#StoriesThatMatter - Interview with Aura Rodríguez, Puerto Rico's writer
Her pupils get exalted, dancing, shining, while a pure smile paints her face, exactly as if she were watching her grandmother all over again in front of her, sitting in an armchair, with her chin resting on her hand, asking: "Aura, What are you going to tell me today? " And Aura, with that sweet and innocent 6 years old voice, began to tell a story that emerged from her small but great imagination.
This is how her story began. Aura's story, a Puerto Rico's independent writer and fiction author, who always knew she would become an artist. She carries it in her blood -she comes from a family of painters, singers, actors, etc, but more than anything she carries it in her heart. Especially the art of writing. The art and the need to remove from her mind her deepest thoughts, and then feel liberated. Because she writes for that, confesses, and to fulfill herself as a person.
Her grandmother, who already passed away, and her mother, always listened to her stories. This pushed her into writing in the middle of her adolescence, after creating several short stories and watching a few movies. At that moment, the question "what if ...?" changed everything. Even her. Because since that days nothing was the same. When she was 17, she began the journey to her first novel: Almas Del Destino, which now occupy the shelves of some bookstores in her country.
Over the years, she defined herself more as a writer, discovered new genres, and realized that writers build stories, but the stories are the ones that end up building them. For Aura, she has matured with time and she is not the same person who wrote her old novels. For her, the most important thing at writing moment is to do it for oneself, without waiting for the approval of others, because if this desire comes from a very intimate need, the feeling of fulfillment at the end will be eternal. And that's exactly what she transmit openly to Inkspired:
1. When did you realize that you were passionate about writing?
Since adolescence, from the moment I started pressing keys without control to deposit all the stories I had in my head. I'm surrounded by art since I was born, in my family, there are singers, actors, musicians, painters, designers, so I always knew that art was in my veins.
2. Then you consider that writing is an art. What makes it like that?
The power to express your feelings in letters, so the reader can feel the same.
3. Did you read a lot or little in your childhood?
I read a lot, but I liked to tell stories to my family. When I was 6 years old, I told my grandmother a story about two brothers who went on a trip to the sea and then a storm appeared. I think I still keep the recording that she made of that story. I remember like it was yesterday.
4. And this story was complete from your imagination? Or from some memory?
Usually, it came from movies I watched, and then I asked myself: What would happen if ...? And just with this, she created a whole story of it.
5. So, you think that asking yourself that question could be the key to discover what to write about?
Yes, I think that to become a writer, that question is crucial, and also you need to be sensitive. One of my fantasy works, Calixta and the blue mirror, was inspired by Alice in Wonderland because I loved that movie and I started to think: What if this turns this way?
6. Since we got to this, tell us a little about your works, what books do you have?
I have several published books. Souls of Destiny, a juvenile vampiric novel. The pleasure of your dreams, erotic gender. Sin Mirarte, short erotic story. Calixta and the Blue mirror. The Stories of a Young Brunette, a small collection of micro-stories. When the Roses Die, a short fiction story. All of these are available on Amazon, and Almas del Destino is also in different bookstores in Puerto Rico. I have other completed works, but not yet on sale, and a science fiction novel that brings me crazy, and it includes robotics and computer science.
7. In what do you inspire yourself to write?
In everything, in life itself and what I see and feel. But I admit that music causes me a very high state of inspiration.
8. So, you could say, that when you write fiction, it is always based on a real-life experience? Some example?
Yes, or in something that I see. Or, for example, my first novel of the erotic genre was the product of a dream I had. I woke up and said: I have to write about this. At first, I was a little scared, because I had never dabbled in that genre or knew how to do it, but I think that a writer has to write for himself, not for someone else, and this genre called me, so now I have 3 books published. (smiles gently)
9. Do you think it is important to have a writing routine?
Yes, but not to the letter. Consistency leads to success, but not flexibility makes you lose moments.
And the moments are the ones that give you stories ...
10. What are your goals for your literary path?
I have fulfilled many and I feel accomplished in several aspects. At the moment I want to focus on publishing more works and launching them to the commercial market. If you ask me in the future, one of my goals is to have an editorial or a bookstore/cafe.
11. Have you ever had an idea about your stories in the least expected (or indicated) place? How was that experience?
Sure, it happens to me a lot. Sometimes it's a bit confusing or even uncomfortable because it happened to me while I'm in a school meeting. But sometimes it can be funny, I remember once when I wrote a list of the traits of a character in the food note. It was something like: "grated cheese, tomatoes, lettuce, tall, thin, brown eyes".
12. Ha ha ha. Do you think, then, that writers are people who think too much all the time?
Yes, I think we think a lot and that also generates the need to get it out of our mind and write it down.
13. What do you think of the famous "Writer's Block"?
It is complicated (laughs because this is an endless debate). Much is said about that, there are those who say there is no such blockade, but others say there is. I just know, for now, that sometimes you can stay "blank", but it depends on several factors, life's routine, friends, family, the social factor, the external one, etc. And it is in you to identify what happens and how to solve it.
14. And finally, what advice can you give to writers, especially those who have just begun the path of writing?
Be persistent and organized. Do not let external factors limit the creative process. Search and form your appropriate moment. If you spend it on social networks, if you live on them, you're wasting time and, even if it does not seem like it, it will negatively affect your creativity. Observe life, listen to what people say. Read a lot, read everything you like and do not feel sorry for it, regardless of the genre or what others say, if you like it, go ahead. And above all, write for yourself, even if it sounds somehow selfish. I have seen writers who start and get discouraged because they do not have votes, readings or comments as they expect, and this is wrong, I think. When you write for you, you do it because of a very intimate need, and the external becomes secondary, a plus. If you look at your stories as something you need to tell, you will feel fulfilled.
Favorite book: "Persecuted throughout the city" by Mary Higgins Clark.
Preferred authors: Gabriel García Márquez, Pablo Neruda and Stephen King are the main authors, and it does not hurt me to say that J.K. Rowling also has influenced a lot in who I am, in my motivations
Genres: Erotic romance, fantasy, science fiction, juvenile drama and
mystery / suspense
Profesional career: Graphic designer, proofreader and self-publishing consultant.
Hobbies: Paint, videogames, draw, make music with programs on the PC, go for a walk, read.
Again, invaluable information that is a must read for the new as well as the seasoned writer. I have Very difficult time finding that perfect level of detail. I'm hoping this platform will offer the assistance and/or guidance I so desperately need and crave. Thank you for sharing your insights on this subject matter.
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