how to do it better.

Why did you make Felicity Irish in the Stark and O`Brien series?
I wanted to play with the concept of opposites attracting.  I started with the most familiar character for me - an inner city African American man with military experience.  When I reached in the other direction I ended up with a white woman from another country who had been an outlaw.  She needed to speak English of course, and aside from Scandanavians the Irish have the lightest skin of anybody so that's where I landed.
 
 In the Hannibal Jones mysteries, are the characters that help Hannibal anyone that you patterned them after?

Hannibal's posse all started out as stereotypes but I expanded them from there.  So none of them was based on any individual... except Virgil, who is loosely based on one of my uncles, who came back from WWII Army service hooked on heroine.
 
Your latest novel deals with a very sensitive issue that a woman would face. How were you able to capture the emotion of her feelings towards what happened to her?

That is the essence of writing fiction.  I have to be able to put myself in the emotion shoes of each character.  Emotionally women are different from men, so we men have to observe them very closely during moments of extreme duress and capture those emotions for later use.  Once you've seen a woman go through being really hurt, you can portray it in words.
 
In the age of e books how are you making your novel stand out from the rest?

I believe good writing will stand out regardless of the format.  I hope my novels stand out because of their well-developed characters - people you are happy to get to know and keep up with.

Do you listen to music, watch television or need total quiet when you write?

Definitely music!  It blots out distracting noises and amplifies emotion, making it easier to put the right emotional content into my writing. 
 
Since this blog is about shoes, books and writing...tell me what book you like the most, whose writing style you mimic and who is your favorite show designer.

I don't have a favorite book but I do have favorite authors: Raymond Chandler, Ellmore Leonard, and Walter Mosely of course.  I dream of writing Chandler's poetic prose and Leonard's real, troubled characters, with Mosely's perfect sense of social setting.  But I can't even name a shoe designer...LOL...
 
Tell my audience where you will be next. 
I will be reading at the Art and Lit event at Watermark Gallery at the Baltimore harbor on April 7th.  You can read all about it at https://www.facebook.com/#!/events/513941071981686/