Tell us about yourself and how many books you have written.
About me… I love to read, that’s why I also love to write. I love to travel and discover new places. That inspires me and I could spend my whole time doing that. I don’t know exactly what to say about me, but I think this gives you an overview.
I’ve written two books, both in portuguese. Now “Let me be” is the english version of my second book. This is the book which tells the years of my life that defined me forever, after my coming out as gay to my family. This is the tale of how homophobia can kill you, the story of how in a long and dark night love has defeated all fears.
What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it?
“Let me be” is the name of my new book, directly translated from the original version. What inspired it was all the people around me that helped me go through all the struggles wich I tell about in the book. Of course, being a kind of biography, my own life was what inspired it, but mainly it is a product of all the people that loved me and protected me, like my sister for example.
Do you have any unusual writing habits?
I do have many unusual writing habits. I can tell you one. I love to write in the dark, with only a candle lightning the room, an instrumental music album playing in the background and, sometimes, a glass of good red wine or a cup of tea, depending on the mood, will give me just the extra inspiration.
What authors, or books have influenced you?
I don’t think they influenced this book in particular, but I’m a big fan of Hermann Hesse, George Orwell, J. K. Rowling, Frank Miller and José Saramago, the portuguese author who won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1998. “Siddhartha” by Hermann Hesse is is probably my favorite book ever.
What are you working on now?
Now I’m only working in the promotion of “Let me be”, but I do have new ideas for a new book. It will take some time to write them, because I don’t like to rush my writing.
What is your best method or website when it comes to promoting your books?
I think contacting directly bloggers and book reviewers is a good start. I also use my own blog, twitter and facebook to do it.
Do you have any advice for new authors?
Read, read and read. And read more. It will help you understand a lot what is right and what is wrong with your book. And never stick to the first draft of your book. There is always something you can review and edit. Take your time to do it.
What is the best advice you have ever heard?
It was a simple advice, from my mother. Everytime I wanted to quit she would tell me: “You do it. No, you are not stopping here. You go out and you do it”. Even when I was afraid of facing the bullies, she would tell me that. Many times I thought she was being unfair with me, making me do things I didn’t want to. Later I understood that she was only teaching me that life keeps going on, that we can not just stop and wait for things to happen. Hiding is not the solution.
What are you reading now?
Now I’m reading “The Tattooist of Auschwitz” by Heather Morris, based on the true story of Lale and Gita Sokolov, two Slovakian Jews who survived Auschwitz.
What’s next for you as a writer?
I want to go for fiction again. The next story I have in mind is a very peculiar one about a mother and a son. And that’s what I can tell you now.
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?
This is so hard to do… but I would take “1984” (George Orwell), “Blindness” (José Saramago), “Batman: Year One” (Frank Miller) and “Siddhartha” (Hermann Hesse). This way I would have a wide range of authors and styles.