As I continue my Featured Writers Series, Ivonne was kind enough to agree to a short interview.
Who are some of your favorite authors?
My favorite novelists are Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Saul Bellow, Toni Morrison. My favorite short story writers are Alice Munro, Flannery O'Connor, Denis Johnson, Ray Carver. These are authors that I enjoy greatly as a reader, and also they are authors that I study as a writer because I greatly admire their work and use it as a springboard and a source of inspiration for my own stories.
What are you currently reading?
I am re-reading Beloved by Toni Morrison and I'm in awe of what she was able to do in that novel. It's a heart-wrenching novel. Slavery seems such a huge subject, and yet she found a way to approach it that does it justice.
How would you define your writing style?
This is a hard question to answer. I would say that my writing style tends to be spare, more on the side of Ray Carver and Hemingway than on the side of Faulkner or other more elaborate stylists. I aspire to writing simply, clearly, and precisely, to evoke emotions that the reader can identify as true and authentic to the situation and the character being portrayed.
What 3 recommendations would you provide to an aspiring author?
My three recommendations to an aspiring writer would be
(1) write, write, write
(2) read, read, read
(3) nurture your gift, believe in it, and as Hemingway said, aspire to write "one true sentence after another." (True in the emotional/ moral sense, not necessarily the factual sense).