Is East Wells based on any particular town?
East Wells is a blend of several towns outside Philadelphia; far, far outside Philadelphia. These are tiny places with long traditions of hushed, whispered folklore about “gangs.”
I loved all the neat details in “Ana’s Tag.” Can you share some of your sources of inspiration?
Thanks! I took a handful of Irish lore and tried to make it contemporary. Then I smooshed it together with my own mostly-assimilated Latino childhood — but from my little sister’s point of view.
Did this story present any difficulties when writing it?
The exterior circumstances were the most difficult part. I wrote “Ana’s Tag” during my last week at Clarion, a summer-long workshop for SF authors. My brain was whimpering, and my left eyelid twitched the whole time.
Rico and Ana seem to be just at the beginning of their adventures. Do you have any other stories with these characters, or would you consider writing some?
Yes. At least one. Possibly more. But I’ve been distracted by novel deadlines and let my unfinished short stories languish.
What are you working on lately?
I just finished Nomad, the sequel to Ambassador. Both books are about Gabe Sandro Fuentes, the eleven-year-old representative of our planet. Kids would make excellent galactic ambassadors, I think. They have more adaptable communication skills. When and if we finally open diplomatic channels to alien civilizations, we’ll need to get the kids talking.
The next novel will be a ghost story.
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