Find below the link to my interview with Falsaria about Blue Rose. Since the interview is in Spanish, I have added a translation as well.
Good morning, Isabel. Blue Rose is your new book, a drama in verse that tells the story of Celestia, a blue rose that was born from Moon tears, and Jordan, a Don Juan gardener who sets his mind on her; all this is set within the romance between the Moon and the Sun, where the Sea has an antagonistic role. What do you like most about writing poetry and what do you find most difficult?
Good morning. For me, writing poetry is a need, an impetus. I have fun playing with its elements but, most of all, I love the sense of liberation after a poem is finished. The hardest thing is to explain the work.
At what point did you begin to write Blue Rose? Was it a long and arduous process?
I wrote the first four poems of Blue Rose in 2011; However, I had to interrupt the project until the summer of 2017, when I was able to resume this adventure and write the rest of the book.
The process was a very engaging challenge: every character uses a type of versification according to their personality (the Sun is sumptuous, the Wind is free, Jordan is playful…). The only real struggle was to find the time to sit and write.
The legends of the impossible love between the sun and the moon are almost as old as the world and they are part of mythology. Why did you choose this story as the trigger? What is that caught your attention?
I have always felt some fascination with the moon: “she” is elegant, silvery and melancholic. It happened that, under a full moon, I was searching trivia about roses and I read that the blue rose symbolizes the impossible, because it does not grow naturally. Both ideas, the peculiarity of the blue rose and the apparent sadness of the moon, converged in this story.
In Blue rose, natural elements are the protagonists and they represent love, rage, revenge, youth mistakes and fate. Which of these essential themes did you want to reflect in this book?
Indeed. The main characters are allegories of the universal themes that you have named. Among these, I would highlight the innocence of youth, embodied by Celestia, and the power of fate. Celestia has always lived protected in a rose bush and that is all she knows. Her weakness and her virtue are the same thing.
An Icy Inferno is the title of your previous book of poems. Tell us a little bit about it. What did this first publication mean to you?
The style of one and the other is very different. An Icy Inferno is a scream in verse. It consists of a collection of poems organized around a fictional life and explores varied themes like bullying, sexism, loss, nostalgia… It was published in 2015 and it has a special meaning to me for being the first one. I have written all my life, but when An Icy Inferno was born, I could finally affirm “I am a writer”.
You started to write when you were very little. Do you remember your first poem and what was it about?
When I was little, my aunts gave me a beautiful book of poems that I learned by heart. Afterwards, they gave me a blank journal so I could start writing my own.
I do not exactly remember my first poem, but I do remember one that had a great impact on later poems: we had read a fragment of “Notes”, Poems over the Olive Grove (Antonio Machado), in the primary class, and our teacher encouraged us to add one stanza based on the structure. I remember that the exercise began like this: “I open the window of the cathedral to…”. When I finished that one, I decided to “open more windows” and I wrote one stanza per rooms in my house. It was very simple and innocent, but I was very proud of it and it occupied a place of honor in my journal.
Since you took those first steps, how have you trained yourself? Are you self-taught, do you attend workshops?
Since that scholar experience, I started to write my diary in verse. I wrote poems about my day to day through a cipher that I created. Over the years, I decided to rescue most of those poems, analyze them, and polish them. I kept evolving and gaining confidence until I dared to share them.
I am self-taught, even though I have had very good Spanish Language and Literature teachers, as well as a family who has instilled in me the love for books.
Which are your routines and fixations in writing? What do you do in those moments of block?
I face poetry and novel in a different way, but in both cases, I always have several dictionaries close by.
My poems are handwritten, they come to my mind whenever and wherever, as long as I have a pencil and a piece of paper available. I have never experienced a block with poetry; on the contrary, I impose that block myself when I don’t have time to write.
The novel requires more time, organization, determination and research; I type the chapters, while the prior process is both typed and handwritten. If I block, I read tips from other writers or I do a different activity in order to switch off.
What authors do you usually read and which ones have influenced you?
My taste is definitely eclectic, which translates into very mixed and changing influences. Some of the poets that I like reading are Gustavo Adolfo Bécquer, Miguel Hernández, Rubén Darío, Pablo Neruda and Quevedo. I have mixed feelings about Sylvia Plath but I consider her one of my influences in An Icy Inferno.
With regard to drama, I choose Calderón and Zorrilla. I venture to include Don Juan Tenorio as one of the influences in Blue Rose, not only for the theatrical air of this work, but for the parallelism between the protagonists.
The novel that I have read most often is Wuthering Heights (Emily Brontë), I love The Life of Lazarillo de Tormes, Victorian and Gothic literature, Jane Austen, J.K. Rowling… I am currently re-reading Don Quixote.
Are you a Falsaria user (and a user of similar platforms where authors can share their writings and vote for other members?) What is your experience like? Do you recommend these sites?
Yes, I am a recent Falsaria member and I follow other platforms to share works and opinions. I wish I had known about them earlier! I am currently exploring them and discovering all their potential. I believe that they are a fantastic idea for both readers and authors. Until now, my experience is very positive and, of course, I recommend them.
With Blue Rose released, what other works will we discover in the future?
My most immediate projects are my first novel and polish the details of An Icy Inferno (English edition of Infierno Helado), which will be translated by Becca Neel and illustrated by several artists. Besides, I am carrying out a selection of poems for my next poetry book. I have a few more projects in my mind that I will be announcing in my website. Meanwhile, I will resume the series of “Geographic Poems” that I weekly post in my blog.