Friday, March 30, 2012

The Twelfth Falcon, by Enrico Antiporda

Here at Fresh Pot of Tea, we are always looking for a great new book and talented authors. I struck gold when I first met Enrico Antiporda online. Not only is he a very supportive friend, but he is an extremely talented author in his own right.

 His new book is The Twelfth Falcon, and for those of you who love thrillers but are tired of stereotyped characters, he has subtitled his book A Character Driven Mystery Thriller.
Welcome to Fresh Pot of Tea, Enrico! Could you please tell about your book, The Twelfth Falcon, and give us some insights into your inspiration? 
As you may know from my previous books, The Band of Gypsies and A Light in the Cane Fields, I normally write mainstream literary fiction. Though I read a lot of mysteries and thrillers for entertainment value, this is the first time I've ventured to actually writing one. A politics of bickering and hate currently exist in Washington.  People are disgusted with politicians but are helpless to do anything about it. My idea started as a what if.  What if something really heinous is being plotted against the country and terrible things happen? And what if out these terrible events, a major change actually occurs and something fantastic comes out of it?
Though The Twelfth Falcon sounds like a political thriller, it really isn't one. The majority of the scenes (about 80%) occur in the heartland, specifically in Texas and Arizona, a series of localized events that consequently unearth a bigger plot that eventually leads the protagonist toward a climactic confrontation with a group of powerful people. Most of the scenes revolve around the protagonist in local settings as he tries to survive a manhunt by an extremist militia group and at the same time attempts to expose the conspiracy.
Could you please tell us a bit about yourself?
I grew up in Manila, spent two years as a university exchange intern in Bilbao, Spain, and came to the U.S. as a foreign exchange intern for a program called AIESEC.  I read a lot of books, so writing was a natural segue for me. My inspiration to become a writer came from John Grisham. In one of his novels, the Author's Note stated that he started by writing a page a day.  He reasoned that in a year, he would have written a 365-page novel. I tried it, and it actually worked. Soon, I was writing five to six pages a day. My journey as a writer has been long, and filled with successes and setbacks.  I independently published The Band of Gypsies in 2000, long before Kindle and CreateSpace came into the picture. The book received rave editorial reviews from magazines and newspapers which allowed me to do book readings in many Borders and Barnes and Noble locations. 
Manila skyline

With the advent of E-books, the paradigm is changing. It is becoming more of a reader-driven marketplace. Commercial publishers are becoming more irrelevant since they just get in the way of good books getting to the marketplace (because of their focus on profits).  But there is one truth that we writers must be mindful of in this new marketplace: Write a bad book and the readers will not come back to you.  Write good ones and they will come back for more.
Your book is a thriller. Often thrillers use stereotyped characters, but yours is subtitled “Character-driven.” Could you describe some of the characters and their growth in the book?
Yes, a lot of thrillers have stereo-typed characters, which is why I hesitated to write one.  But then, you have thrillers like The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, which has a really unique character in Lisbeth Salander.  I told myself that if I'm going to write a thriller, I want a protagonist that has depth.  I want him to have flaws, to be conflicted, but at the same time, possess truly admirable qualities and intentions.  In the case of my protagonist, he secretly witnesses his father participate in the murder of a Mexican migrant worker by a group of white supremacists. This event haunts him throughout his childhood.  He grows up conflicted and with divided loyalties. He desperately wants to escape the shackles of his past. But to do so, a life-altering event must happen that propels him in that direction.  In his case, the event is the discovery of a catastrophic conspiracy that he must stop at the risk of losing his own life.  The changes he undergoes are monumental, and reveal the inner beauty of his true character.
Who do you think would really enjoy reading The Twelfth Falcon? And where can they find the book? 
People who like mysteries and traditional thrillers will enjoy this book as well as those looking for an entertaining read.  I wrote the scenes with quick pacing that resemble movies like Bourne Identity but at the same time giving the characters depth so the reader gets the best of both worlds.  I wouldn't call it a literary thriller, but it sure gets close to that. TheTwelfth Falcon has just been released on Kindle. The paperback version is coming out in a month from Blue Owl Editions.
Your former book, The Band of Gypsies, has settings that are very exotic but also extremely realistic. I was impressed by your breadth of historic knowledge of those locales. How do you research a setting for a book?
I lived in Spain's Basque Country as a foreign intern for a couple of years, so the book is 33% autobiographical. The turbulent situation in Northern Spain involving the Basque secessionists is real, as well as the mass demonstrations and the threat of ETA assassinations bombings. Like the novel, I lived in a flat with a group of foreign interns from Norway, France, Sweden, Brazil, Venezuela, Poland, etc. so the setting was inspired by facts. From these fact-inspired situations and settings, I wrote the story's plot and trajectory. It is a literary novel that features a touching love story between two people of different cultures. It is also a relationship marred by their tragic pasts that is further complicated by the tumultuous the setting.
Basque Country, Spain

What is your next project? 
I actually have two projects going. I'm doing the final edits to Iberian Nights, the sequel to The Band of Gypsies. The seething adventures of Jaime and Allison move to sultry Andalucia, Spain. The book will come out late this year.
I am also working on a memoir about me and my cat, a story about how I used to dislike animals when I was growing up and came to be an avid animal lover. My cat, Kitty, passed away of renal failure, which was very traumatic for me and my wife. The book is in honor of Kitty.  The first draft is done but I have a lot of rewriting to do.
And of course, there is my literary novel A Light in the Cane Fields that just missed a thumbs up in the final acquisition meetings at Random House and Henry Holt. Sigh. If my agent asks me to do some changes, it may delay the cat book.
Thank you so much for  visiting!
 You can find Enrico on Facebook.

1 comment:

Margitte said...

This is a wonderful interview! I have just started my blog and "A Light in the Cane Fields" is the first book I wanted to add to it. Since reading the book I have read numerous others, but Enrico Antiporda's book is undoubtedly one of the best I have read.