Author Interview: Alberto Arcia
Alberto Arcia is a local writer in my part of Texas. He’s always given me straight, no nonsense feedback on my work. His new book is out, and like all writers with books out, he could use a hand getting the word out. We talked and before you know it, I’m doing my first author interview. Let’s see what Albert’s got to say about his latest work.
KL:What is your latest book that just came out and what can you tell me about it?
AA: My latest completed novel is “Isla Grande” – This is the fifth novel in the Alex Perez series. These are stories about an adventurer who is enamored with the female form. A man who manages to get involved in situations not of his doing. This latest one finds Alex returning to Panama to look for his missing brother. While there he gets embroiled in a scam perpetuated by an unscrupulous CIA agent, and a psychopathic local member of the secret service. The thing that makes this book different from the others is that it is hard to distinguish the good guys from the bad ones. Everyone in it is trying to steal the money that the Americans are paying a hapless Colombia guerilla who defects. The victim is the only one who really suffers. In the end, everyone absconds with his money. A different ending for sure. There is lots of sex in this one, and is the case in most of my novels, sensibilities are stepped on. An adult read.
KL: Tell me about the latest YA book you’re working on?
AA: I’m presently working on the fourth book in the Danube Sisters series. It’s titled, “Dimas the Mad Monk.” This novel brings out a character mentioned (but never seen) throughout the earlier books. Dimas is Alexis long lost son. He finally surfaces, and of all things, he is a pacifist who does not eat meat. Dimas, who was stolen from his mother’s arms during the great war, was raised in a monastery. His father, Alexis is a great warrior. Dimas is rescued from a dungeon and enters a warring family during a time when the six Calaisians kingdoms are threatened by an army of ghouls and dark men. He refuses to pick up a weapon, putting him at odds with his aunt, Korina, the bloody Fernian queen. This is one of the many story lines in the book. What I am trying to do is bring closure to situations, and to characters with agendas. The novel should be ready to hit the market in July. Note: Even though this is supposed to be the last one of the series, if I do not tie all the loose ends, I will write one more.
KL: What inspired you to write these stories?
AA: The reason for both series are different, although intertwined. In the case of the Danube Sisters, I had been pegged as a misogynist and homophobe writer. This defamation came from the Alex Perez series. Needing to prove an editor who left me after “An Ill Wind that Blows no Good,” and who said to me before she slammed the proverbial door, “All your female characters are nothing more than caricatures designed to be abused by your male characters.” Then she went on to add, “ You couldn’t write a strong female character if your life depended on it.” Well, I stopped writing bawdy, humorous, and politically incorrect novels, and turned my attention to the Danube Sisters. These are novels about strong willed girls who defy the rule of men. They refuse to obey and throw off the yoke imposed on their gender. That is the reason for the creation of the Danube Sisters. I needed to show my critics I was not a misogynist and/or homophobe. Alex was…
The reason for the Adventures of Alex Perez series was a desire to pen my memoirs before the few remaining brain cells forgot why and where. Writing memoirs is a tricky thing. They are notoriously bad financial investment. If you’re not famous , no one reads it. So, what I did was create a character I could relate to; my middle name is Alejandro, and my mother’s maiden name is Perez. Hence, Alex Perez. Using the philosophy that the truth in its purest form is boring, I inserted loads of fiction for comedic effect. These novels include about 20% reality (embellished) and 80% humorous fiction. I wanted to have an edge on the pages, call it sharp teeth if you like, so I lampooned everyone and everything. This series is for adults only, were the Danube Sisters is for young and new adults.
KL: What are the settings like for these two series?
AA: In the Danube Sisters, the world they live in has dragons, wizards, and kings. The time is the medieval era, although I do not follow a strict adherence to it.
In the Alex Perez series, I move him around in modern times. In “Cut and Run,” he travels through Mexico and Guatemala. “In Search of High Ground” is based in Texas, France, Switzerland, and Germany. “An Ill Wind that Blows no Good,” he is in Mexico and Texas. In “Chasing the Moolah,” he is in Texas, Iraq, Iran, and Afghanistan. And in “Isla Grande,” he is in Panama and Texas.
KL: Where can we find these books?
AA: You can find my e-books in Barnes and Noble, Amazon, and Smashwords. Paperbacks in Arte Publico Press, Amazon and Createspace. They are affordably priced.
Wrapping it up
Thanks to Alberto for taking time to do this interview. I had seen a few bawdy short stories, and gained insight into how what you write can set people’s view. I learned about the controversy he faced with one series, and I’m glad he’s worked to approach projects from a different, positive perspective as well.