I recently read “Told From The Hips,” by Andrea Amosson. This was a collection of short stories My favorite story was the one of this woman who concocted a mischievous plan in order to land a husband. Then, she made up an “I’m pregnant” story. Followed by a real baby–that she didn’t want. That story made me want to know more! I think the best part of a short story is that your imagination can keep it going and you can keep the characters alive.
I really enjoyed reading the short stories. They kept me entertained during a long wait at the hospital and I was sad when I finished the book. This book is a quick read and keeps you entertained.
My favorite part of crafting this post was reading the answers author Andrea Amosson gave. How interesting to get a peek inside her head!
Author Q & A with Andrea Amosson
Which writers inspire you? I am inspired by all type of authors that tell a good story. I really like good story tellers… I grew up reading the Latin-American Literary Boom authors, and as you know, Gabriel García Márquez and Mario Vargas Llosa are extraordinary narrators.
I also love Julio Cortázar’s work and the way he experiments with words and narrative structures. Later in life I decided to read more books written by women. I especially enjoy the books from Rosa Montero, Gioconda Belli –especially her novels- and Guadalupe Santa Cruz. They inspire me because each of them has an artistic intent within their writing and their prose is beautiful.
What was the hardest thing about writing your latest book? “Las Lunas de Atacama” is my latest book, it is a novel that was growing up inside of me for about 15 years, if not longer. It was hard to stay focused, because I felt I was writing something very important for myself and that would bring a sense of insecurity from time to time. I also had to be very careful with the overall structure of the novel; and make sure there were no mistakes with the characters, places, situations, historical facts, etc. Even though it is not a historical novel, there were details that I had to confirm because that builds up credibility.
In general, I think it was hard to create this story about my homeland, the Atacama Desert in Chile, its mining towns, its cities and the people who used to live there in Chile in the 1920’s. Being a woman, in a way I felt I was challenging convention, because the Atacama Desert has been a place ruled by men; not only in the mining towns but also in the literary tradition. Plenty of male authors have written about it, creating a multiplicity of male characters. And there I went, staying true to myself, creating yet another female protagonist that defies all the set rules for women at the time and letting her have a great adventure in search of truth and her identity.
How long on average does it take you to write a book? On average, I would say between 1 to 3 years. Some books stay inside of me and grow silently; and then it feels like the story is ready to be written. The writing part, in those cases, takes about ten months, plus the revision phase –this is, reading, editing, reading and editing again until I am satisfied-, this adds six to ten more months. In other cases, the stories come in full in a matter of months. But in general, I haven’t ever taken less than 15 months in one book. I have a tendency to perfectionism when it comes to writing and I know my limits, so I have to work really hard to achieve what I want with each text.
Do you read much? Who are your favorite authors? I do read as much as I can. I try to read one book a month. On a personal level, I am committed to reading more books written by women. My favorite authors have changed over time, depending on my maturity and what is going on in my life. Currently, I really like all the books by Rosa Montero. And when I need to enjoy the beauty of writing, I go back to Pablo Neruda and Gabriela Mistral, both poets and Chilean Nobel Prize winners in Literature.
What is your favorite book and why? At this moment is “La Loca de la Casa”, again by Rosa Montero. I really like the well documented chapters about inspiration, about characters, about greed in publishing, the fictional pieces in it too. She is an amazing author and very scholarly too. I am far from having that immense knowledge inside me. I am a story teller at heart.
About the Author: Andrea Maluenda de Amosson was born in Antofagasta, Chile. She studied journalism at the Catholic University in Antofagasta, and completed graduate studies in Hispano-American and Chilean Literature from University of Chile. She received a Creative Writing scholarship from University Complutense of Madrid, Spain, in 2005.
Andrea has lived in Dallas, Texas with her family since 2011, she is the mother of two little boys. She teaches a weekly creative writing class, the only one in Spanish language in the Dallas area, and she has founded a free, Spanish only, book club for the Hispanic population. The book club now has more than 30 members and celebrated its 2nd anniversary last October. She is also the founder of “La farmacia de la Ñ”, a literary group of Hispanic writers and poets of the Dallas-Fort Worth area, that offers free public literary events to the Hispanic population, in order to promote reading and writing; and an open space to share the Latin-American culture.
Andrea has won several awards and contests for her writing. Most notably, she won 1st place People’s Choice for her short story Maria Kawésqar in a literary contest organized by La Nota Latina magazine, the Hispanic Heritage Literature Organization, and the International association of Hispanic authors and poets in Miami, FL.