Today’s author chat marks the first interview for Alberto Arcia. Like many readers, I occassionally enjoy a rollicking read. Alberto describes his work as mild-mannered and influenced by Mae West & W.C. Fields bawdy comedic style. He notes his road books are fashioned after the Bob Hope/Bing Crosby road movies.
Giveaway: As a bonus to today’s interview, the first three people to comment plus one randomly drawn commenter will receive a free ebook copy of Alberto’s novel.
1. Please provide a brief synopsis of your book.
In Search of High Ground is a comedic, bawdy, action adventure novel that makes jest of different cultures and lampoons the English language. It’s the story of a morally wicked scoundrel who fears God’s warnings and tries to find high ground.
2. Tell us a little bit about what motivates or inspires your writing.
I’m primarily a fiction writer, and I write to escape my present world – But mostly I write to record my youth while the few remaining memory cells still think they remember what happened, and why. I spent a year and a half in Northern California during the mid-sixties, and I can tell you that I burnt many a brain cell in Marin County. If you need to pin a tag on me you can say I’m a writer of fictional memoirs – LOL – My motto: ‘The truth in its purest form is boring, which is why fiction was created.’
A writer’s artistic gift/purpose to the world is his/her ability to take the reader on a mental trip without having to leave the farm. My main purpose is twofold; I like to scandalize my readers as well as make them laugh. Towards that purpose, I batter cultures, personalities, and sexual persuasions. I do this all in fun. I also spare nothing when it comes to getting laughs. I include midgets, Cajuns, personas with a flatulence problem, blind men, priests, and children. I was accused once of being a writer of B novels. Maybe that’s what I am because if you’re looking for a literary read … my style is sticking two-fingers up your nose.
3. It’s hard to pick just one, but what do you consider your favorite novel and why?
Charles Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities sticks out because it epitomized (for me) the standard in which to measure love. Sidney, the scoundrel died so his rival could have the woman he loved. That sacrifice, to me, was romanticism at its grandest level. A good story is one that grabs you and makes time disappear. The Tolkien books were wonderful in that sense. By the time I was done with the first one I was exhausted, yet anxious for the next one. Martin’s Game of Thrones series is one of those, but his penchant for killing the good characters is nothing more than a blatant poke-in-the-eyes-with-a-sharp stick. I slap you with my penchant for being politically incorrect, but Martin’s slap has the “I don’t give a shit about you,” feel. Killing Eddard Stark was an act that could not be forgiven! I’m working on A Feast of Crows now, but I’m reading it under protest. His cruelty and blatant disregard for his readers’ attachment to characters is abominable.
4. What is the name of your blog (include the URL) and what can readers expect to find there?
My blogspot blog, Alberto Arcia, is fairly new, and it just has my name. I’m trying to get comfortable with it, and will use it primarily to put chapters to stories I rather keep hidden. The Saga of Raymond the Poor is a raunchy far-fetched fantasy story that I wrote in conjunction with two friends, which requires a low profile. LOL
5. Are you traditionally published or self-published?
My first one, Cut & Run – The Misadventures of Alex Perez was published by Arte Publico Press. I wanted to be paid for my writing. The acknowledgement that I was a good writer was important. Once I had achieved the goal of being a published writer, the second one, In Search of High Ground – The Amorous Antics of Alex Perez I published myself. I used 52Novels, who set it up to be formatted for paperback, Kindle, Nook, and Smashwords. They were great. My daughter-in-law, Robyn did the cover design. Except for the disappointment of the editorial service, which left a lot to be desired, the whole process was painless, timely, and affordable.
6. Can you offer one or two helpful tips for fellow writers when it comes to marketing and publicity?
The first thing we writers find out is … writing the novel is the easy part. I have yet to master the marketing aspect of the marketing labyrinth, but I’m working on it. I can’t give out any advice because I’m still running the road with one headlight. But I will say this much, e-mail everyone you know, Facebook, and hit the blogs.
7. Describe your writing background.
I’m a legal immigrant from the Republic of Panama. English is not my first language, so lampooning it comes easy for me – LOL – I flunked out of two colleges, and one of them twice. I took one writing course at a local community college, then hired a writing instructor and spend four hours a day, three days a week, for six months trying to learn the craft. When I was done, and under her advice, I found and joined The Woodlands Writer’s Guild in Woodland’s Texas so I could further my writing education. The WWG was a non-genre specific guild, and they specialized in reading and critiquing, a service I sorely needed. I am presently a third term president of this fine organization. I have never attended any conferences or participated in any workshops, but I’m scheduled to attend a writer’s retreat in a few weeks.
8. What does your drafting and/or editing process entail?
I write off the cuff. No notes, no outline. I write the story as it pours out of my mind, then do my endless rewrites. I do my own editing until it’s finished. Then I hire someone to fix my problems. I also have my chapters critiqued at the WWG meetings, then go home and make the recommended adjustments, and corrections. I have no discipline, which probably hurts me because my writing habits are irregular and irrational. I live in an old house with bad insulation. During winter, I write with a scarf around my neck and a flask of cognac handy. In our hot Texas summer, I enjoy several glasses of cold Coke and rum drinks. Sometimes, when I go back and reread what I wrote … I curse the libations for their intrusion.
9. What future projects can we look forward?
The third Alex Perez novel is due out in January/February. That one is tentatively called Hide the Salami. However, I have received some objections to the title and might have to come up with something not as strong. This one is actually the sequel to Cut & Run. My novels are for adults only. And adults with a well-balanced sense of humor. They are not pornographic by any means.
10. Is there anything else you want your potential readers to know?
Take a look at my website and you will be able to see, and read excerpts of the entire Alex Perez collection, as well as some other novels I’m working on. Besides bawdy comedy, I also write erotica, and fantasy. I’m also a playwright, having produced (this past July) an original fantasy two-act play titled Rejali and the Camel. Through my site you can access links to my Facebook and to Amazon where you may purchase a novel or two. When I was a young man I traveled and misbehaved. Now, with my youth slipping … I write about days gone by, and about all the good sex I think I had – LOL –