Today we're excited to chat with Silvia Moreno-Garcia, author
of Certain Dark Things!
Below you'll find more about Silvia,
her book, plus a
YABC: What gave you the inspiration to write this book?
SILVIA MORENO-GARCIA: I wrote a short story called “A Puddle of Blood” for an anthology a few years ago, and it featured the main characters, Atl and Domingo, plus the basic plot: a vampire on the run in Mexico City. I thought the idea could be expanded so I turned it into a novel. I wanted to combine my interest in noirs (especially Mexican noirs) with a fantastical element. Plus, it’s not like there’s a monstrous amount of Mexican vampire novels.
YABC: Who is your favorite character in the book?
SILVIA MORENO-GARCIA: I like all my characters. That said, I enjoyed the voice of Domingo, who is a street-kid that makes a living picking garbage. He is an optimist, and I was trying to strike the right note between naïve and foolish. He contrasts well with this world of grime and violence. He is a bright light. That said, if I ever wrote a sequel it would probably be because of Bernardino, who is a secondary character.
YABC: Which came first, the title or the novel?
SILVIA MORENO-GARCIA: The original title was Young Blood. None of my novels have retained their original titles. I’m getting used to that.
YABC: Thinking way back to the beginning, what’s the most important thing you've learned as a writer
from then to now?
SILVIA MORENO-GARCIA: I write too short. My tendency is to write 70,000 word books but there doesn’t seem to be too much of a market for that, at least in the speculative fiction category. This harks back probably to my interest in fiction from the 70s, when spec books were still very slim. I also have to say my desire for lean prose, ala Bukowski, doesn’t seem to go well with editors. There’s always notes about “describe more,” so I’m attempting to do that. My basic desire is for something very stripped down, with fire-rapid dialogue. Someone once asked me why I wasn’t a play writer instead. Good question.
YABC: What do you like most about the cover of the book?
SILVIA MORENO-GARCIA: I was happy that they didn’t have a model who was white for the cover. That’s something that has happened to novelists frequently, even a few years ago. Publishers used to keep non-white characters off the covers for fear they wouldn’t sell. This is changing. John Picacio, the award-winning artist, talks a bit about this issue with the design of one of his recent book cover paintings (link: http://johnpicacio.com/onthefront/2016/07/05/the-last-adventure-of-constance-verity/). I’d like John to do the cover for one of my books one day, incidentally
YABC: What’s up next for you?
SILVIA MORENO-GARCIA: I am doing edits on The Beautiful Ones, which is my next novel. It’s a love triangle involving a performer with telekinetic powers, set in a world inspired by the Belle Epoque. I also guest-edited an issue of Nightmare Magazine. It should be on sale right now.
YABC: Which character gave you the most trouble when writing your latest book?
SILVIA MORENO-GARCIA: It wasn’t trouble, but Ana Aguirre was expanded, I think I ended up adding one or two more chapters from her POV. I’m a very lean writer and like I said, there is not a lot of appetite for 70,000 word books. The editor, and everyone who read the final draft, seemed to love Ana, so she was one of the characters who received an expansion. Ana is a human detective who is trying to solve a murder, and ends up in the middle of a vampire gang rivalry. And yes, she is named after a writer who is a friend of mine. Hint: Bronze Gods.
YABC: What would you say is your superpower?
SILVIA MORENO-GARCIA: I’m organized and disciplined. That may not seem like much, but when you work a full-time job and do other stuff, like writing, on the side, it comes in handy. There’s no secret to writing except actually writing, which oddly enough is something a lot of people have trouble with, just sitting down and doing the work.
Meet Certain Dark Things!
Certain Dark Things combines elements of Latin American mythology with a literary voice that leads readers on an exhilarating and fast-paced journey.
Welcome to Mexico City, an oasis in a sea of vampires. Here in the city, heavily policed to keep the creatures of the night at bay, Domingo is another trash-picking street kid, just hoping to make enough to survive. Then he meets Atl, the descendant of Aztec blood drinkers. Domingo is smitten. He clings to her like a barnacle until Atl relents and decides to let him stick around.
But Atl’s problems, Nick and Rodrigo, have come to find her. When they start to raise the body count in the city, it attracts the attention of police officers, local crime bosses, and the vampire community. Atl has to get out before Mexico City is upended, taking her with it.
Meet Silvia Moreno-Garcia!
SILVIA MORENO-GARCIA is the author of the critically-acclaimed novel Signal to Noise and the short story collection This Strange Way of Dying, which was a finalist for the Sunburst Award in Canada. She was a finalist for the Manchester Fiction Prize, and a recipient of the Gloria Vanderbilt/Exile Award for Best Emerging Writer.
Certain Dark Things
By: Silvia Moreno-Garcia
Release Date: October 25, 2016