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Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Interview with an Inkshares Author



by Ricardo Henriquez


Ricardo Henriquez’s first book in his dark fantasy/horror series of the same name, The Catcher's Trap was inspired by the author’s own struggles with depression from adolescence to adulthood, coming out as gay, and his experience immigrating into the United States.  

Perfect for fans of Neil Gaiman, The Catcher’s Trap is an enthralling, expansive
tale replete with its own inventive mythologies. Christine Bucci-Caprilozzi, Senior Editor at Horror News Network says, “The Catcher's Trap sucks the reader into a vortex of suspense, sarcasm, and stunning detail that is both captivating and thrilling. The novel will engage both horror and non-horror fans, with a read that is more than meets the eye.”

1.       What inspired you to write your book? After a very dark episode in my life, dealing with crippling anxiety and depression I decided I wanted to share that experience, but I didn’t just want to tell my story, I wanted people to truly experience the feelings that consume those of us who deal with depression. The world of The Catcher’s Trap is my attempt to transform those feelings into physical, tangible things. Every wall, every light, every character in the The Mist (the world where the book takes place) is a physical manifestation of the struggle I went through. But the book is not only about those demons; it is about the fight. What inspired me to write it; what allowed me to write The Catcher’s Trap is the fact that I gathered the necessary strength to fight to get my life back. That is the real source of inspiration for the book.

2.       What is it about? The Catcher’s Trap is the story of Andres, a young latino man fighting for his sanity and his freedom. Andres lives a life plagued by depression and anxiety. Just as he is about to give up hope, he meets a charismatic stranger named Roman. Andres follows Roman and his friends to an underground party in Queens. Soon it becomes clear that something is amiss—but by the time Andres notices the strange creatures lurking in the shadows, it is too late.  Kidnapped by Roman and his crew, Andres finds himself in The Mist, a supernatural world where darkness and deceit prevail. There he is enslaved and forced to work the fields, every day undergoing a new and brutal torture. Then his only chance of survival is to face his own suffering and confront the demons within and around him.

3.       What do you hope will be the everlasting thoughts for readers who finish your book? I want people to feel like they just got off a great rollercoaster. I want their hearts pumping hard. I want readers to be excited and a little scared. I want them to be happy and asking for more. And if I have done my job right, I want people to feel empowered to fight any demon life throws at them.

4.       What advice do you have for writers? Write. Find the time, find the space and write. Get that story bubbling inside of you into a piece of paper and share it with the world. I think a common mistake for new writers like me is overthinking the writing process. For years I delayed writing my novel because I thought I didn’t have the time, or the right environment to write, or even the right laptop. I wrote The Catcher’s Trap at 5 am every day, sitting on a couch, with an old laptop. At some point, I realized that the right conditions were never going to happen, and I had to just deal with what I had if I wanted my novel to ever see the light.

5.       Where do you think the book publishing industry is heading? I think we are living in a very interesting time for publishing. The exponential growth of self-publishing and the birth of Inkshares show that there were thousands of people eager to share great stories which were being ignored by the traditional publishing industry. I believe that the publishing industry will continue to evolve and become more democratic, and that is a great thing. We need to reduce the number of gatekeepers and encourage creativity and diverse writing to flourish. In the coming years, alternative ways of publishing will continue to grow and thrive.

6.       What challenges did you have in writing your book?  Finding the time to write and the confidence to tell my story were my biggest challenges. Like most new authors I have a full-time job and family responsibilities. Finding the time to write and sticking to it required a kind of discipline I had to learn. Writing every day no matter what was going on in my life was a habit hard to adopt.

A great lesson I learned during this time was that any writing was better than not writing at all. I scheduled an hour and a half every day to write my novel, and I came to the realization that it didn’t matter if I had a great day and wrote 2 thousand words or if I had a bad day and only wrote 200. What mattered was that my story was moving forward.

The confidence issue is something I think many authors face. I questioned many times –and sometimes I still do— the quality of my story, the quality of my writing and even my right to tell the story.

English is not my first language, so it was natural for me to doubt my ability to write a work of fiction in a language that I had learned only 15 years ago. It took many words of encouragement from friends and strangers to gain the confidence to finish and share this book.

7.       If people can only buy one book this month, why should it be yours? The Catcher’s Trap is a journey worth taking. The book was written with the intention of taking the reader on an emotional ride that is fun, scary, violent but, most of all, empowering. Even though this is a fantasy novel I was set on making sure the characters went through very real struggles; struggles that I believe most people can identify with. The Catcher’s Trap also challenges your imagination, presenting the reader with a world full of contradictions. Beauty and darkness intertwine in the world of The Mist and create an intriguing setting that, I’ve been told, leaves the readers wanting to know more.

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Brian Feinblum’s views, opinions, and ideas expressed in this blog are his alone and not that of his employer. You can follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at brianfeinblum@gmail.com. He feels more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog © 2016


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