Interesting Intersections with Federico Erebia and a Book Giveaway! (US Only, Please)
A GIANT Interesting Intersections welcome to Federico Erebia!
Follow Federico on his socials!
And make sure to add his newest amazing novel, Pedro & Daniel to your Goodreads! Look at that cover art by Julie Kwon!! Gorgeous!
Thank you so very much for giving me the honor of interviewing you. You were my champion when I released my own story, and it’s an honor and a privilege to have you on my blog.
CK, you’re an inspiration to so many. Thank you very much for inviting me.
*Blushes* You are so very amazing and I adore you!! Thank you for all the support you've given me. Can't wait to repay you! Starting....NOW!
Can you share a picture of your writing space with us?
What a great light fixture and look at all those computers! Why is this place great for your creativity?
I have several neurodivergent and related conditions. I’m easily distracted, and I’m a procrastinator. Each monitor has a particular function that helps me be more productive. I can write one manuscript, revise another, research a topic, create graphics and illustrations, or check social media, all at the same time, depending on my mind’s focus at any moment. Multiple projects can move forward at their own pace.
I’m here ten to twelve hours a day, seven days a week. My Westie and my Whippet have beds nearby. I look out my window at the wood workshop that I designed and built, and at Pepito The Squirrel’s backyard playground. My writing office has everything I need to succeed.
I love that your doggos are with you while you write. I think your use of computers to help with your neurodiversity is so very creative! Can you tell us a bit about yourself and why you became a writer?
I’ve always been fascinated by storytelling, particularly Mexican folktales. I’ve been writing, in one way or another, all my life. Unlike most folks, my writing has been in my head, not on paper or on a monitor. It’s how my brain works, and it was a way to keep my stories protected, and secreted away.
Before my brother died thirty years ago of AIDS, we had a “What if (things had been different for us)?” conversation that I describe in Pedro & Daniel. That was the moment I knew I needed to write this book. I have been writing it in my head all these years.
When the pandemic hit in 2020, I focused my energy and anxiety on writing. I wrote, illustrated, published, and marketed my Pepito The Squirrel books, based on an injured baby squirrel I rehabilitated and eventually released back into the wild. I love sharing those books with school children . . . and adults.
On March 2, 2021, I saw a friend’s Twitter post with his #50PreciousWords submission. I immediately sat down at my desk and wrote my first Pedro & Daniel story that same morning. Those #50PreciousWords are now the last 50 words in the novel.
I adore that you were able to focus your energy and anxiety on writing to help you through the pandemic. Now, we’re dying to know about you and, if you are willing to share, your intersections.
I love talking about intersectionality! We’re all a potpourri of identities, backgrounds, and experiences. I am gay, neurodivergent and Mexica- American, but I’m also a product of my experiences, both good and bad.
I’m a retired physician. I worked at a gay community health center for twenty years. I had a large HIV/AIDS practice. I retired eight years ago.
I became a woodworker in the 1990s while renovating a townhouse in Boston. Eventually, I became a cabinet and furniture maker. This was my full-time job when I left medicine.
I started writing–on a computer, not in my mind–in 2020 when I stopped going into clients’ houses.
What a wonderful way to help the community. I can't even imagine all the people who walked through your doors seeking help in the last twenty years. You continue to amaze me. And woodworking?? My dad would adore you! May I ask if the plot of your current book or your main character mirrors you in any way?
Pedro & Daniel is a fictionalized account of my relationship with my brother Daniel. You will get a glimpse of the good and bad experiences I mentioned above.
And it is so raw. I seriously love this novel. Speaking of mirroring, who is one intersectional author you find inspirational and why?
There are many, but Mike Curato is always high on the list, and the first to come to mind. His talents are boundless. Like many, I fell in love with Little Elliot and Bina Bear. But Flamer is one of the best books I’ve ever experienced. With a minimal palette, spare words, and a relatable story, I became Aiden Navarro. Unfortunately, Flamer has been targeted by the book-banning movement. I worry that there are kids who can’t experience this wonderful book.
Flamer is an awesome novel!! What is one hope you have for the future of publishing?
Pedro & Daniel is an unconventional book. It breaks most story structure, formatting, and plot rules. I use elements of PB, CB, MG, YA, verse novel, new adult, adult fiction, nonfiction, short story, and memoir.
It’s simply the way I write, the way my mind works.
My hope for the future of publishing is that we expand our understanding of how storytelling can be written so that new kinds of stories and folktales can emerge.
I remember thinking your novel is quite unconventional, but I love that it breaks so many rules! You are LGBTQIA+. What hopes do you have for this community beyond writing?
I hope the LGBTQIA+ community continues to show how the world greatly benefits from our creativity, resilience, diversity, compassion, forgiveness, and fabulousness.
ME, TOO!!! Who is one LGBTQIA+ writer you look up to and why?
Can I please have three? Oscar Wilde, Stephen Sondheim, Edmund White. I believe I channeled all three [and others] in writing Pedro & Daniel, with all the wordplay between the two.
Awesome choices! There is definitely some great wordplay in your novel. Any new projects in the pipeline?
I have written a dual timeline graphic novel set in modern-day Mexico and Mesoamerica. There’s a significant twist. It could become a series.
I’ve got several picture book dummies (I’ve written and illustrated).
I’ve started outlining a duology of novels that are prequels to Pedro & Daniel. They will further explore Mexican colorism, colonialism, and other themes in Pedro & Daniel.
I’ve been asked to participate in an anthology that is still in its early stages. But it was an honor just to be asked!
I suppose I should be looking for an agent . . .
I think you should definitely look for an agent, my friend. The new book sounds fabulous and very cool about the anthology!! Last thoughts?
Other than the book-banning movement, there are racists, homophobes, masculinists, and others like them, who are actively trolling marginalized creators on social media, and more worrisome, at in-person events.
I thought I was ready until I received my first sucker punch from someone who hated my existence, my diverse identities, and my pride.
But, with the support of our wonderful writing community, I quickly recovered, with my new mantra: I will not be silenced/erased/banned.
Most book creators rely on their work for a living, for supporting their families. Thus, marginalized folks are at risk of losing everything because of this hateful movement.
I urge everyone to support marginalized authors, particularly women of color. If you can’t afford to buy a book, make a purchase request at a library, read the book, then review it on all the relevant platforms. Writing a review is vital to an author, at least until the algorithms take note of their books.
I remember that happening on Twitter and it was awful. Some people live to hurt others with their hateful comments. You are so very brave, and I *heart* your mantra. You are a fighter for both yourself and so many authors. And we are definitely fighting for you! Thank you for being here today!
Okay, friends!! There are 3 copies of Pedro & Daniel up for grabs for three lucky people. You will receive your copy before it is available to the general public. How cool is that?
Ways to enter (any one action counts as an entry):
*Comment on the blog
*Like the blog post
*Retweet my original Tweet
*Comment on my Tweet
*Like my Tweet
Contest ends on Saturday, February 11th at 11:59PM PST.
Good luck to everyone entering!!