I write to understand the thousand injuries of Fortunato. I write to ease some of the pain with laughter.
The novel All or Nothing came to me on a furious wind. The words were sharp knives of truth that rent my soul in twain; but the writing itself was effortless mechanics. I knew the story, you see. I had lived this pain, this suffering, this obsession to bet it all and predictably lose. Writing was but a matter of touching pen to paper and letting the blood flow for as long as I could endure before contemplating self immolation. And I laughed loudly as I proofed the hundred and one drafts. Humor is a blessing from God indeed: it allows us to visit the dungeon and leave it with sanity and soul intact.
By contrast, Jesus Boy came in starts and stops. When I began the tale, I was close to the age of Elwyn, the teenaged protagoinist. When I finished it, I was the age of Sister Morrisohn, Elwyn's forty-something year old lover. All this time I wrote and published many other things, but Jesus Boy would not go away. It embedded itself in other things that I was writing. It showed up in short stories and essays. It crept into other novels. When I spoke to my students in class, sometimes it was not me, but Elwyn giving the lecture. I wrote the novel a dozen or so times before I was satisifed. I knew I was satisfied because as I read it I was laughing.
Laughing, laughing, O my friend, Fortunato, at my thousand injuries.
I was born in Honduras and we moved to the U.S. when I was 3. We lived in Staten Island, NY, then Boston (Roxbury). I attended the John J. Williams School, then the Hennigan, then the Dudley before moving to Miami (Golden Glades Elementary, Parkview Junior High, Miami-Norland Senior High--then off to college at the University of Florida).
After completing college, I attended Florida International University and earned an MFA in creative writing.
I published stories in The Seattle Review, The Crab Orchard Review, Gulfstream Magazine, Drum Voices 2000 and other literary magazines, and had them anthologized in Miami Noir (Akashic 2006), Las Vegas Noir (Akashic 2008), and the erotic collections Wanderlust (Washington Square Press 2006), Making the Hook-Up (Cleis 2010), and the Brown Sugar Books (1-4) (Plume Penguin and Washington Square Press 2001 through 2005).
Toni Cade Bambara
There are four novels that God says I must write: The gambling novel, the church novel, the daddy novel, and the car salesman novel. Jesus Boy is the church novel. All or Nothing is the gambling novel. So I have just two more mandatory books to write and then I can explore other things.
Here's where I am so far.
Every Boy Should Have a Man: published--in stores May 2013.
Virgin of Biscayne Boulevard (completed--got a good read from three editors of renown--but still being tweaked--I'm still not comfortable with it)
Whiteface (Book one of trilogy completed--three sections published)
Say Goodnight to the Bad Guy (short stories--completed)
At 12 (daddy novel--in progress)
I Am Dragon (short stories--completed)
Nadine's Husband(collected erotica and a novella--completed)
The Friggin Green Pea (Car salesman novel--will begin after I finish the daddy novel)
Carolina Wren Press
Writing, playing piano, playing chess, playing games of chance.
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