Friday, March 8, 2013

The Next Big Thing Blog

I was asked to participate in this blog hop and I'm happy to do it. It sounded like fun, and of course, what author wouldn't want to take the chance to talk about their work? 

What is the working/official title of your book?

My Two Flags. It will be out this month.

Where did the idea come from for the book?

The idea came from some of the experiences I lived throughout my high school years. Since I was learning English as a second language, I started keeping a journal that I'd translate in the hopes of expanding my vocabulary. By my sophomore year, I had compiled a series of plot lines that I wanted to weave into a novel. I'm not known to write with a specific goal in mind, but I did want to offer a glimpse of life as an immigrant, particularly in the beginning. 

What genre does your book come under?

I don't always write with a genre in mind so I'll call this a drama, with a heavy YA undertone.

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

As much as I would love to see a movie version of FLAGS, I don't believe I should look so far ahead. But for the sake of fun, I'll answer as best as I can although I'm not really in tune with the Hollywood or TV scene.
To tell you the truth, since MY TWO FLAGS is set in the late 80's, it's difficult to imagine teen actors with long teased hair, wearing acid wash jeans. I may have an idea of who I would've liked to see play those rolls back when I was that age, but it seems impossible to do now.
I did do a little research and came up with a few characters, but not all of them. 
Once again, I wasn't too keen on casting my novel, but a few friends of mine were quick to fill my inbox with photographs and this is what we compiled, all in the name of fun and big, ginormous dreams.

Kevin Aponte is broody enough to play Antonio (Tony) Amaya as long as he wears brown contacts

I think Ariel Winter would make a great Gloria Espinoza. Her role grows in the second book of the series.

Abigail Breslin comes to mind to play the part of Gabrizia, whose role also grows in the next installment.

Avan Jogia just makes me think of Rex in the story. 

The very lovely Brie Gabrielle would make an ideal Patricia Paris

Bailee Madison as Paola Amaya. She just has such a spark in this shot, just like the little girl she'd portray. 

Oscar Priego would play a perfect Carlos Arellano

Issac Reyes has a lot of the elements I'd look for in the character playing Ramon

And before my brain explodes, we'll do one more. Sara Paxton as Celestyn

Of course I'm leaving out all the grown ups in the story, but since this is a series based in high school, there will be several characters.

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

I've been taking forever to come up with the blurb, but I have this, and only after a lot of help from my honorary Big Sis, C.F. Winn: 

   How does a thirteen year old overcome a language barrier, racial slurs, and bullying while putting on a brave face for his parents who have given up everything to give him a better life? 

Is your book self-published, published by an independent publisher, or represented by an agency?

I'm hoping to make this the first novel for a new independent publisher. I'm still learning the ins and outs of what's involved in it.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?

24 years. My Two Flags is based on the journals I kept all through high school. I always wanted to turn them into something, but I lacked the skill and the courage. I still have a lot to learn, and I don't feel very courageous, but it felt right to finally create this story.

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

I'm not sure about which ones in the same genre. It's getting a little more difficult to cubby-hole a novel, especially a fictionalized memoir. However, Vladimir Nobokov's "Pnin" resonates a little bit. But FLAGS is not as tragic as "Call It Sleep" by Henry Roth. Junot Diaz wrote a novel called "The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao", but my story doesn't exploit the angle of nationalism. 
My novel is more contemporary and many of the situations within, are no longer such a big issue. Racism and bullying were definitely not as prominent in the 80's as they were in earlier decades, but enough that lives were affected.

Who or what inspired you to write this book?

I'd say life itself, particularly the life of the kid I used to see in the mirror.


Thank you Kristi Ayers for inviting me to participate!  
Christina Fifield-Winn will be joining me in blogging "The Next Big Thing" next Friday, March 15th.  

Her blog:


  1. You never cease to impress me, Javier. Thanks for sharing more about yourself and your upcoming release. Great cast, by the way. :)

    1. Thank you, Elise.
      I was forced at virtual and digital gun point to come up with a cast. I don't really know any teen actors and I'd probably starve as a cast director, lol. But, a vision is a vision, right? =)

  2. Great post Javier! I would have a REALLY hard time picking a cast for my book, but mostly because my books are all non-fiction!!! LOL! And I really don't think there is anyone out there who can portray me as I truly am. LOL!!! But your book sounds great! Good luck getting it out there!

    1. I give you credit. I couldn't write non-fiction. I like being able to create my own little universe, despite the lack of control of it.

  3. Great post Javier! What a beautiful looking cast! I look forward to hearing more about your book! -- Luann Robinson Hull xo