Ego trip time: The self-interview


The Smashwords site gives the option of posting a self-interview as a way of completing your author profile. I am sharing it here for fans, friends, family members and stalkers to enjoy.

Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?

I grew up and live in Sao Paulo, Brazil, and I can describe it as a place I love to hate. It is an ugly, bloated, violent, expensive city of 17 Million people that has grown mad and unplanned. At the same time, it is one of the most multicultural cities in the world, we receive immigrants and influences from all over Brazil and the globe. It is also a place of found memories for me, where most of my friends and family are. I think this love/hate duality of modern life in a metropolis has become a part of me, and it leaks into my writing.

Your sci fi novella Immaculate Conception has American and European refugees running from war. How did that come up?

We live in times of great fear and uncertainty, and that fear most often than not is directed towards refugees. The best way to make someone feel empathy towards another is to put them in the other’s shoes, making the rich of today the refugees of tomorrow. I tried to do that in the Immaculate Conception, and, at the same time, write a fun, pulp, noir, cyberpunk story.

What attracts you in the cyberpunk genre?

I love how is at the same time a glimpse at the future and a look at problems we have for millennia, and probably will have forever. The moment a new promising technology appears, people begin thinking of ways to pervert it for personal gain. The technology in a cyberpunk book may become dated, like when we read now some classics of the genre from the 80’s, but the underlying human will of corrupting technology for personal gain is timeless.

You also wrote a book about a vigilante who watched every 80’s action movie ever made. How did that come up?

I grew up on movies like Escape From New York, The Terminator, RoboCop, Predator, First Blood, Aliens, etc, and wanted to do a homage to them. I imagined the owner of a run-down video shop who was repeatedly robbed and decided to fight crime. A “hero” whose only superpower was to watch every 80’s action movie ever made. The result was The Cascavel Chronicles, the perfect excuse to write a book full of references and cheesy one-liners from these films I love.

How do you get inspired to write?

I don’t believe in inspiration, really, but rather in work. This “waiting for the muse” thing is not for me. Don’t get me wrong, I love it when inspiration comes, but I try not to depend on it. I just sit down and crack my head on the keyboard until the text comes out.

How do you deal with writer’s block?

I don’t believe in writer’s block either, at least not in the way it is usually portrayed. Writer’s block for me happens when we are afraid to write something stupid, when our expectation of what we want to write doesn’t live up to the reality of it. The limitations of our style and intelligence are laid bare. We are not as good as we thought or wish we were. The antidote? Hammer into your head that you can only do your best and nothing more.

What advice would you give to aspiring writers?

Well, I do consider myself an aspiring writer myself, all I can do is replicate the advice of more experienced writers. The one I like the most is from Neil Gaiman. Basically it is: 1. Write. 2. Finish what you write. 3. Write again.

What is your writing process?

I am not a fast or prolific writer. Sometimes I have spent hours to squeeze only a few paragraphs from my mind. What I do is try and solve the problem by throwing time at it. I try, like J. K. Rowling said, to protect my writing time “like a lioness protects it’s cubs”. I usually walk a lot in my room as I “write”, then run to my computer when I have an idea. I do have the occasional inspiring moments when the story just flows through me, but that is the exception. Writing for me is usually a long, painful war of attrition.

What are you working on now?

I am working on the next book on the Cybersampa series, called The Murder of the Pro Gamer, my cyberpunk take on the world of eSports. Coming June 2016.

What are your five favorite books?

Out of the top of my head they are Don Quixote (Miguel de Cervantes), Watership Down (Richard Adams), The Forever War (Joe Haldeman), A Canticle for Leibowitz (Walter M. Miller, Jr.), Fahrenheit 451 (Ray Bradbury) and I am cheating here and including a sixth: High-Rise (J. G. Ballard).

Solari
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Guilherme Solari is a Brazilian writer and journalist from Sao Paulo, Brazil. He has written about movies, literature and videogames for some of Brazil’s biggest news sites. He is the author of THE CASCAVEL CHRONICLES, a love letter to 80's action movies, as well as the cyberpunk CYBERSAMPA series.