Interview in Shelf Unbound (June/July 2012)
A theme throughout these stories is the inability of people in intimate relationships to see each other and communicate with each other. Was this a conscious choice or did the theme emerge as you wrote?
Yes, my characters are haunted by bad listening skills, assumptions, misunderstandings, and metaphorical blindness. I love telling stories in which the way people communicate or fail to communicate affects them, changes them, possibly even leads them to lose the very person they’re trying to understand and keep, the person they love.
Interview in Marshall’s Super Sekrit Clubhouse (August 2009)
Your first story in Strange Horizons, The First Time We Met, concerns Hector and Elena. Elena’s kiss, or rather her saliva, has the power to heal, but Hector has wounds that run deeper than her healing touch can alleviate it seems. What inspired you to write this story?
I have lupus, an autoimmune disorder. When I was at my sickest, overwhelmed by pain and fatigue, I began to think about healing a lot. I had medication to treat the symptoms but there wasn’t anything that could cure my lupus. My Mexican grandmother used to tell me stories about curanderas, or healers. So now, being sick, I thought, wouldn’t it be great if this were true? That some woman could rub her hot hands over my body and I’d be healed? I decided I wanted to write a story about healing, about the person who could heal because I imagined that would be a very stressful, draining gift to have. Instead of her hands, it would be her saliva that healed people. Very early on, the story was written entirely from Elena’s perspective. Then I realized that I’d rather see her from the point of view of the person who loves her the most, through Hector, who’s just a regular person with his own unseen wounds.