Like many an artist who has had to pull up stakes in order to better realize their creative dreams, Puerto Rican author Angel Fuentes left his native island in 2010 for New York City in order to better pursue a writing career. Which is not to say he hadn't already done plenty in Puerto Rico. Fuentes had been writing for years before his move. Not only did he write numerous stories for the Puerto Rico- based indie comic book publisher Razor Blade Apple, he was also the imprint's founder and publisher, as well as the creator of several of its characters. Besides this, Fuentes wrote for local television, contributed stories to alocal anthology and even wrote and co-produced the Spanish-language black comedy film "Santa Cristal".
Angel Fuentes' work often deals with the superhuman, the supernatural, and the macabre. And yet, his work is unfailingly streaked with a sly humor that belies the often dark and unorthodox subject matter. His willingness to explore religious and metaphysical themes, and his equally present insistence on refusing to take those same subjects completely seriously, makes for some compelling and engaging reading. His latest (and first) novel, Violet Descends, was published in 2014 by Panico Press, after its unveiling at an event in midtown Manhattan. We recently caught up with the author to chat about his roots
and his work.
and his work.
Why did you decide to go into writing, and when did you start writing professionally?
Since I was a kid I've always enjoyed telling stories, either by writing comic strips or writing school plays. But I never actually considered myself to be a writer until college, when I began self publishing comics and writing short stories and screenplays. After more than a decade doing that, I decided to also try writing novels.
Your first novel, which came out very recently, is titled Violet Descends. What is it about?
Violet Descends is the story of an angel that decided to quit her duties. The consequences of her actions will affect the world as she accidentally triggers the apocalypse.
Where and how did the character of Violet originate?
Violet was inspired by a girl I met through a friend at a party. Her immaturity, insecurity and gothic look greatly influenced my angel character. The idea of having the fate of the world at the hands of someone like that seemed very interesting to me. I developed Violet and her epic story as a comic book series with artist Ivonne Falcon, but life got in the way and we couldn't complete the story. With Violet Descends, A Seven Lights Novel, readers will finally get the entire tale of Violet's adventures.
You seem to be aiming for a young adult audience. Any particular reason for that?
Supernatural fantasies are the order of the day for young adult readers. In my interest to have as many people as possible read my fantasy story, adjusting the narrative to attract an entire market of young adult readers was the way to go.
How has the novel been received so far?
So far, not only young readers seem to enjoy it, but adult readers, too! So, anyone reading this who is interested in reading a fantasy adventure involving angels and demons are welcome to give it a try!
Has your "Puerto Ricaness" influenced the style or topics of your writing?
As a writer, it's hard not to let personal experiences or opinions influence my works. However, I can say that the story that has been mostly influenced by my "Puerto Ricaness" is Santa Cristal. This was a movie I produced back in 2003 that satirized my life experiences in Puerto Rico.
Why did you leave PR?
After living in Puerto Rico for more than thirty years, I needed a change in scenery and artistic influences. It couldn't get more different than life in the big city! New York has greatly influenced my latest projects, as people will be able to see in Violet Descends. I do like visiting my folks back in the island as much as I can.
What projects do you have in mind for the future?
I want to expand on the world I created in Violet Descends. It's a supernatural place with great potential that I have just barely begun to tap. I plan on recruiting other writers that will help me with this by spinning off novels and short story anthologies.
Where can people find Violet Descends?
Violet Descends, A Seven Lights Novel, can be purchased in print or kindle e-book throughwww.panicopress.com.
Any last words? Plugs? Pleas?
Big thank you to everyone who has supported the novel. I really hope you enjoy the story. Please don't forget to post your review on Amazon.Com, and stay tuned to panicopress.com for future projects!