This week I’m interviewing Andrea Barbosa, from Brazil. She’s worked in tourism and is debuting her first novel, a “surrealist literary fiction” novel. You can find out more about Andrea at Goodreads here:
1. What first inspired you to write?
Writing has been a childhood dream for as long as I can remember, but I’m not
sure there was a trigger. I always loved to read and consequently started to
write my own stories when I was still in elementary school.
2. You describe your book as “surreal literary fiction.” How would
you describe this genre?
The book could be classified under general fiction, however it has some
elements of surrealism imbued in it, specifically at the end of the story.
Literary fiction is a genre where the focus is on the “inner story”
of the characters who drive the plot with detailed motivations to elicit
“emotional involvement” in the reader, the tone is serious and often
darker than general fiction and it touches on universal dilemmas. Massive Black
Hole has some of these elements and also plays with surrealism, as it features
the element of surprise.
3. You deal with some pretty heavy topics in the book, including suicide. What
made you want to tackle these issues?
Because the genre touches on universal dilemmas, it was important that some
touchy subjects were explored. It had to do with the theme in order to elicit
emotional response and to offer the readers the characters’ perspective.
4. Tell me about the book.
At 18, Cibele, a student from Rio de Janeiro, dreams of a life in New York and
moves to the big Apple as an au pair girl, where she meets the precocious Amy,
a young scholar whose goal in life is to study sciences and astrophysics. When
they meet Agatha, an ambitious young woman from Texas who wants to become a
famous fashion model, their lives are weaved together and they become friends.
While trying to achieve their goals, they question the meaning of life, death
and the existence of hell, and their friendship ultimately turns into a maze of
betrayal, jealousy and selfishness.
5. Who is your favorite writer, and why?
I don’t have one favorite writer. I like several and also different genres, so
it’s very hard to point to one. I like Brazilian writer Fernando Sabino because
he wrote reality with a sense of humor; I like Joyce Carol Oates because I
consider her a great surrealist literary writer, for example.
6. What are you working on next?
I’m close to publishing a collection of poetry, hopefully to come out still
before the year’s end, or beginning of next year. I’m also working on another
7. How do you think the self-publishing phenomenon impacts the literary genre?
There are pros and cons, but mostly I’d say pros. The reason is you can find a
very interesting story or a good writer that you wouldn’t if their work was
rejected over and over. You have the opportunity to read different genres and
find out what people are writing about. There’s a lot of sifting to do though,
but it’s a most exciting exploration.
8. What advice do you have for other writers?
Don’t give up. Read and write. That’s the only way to improve your style.
Thank you for the opportunity to interview for your great blog. I really
appreciate your time!