Posted by Ognian Georgiev
Henry Mosquera’s second book Status Quo was published in 2014. The author already established himself with his first novel “Sleeper’s run”. Here is the interview with him for our blog.
QUICK GOOD NEWS UPDATE: Henry just won 2014 Best Indie Book Award for Best Mainstream Novel for Status Quo! Congratulations!
– What is your last book Status Quo about?
– Status Quo is a about a frustrated author trying to turn his writing into a self-sustaining career. It’s part-satire of the entertainment industry, and part-exploration of what it is to be creative; to have an uncontrollable urge to pursue something you love and what happens during that journey.
– How you decide to write the story?
– I always wanted to write an offbeat literary fiction novel populated with quirky characters. Curiously enough, Status Quo decided to write itself, not the other way around. It was definitely in the pipeline, marinating in my head. But then, one night I went to see Roger Waters performing “The Wall,” and after that, the story was constantly spamming my mind to the point were I had to stop the novel I was working on to put Status Quo down on paper. That had never happened to me before. I have a pretty good hold of my creative output: what’s just an idea, what I’m currently researching, what I’m currently working on. I guess Waters’ masterpiece of an artistic, introspective journey affected me more than I thought.
– What was the difference of being author and co-author?
– I’ve never co-written anything, so I don’t have a personal insight in what would constitute the differences. Interestingly enough, I don’t know if I could actually be a co-author on a fiction project. I’m at my best when left to my own devices. Also, the way I write would make it very difficult for someone to just step in. When you deal with layers, themes, and symbolisms injected into your stories, you’d have to find someone who sees the world as you do, and that’s a pretty tall order for anyone. Plus my stories tend to be very personal.
– Tell us something more about your main character? Is it close to someone from your real life?
– Lemat is a frustrated author who’s incredibly creative and driven, but life didn’t turned out so well for him. We always hear about how so and so had a tough time, but he miraculously managed to break into (fill in the blanks with the creative endeavor of your choice). But we never hear about the legion of others who, in spite of working hard, having talent, drive, and making sacrifices, never made it. They never met that one person who helped them out or were at the right place at the right time. That’s the basics of the character.
Lemat is basically me, or at least an isolated part of me that served as the seed for the character. Most characters in Status Quo are based on people I’ve known, or an amalgamation of certain individuals. That is the foundation of the characters in the beginning. Then you start writing and they grow and take personalities of their own.
– What is your first book Sleeper’s Run about?
– Sleeper’s Run is a political thriller that takes place largely in Venezuela. It’s about a Special Operations Forces veteran suffering from PTSD, who is trying to rebuild his life after years of fighting terrorism. Then suddenly, he finds himself tangled in a conspiracy that destabilizes the country and sends his life into a tailspin. I’m keeping it vague because I don’t want to give anything away. It’s a pretty frantic ride that sucks readers in until the very end.
– Who are you?
I’m a genre and literary fiction writer who was born in Caracas, Venezuela. I’ve lived half my life in the US. I’m also an artist; my first self-published work was a paranormal graphic novel called “Metasearch.” I love martial arts, food, traveling, and film. If you follow me on twitter @odditymedia, you’ll get to see a lot of the stuff I’m into. I have the most amazing wife in the world, and a dog that I adore.
– What are your writing habits?
– That depends on the project. If I have to research, then I go through a lengthy process of learning everything I can about the topics I’ll be touching on. For Metasearch, it was a lot of reading and stepping into the world of metaphysics and see who, why, and how these people go about their business. For Sleeper’s Run, the reading alone would have earned me a PhD. I also trained in some of the skills you see in the book like Urban Escape and Evasion, flying airplanes, tactical weapons, knife fighting, etc. It’s fun, but time consuming and expensive. I think in the end, all the research pays off because it grounds the writing in reality. Status Quo was all life experience and sheer creativity.
As for the mechanics of writing, I’m very disciplined. I write as much as my time allows every day, including weekends. If I can do twelve hours a day, so be it. But again, every project has been different. Each one brings a unique challenge. I write to music that suits the chapters I’m working on. A lot of it actually ends up showing up in the books. I read all the dialogues out loud (my neighbors probably think I’m crazy). And I go through as many re-writes as needed. Some people hate doing that, but I actually enjoy them. That’s when you see the story really take shape.
– Are you satisfied by the sales of the books and do you plan the next one?
– There are probably very few writers who are satisfied with their sales, indie or otherwise. As for the next book, I’m neck deep working on my next novel as you read this. It’s a sci-fi story that should be out next year.
– What are you doing to promote by the best possible way your books?
– The whole promotion thing mystifies me. For Sleeper’s Run, I had a larger budget so I went for broke: blog tours, interviews, international trade shows, press releases, social media, reviews, competitions, advertising, the works; you name it. It went on to win numerous awards and critical praise. For Status Quo the budget is way lower so, social media, reviews, giveaways, and interviews so far. I hope to do a blog tour later on, we’ll see. But it’s tough out there. Promoting a novel and getting any kind of decent attention is like winning the lottery.
– Tell us something more about Venezuela, what is the Top 3 of must see things in the country?
– Venezuela is currently going through some pretty hard times. I haven’t been there in long time, so I’m very disconnected with the day-to-day. There are many wonderful things to see like the tepuis, Angel Falls, the archipelago of Los Roques, and so on. Nightlife in Caracas used to be pretty amazing too, but it would be irresponsible of me to advise anyone to go there right now. It’s dangerous. This is definitely not the same country I grew up in.
Check out Henry’s books:
To leran more about Henry Mosquera check out his twitter