Saturday, February 16, 2013

Featured Author: Amy Muniz

Amy Muniz says her book, Water is Many: 50 Poems, is poetry for people who don't necessarily like poetry.

Amy is an Arizona native, hiking enthusiast, and edible/poisonous plant expert. She speaks sign language, Spanish, and Arabic. Loves to try a new recipe every now and then. Married to a hot, older Hispanic gentleman.

Author Interview

What do you like best about writing? What’s your least favorite thing?

My favorite part is realizing that I have a good idea or finishing the first draft of something. My least favorite part is the editing and formatting of a book because then I obsess over every little detail.

Your book has an interesting title. How did you come up with it?

Water is Many is the title of one the poems inside the book. I picked it because like my book, one drop of water either acts alone or with other drops of water to come to a conclusion. It's a metaphor for the variety found inside my book. I've written everything from love, loss, friendship, nature, universe to even two ghost stories.

Do you have another job outside of writing?

It's not really a job, but I make a little off of my YouTube account so I'm always making a video. I teach languages there. I take temp work when I can find it, otherwise my husband likes it that I stay at home and write.

Why did you decide to write this book?

Poetry seems to be forever a dying art, and the American culture doesn't make room for poetry. I wrote something that I hope is of literary quality. And right there, I'll probably lose some people, but having read all 1800 of Emily Dickinson's works, one would hope that I could also produce poems of beauty. So I did it to try to contribute to our culture.

Tell me about your cover art.

For the cover I went to the cemetery where my parent-in-laws are buried, a nice Catholic mausoleum called St. Francis. There's a fountain there that I thought was a perfect match for the title. I photographed it, which is a challenge, because you can't catch your own reflection in the water and the lens can't get splashed. I did some moving around and got it.

What's your favorite poem in the book?

The long ghost story poem called “The Bells of San Xavier” takes place at the old mission south of Tucson, San Xavier del Bac. I used to live on the Papago Indian reservation, and I remember seeing the towers over the fence. In the poem, the Padre is standing among empty pews. The altar is full of lit candles and it's after hours. In real life, there is a skeleton in a display case to the left. Depending on your point of view, this is either comforting or creepy.

Who are your favorite authors?

Lately, I have discovered H.P. Lovecraft, who I've always heard was a good writer, but I'm just now delving into his works. I like them because they're short, succinct, and his wording really draws me in. Before discovering him, I was into Edwin Arlington Robinson, who is just like Poe.

What book are you currently reading and in what format (e-book/paperback/hardcover)?

I'm not really reading anything, but what I'd like to do is pay it forward because of people who've helped me. I'd like to take some time out to write some reviews for self-published authors. There's a couple in mind, some of them poets, who seem to have a good product.

I know a good mystery you might like...< cheesy smile > Do you work better at night, in the afternoon, or in the morning?

People are surprised to learn that I get up at 4AM to start writing. This is when I'm most alert, when I first get up and am able to concentrate the most. It's quiet outside. My husband keeps on sleeping for some hours. I get the most done. By 10AM, the street outside turns into Times Square with horns blaring and kids kicking a ball against my door. Not good.

Do you ever get writer’s block?

Never, since I brainstorm and write down a list of ideas before I ever start writing, I don't get writer's block. I used to think of things throughout my day, then I'd forget them. Now when I have an idea, I write it down, explaining it with one or two sentences, so I can't possibly lose it.

What do you like to do when you’re not writing?

I enjoy figuring out what is edible in the desert. I've tasted dandelions and they're surprisingly tasty, just like salad greens. In Phoenix, they're considered a noxious weed. During the Great Depression, a lot of people survived on dandelion salad, the leaves and the flower heads. I mistrust the dollar, wouldn't count on it to feed me, so that's why I'm learning this stuff. One day I'd like to experiment with cooking palo verde beans and trying it with some salsa.

What are your favorite books?

As a child: I loved The Cay, in which a Dutch boy gets stranded on an island with a Negro, even though I hated that the Negro died near the end.
As a teenager: I read The Shining and loved it.
As an adult: I am reading The Arabian Nights and love how it's a story within a story.

If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?

A little known country called Belize. It's east of Mexico and north of Guatemala. I was denied a visa two years ago. Yes, I actually tried to leave. I have half a mind to drive to Corpus Christie, TX and float on a tube down to there.

What are you working on now?

My first book, Envious of the Clouds, is getting a makeover. I'm much better at covers now and the cover on my first book is beneath what I'm capable of doing so I'm changing it and sprucing up the inside. After that, I will begin an anthology of horror stories.

Great! I hope you'll come back and tell us about it when it's released.

Website / Blog / Facebook / Goodreads / Twitter / Amazon