Interview with Author Anthony Avina

1) Tell us a little bit about yourself. How did you get into writing?

From a young age, say around 12, I always thought writing is what I would end up doing. And it did start that way, writing scripts, adaptations, mostly, while crewing on film and television productions. While I was doing this, I started making short films on the side, and on the strength of one of these, an adaptation of Alistair MacLeod’s short story, ‘The Lost Salt Gift of Blood’, I began directing commercials. From there, I moved into directing and producing extreme sports. It wasn’t until 2012 that I came back to writing, however, this time, instead of scripts, it was narrative fiction and essays. 


2) What inspired you to write your book?

Life changed. And on a very specific day, at 4 am, how I wrote changed. I had been a good writer – paid to write, but this was different. And I began to explore that. This was in 2010. By 2012, I realized, okay, this is it now, this me. And so I started to work on the book, The Fiddler in the Night, but then, a different story idea would come to me, and I’d explore that. And so, that’s what happened, I’d work on the novel, leave it, and write a short story or two, then go back to the novel. While this was happening, one of these other story ideas turned out to be bigger than a short story, and so there I was – writing short stories and two novels. Probably not the most expedient way to write a book, but then again, here I am now, eight years later, with three books done, which to me, I consider to be a trilogy, The Real and the ImaginedThe Fiddler in the Night being Book Two. Torrents of Our Time, the collection of stories, Book One.  

3) What theme or message do you hope readers will take away from your book?

I guess, keep moving forward. Not always easy, and at times, not always possible. But it is the goal. That, and embrace change, when it comes. Listen to it, which often means, finding a deeper level of faith and trust in yourself. 

4) What drew you into this particular genre?

I’ve never thought in terms of genre as a writer. I just write, and try to be a better writer each day. I suppose though, the books I gravitated to as a reader, have influenced me, to a degree, in terms of how I write. Or perhaps, what I write. Although, I side more with Toni Morrison on that question, in that, I think reading, although it can be an influence on a writer, that influence is greatly overestimated.  

5) If you could sit down with any character in your book, what would you ask them, and why?

Oh man …. idk? Rachael, I guess. And I’d ask her – or rather, say to her, please don’t hold it against me that I placed you in such a strange place. Fictional characters that you write – it’s a mystery, really, how they become what they become. And why. But I would certainly want these conversations to be me asking questions, and not the other way around.

6) What social media site has been the most helpful in developing your readership?

Helpful? I’m a social media … if not failure, call it – just not good at it. I’d like to get to the place where I don’t bring the one to the other. 

7) What advice would you give to aspiring or just starting authors out there?

One, there are no absolutes. Nothing is true. And this, especially when you’re young, is so important to understand. Two, it’s going to take a long time, and I don’t care who you are, it just is. And so my advice would be to work somewhere and make as much bank as you can, as quickly as you can, while you first explore writing, and then – take off. Travel, or find a cheap place to live somewhere you love, and go at it, hard. But whatever you do, and this applies only to fiction writers, and those wanting to make a living from fiction, do not give that money to an institution, of any kind. Just don’t. Stay out on your own, and go at it like that … it’s the truest way of getting there, IMO. 

8) What does the future hold in store for you? Any new books/projects on the horizon?

I’m finishing up now, Book Three, tentatively called Isidore, of the trilogy The Real and the Imagined. It’s scheduled to come out in the Spring of 2021. After that, it depends if the world gets back to where it once was, and travel becomes a thing again. If so, with these three books out, I think a bookstores and beaches tour could be in order. Perhaps, stop in and visit with some other artists and writers along the way.


About the Author

Christian Fennell writes literary fiction and essays. His short story collection, Torrents of Our Time, is scheduled to be released by Firenze Books, October 6, 2020. His novel, The Fiddler in the Night, January 2021.

Christian’s short stories and essays have appeared in a number of international magazines, literary journals, and collected works, including: Chaleur Magazine, Litro Magazine, XRAY Literary Magazine, Dreamers Magazine, Spark: A Creative Anthology, Kind Writers Anthology, Liars’ League London, Wilderness House Literary Review, and .Cent Magazine, among others.

Christian was a columnist and the fiction editor at the Prague Revue. He is currently working on his second novel.

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