David Perlman: Hello Mr.
Ríos. What are your literary influences, and particularly, what other author or works do
you feel are related to "The Secret Lion"?
AR: This is a difficult question to answer, though I am often asked it,
of course. The thing is, I have never felt like I had "literary influences"
myself. I don't feel like I came to writing through books. Rather, I came to books, in a
different way, after my writing began. In this sense, I have always felt that the
world--and particularly my world--was my "literary influence." I have always
written, essentially, about what I know. That said, I have since found many writers that I
feel a kinship to--they seem to have found their way to writing much the way I did. My
favorite writer is Gabriel Garcia Marquez, but there are many, many more writers whose
work I love. I have found a particular affinity with Latin American writers, which is no
surprise. Some of these would include Pablo Neruda, Jorge Luis Borges, Juan Rulfo, and so
on. I also love the work of the Spanish writer Merce Rodoreda and the German writer Gunter
Grass. I could go on and on, but these are the first that come to mind. Secretly I read
Christina Womack: For all the novels I've read, even those written by
world renowned authors, I have most enjoyed the stories that I could relate to, or those
that caused me to look at something or think about something in a new way. Your short
stories and poems have such an effect. I am looking forward to reading more of your works.
I appreciate your idea of an "alphabet" -- how it is not only facts (the ABCs),
but your experiences which influence the way you "read" something, as well as
the double meanings of words. Most people do not even realize the factors that shape their
lives. What I enjoy most about your writing style is that you cause the reader to slow
down and cherish the most simple things or the most subtle experiences in your stories and
poems. Thank you for taking the time to visit with our class.
AR: These are kind words (thank you!) and informed words--I'm very glad
that you both read the work and thought about it.
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