Tell us about yourself and how many books you have written.
“Books” would be a bit misleading in my case. I’ve published four books of fiction (novelettes), one graphic novel, about 30 short stories (in magazines around the world), a couple of textbooks, a dozen academic papers, and I’ve worked on around 30 published video games in one capacity or another. I also wrote the script for a movie which is currently in pre-production.
What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it?
I recently launched The Elephant and Macaw Banner novelettes, a series which has been making waves around the world. The first story in the series was a finalist for the Nebula Award and winner of the Realms of Fantasy Award in 2011.
I moved from the U.S. to Brazil in 2001, and became very interested in the history and culture here. This series is based on sixteenth-century Brazil and mixes folkloric creatures as a fantastic element. It was inspired by stories of adventurers who visited the country at that time.
Do you have any unusual writing habits?
Nothing unusual, although my research is sometimes a bit extreme. I have over 200 books on Brazilian history and folklore that I refer to while writing The Elephant and Macaw Banner stories.
What authors, or books have influenced you?
Fritz Leiber, Kurt Vonnegut, Jorge Luis Borges, John Kennedy Toole, Arthur Conan Doyle, James Clavell, Alexandre Dumas
What are you working on now?
Here in Brazil, The Elephant and Macaw Banner stories are doing extremely well, so I’ve had the opportunity to work on several spin-off products in partnership with Devir Livraria, a comic book and gaming company. A graphic novel came out last year, and this year we’ll be launching a board game. I’m currently writing a pen-and-paper RPG for 2016 and working with a production company on a pitch for an animated series.
What is your best method or website when it comes to promoting your books?
Go to events, meet people, get on panels, have fun.
Do you have any advice for new authors?
Read a lot. Write a lot. Publish a lot. I’ve been publishing for ten years, and it’s taken me that long to really develop my style and gather a following. These days, I teach 20 hours at a university and spend the rest of my time writing, and earn about the same between the two.
What is the best advice you have ever heard?
Have patience. I’ve never found any shortcuts. The “overnight success” stories almost always take about ten years of hard work to get there.
What are you reading now?
Two books in Portuguese: “Go” by Nick Farewell and a scriptwriting book by Doc Comparato. Both are excellent.
What’s next for you as a writer?
Keep learning and keep writing. I hope to get some children’s picture books out next year, and the first book in a YA series based on one of my published short stories, but for the moment, I need to wrap up the projects I have going.
If you were going to be stranded on a desert island and allowed to take 3 or 4 books with you what books would you bring?
A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole
Shogun by James Clavell
Tom Brown’s Field Guide to Wilderness Survival – I used to be a boy scout and later an avid backpacker, and this book came in handy many times. It would be useful on a desert island, right? 🙂