Please welcome Silvia Moreno-Garcia to The Qwillery as part of the 2015 Debut Author Challenge Interviews. Signal to Noise was published on February 10th by Solaris Books.
TQ: Welcome to The Qwillery. When and why did you start writing?
Silvia: In a serious way I started writing nine years ago and wrote short fiction exclusively for about four years. I had written as a child and a teenager but it was all terrible, so it wasn’t until 2006 that I wrote anything that was in decent shape.
Why? writers are narcissists so it must be a deep-rooted desire for attention.
TQ: Are you a plotter or a pantser?
Silvia: I can’t work on a novel if I don’t have an idea of what is going to happen, but that doesn’t mean a well-defined chapter-by-chapter breakdown.
TQ: What is the most challenging thing for you about writing?
Silvia: Finding the time to do it. I have a full-time job, I’m completing a Master’s degree part-time, I have two small children and my husband would like to have a conversation with me once in a while (as husbands do). Gotta make room for everything.
TQ: Who are some of your literary influences? Favorite authors?
Silvia: I can never answer this question properly so I’ll pass.
TQ: Describe Signal to Noise in 140 characters or less.
Silvia: A novel of music, magic and Mexico City.
TQ: Tell us something about Signal to Noise that is not in the book description.
Silvia: It’s half-coming of age, half mystery in a way.
TQ: What inspired you to write Signal to Noise? Why did you set the novel in Mexico City? Do you have any favorite 80s songs and/or groups?
Silvia: My parents both worked in radio in the 80s and I grew up with a lot of records around me. I’ve set a lot of short stories in Mexico City. I like to write what I know.“Love Will Tear us Apart” by Joy Division is the best song of the 80s.
TQ: What sort of research did you do for Signal to Noise?
Silvia: I know the time period, so even though I had to check some data it wasn’t an alien setting for me. I grew up in that place, on that street.
TQ: Who was the easiest character to write and why? The hardest and why?
Silvia: Meche tends to dominate narrative so I suppose I was fond of her voice. I don’t know if that means she was easy or hard to write.
TQ: Which question about Signal to Noise do you wish someone would ask? Ask it and answer it!
Silvia: I don’t think anyone so far has asked me how I feel about releasing my first novel. I refresh Goodreads every half hour and I obsessively Google myself.
TQ: Give us one or two of your favorite non-spoilery lines from Signal to Noise.
Silvia: She wanted pain and loneliness and everyone to stop talking and Sebastian and no one, all at the same time.
TQ: What's next?
Silvia: I’ve written a novel about drug lord vampires in Mexico City, so hopefully my agent can find someone to buy that. I’m working on what should be my third novel and editing a Lovecraftian anthology with stories by women.
TQ: Thank you for joining us at The Qwillery.
Signal to Noise
Solaris, February 10, 2015
Trade Paperback and eBook, 272 pages
A literary fantasy about love, music and sorcery, set against the background of Mexico City.
Mexico City, 1988: Long before iTunes or MP3s, you said “I love you” with a mixtape.
Meche, awkward and fifteen, has two equally unhip friends -- Sebastian and Daniela -- and a whole lot of vinyl records to keep her company. When she discovers how to cast spells using music, the future looks brighter for the trio. With help from this newfound magic, the three friends will piece together their broken families, change their status as non-entities, and maybe even find love...
Mexico City, 2009: Two decades after abandoning the metropolis, Meche returns for her estranged father’s funeral.
It’s hard enough to cope with her family, but then she runs into Sebastian, and it revives memories from her childhood she thought she buried a long time ago. What really happened back then? What precipitated the bitter falling out with her father? And, is there any magic left?
Mexican by birth, Canadian by inclination, Silvia Moreno-Garcia lives in beautiful British Columbia with her family and two cats. Her speculative fiction has been collected in This Strange Way of Dying.