Today sees the publication of Silvia Moreno-Garcia’s hotly anticipated Signal to Noise. I’ve been looking forward to this one immensely, even including it in my anticipated reads for the first half of the year. Set in Mexico City, partly in 1988 and partly in 2009, the story mixes music and magic, creating a tale of love and identity. I’ll be reading and reviewing the book in the coming week, but for now I present you with an Author Query with Silvia Morena-Garcia. Enjoy and don’t forget to check out Signal to Noise!
Let’s start with the basics. Who is Silvia Moreno-Garcia?
A writer with a duck icon on Twitter.
How would you introduce people to Meche, the main character in Signal to Noise?
She is a music fan, smart and sometimes a bit of a smart ass, but beneath the cynicism she might be a closet romantic.
Signal to Noise is your debut novel, after having already published two collections and numerous short stories. In addition to the obvious difference in word count, what was the most surprising difference between writing a novel and a short story for you?
I do not Google myself every half hour after a short story is released. It’s more like every day.
Signal to Noise is set in Mexico. Your bio on your site says you’re “Mexican by birth, Canadian by inclination.” Was it complicated to write about your mother country in your chosen language, in terms of trying to translate Mexican idiom or sayings into English?
I’ve written a lot of stories set in Mexico so this wasn’t some new snag. You can’t translate literally most of anything and you can just hope to approximate the feeling.
Music is at the core of Signal to Noise. You created a playlist for the novel. Were these songs you already loved before starting the novel or did you discover them during the writing of Signal to Noise?
I grew up in the 80s and my parents had a solid record collection thanks to their radio station jobs, so I know a lot of tunes.
Music and magic are closely intertwined in the book. Which music is pure magic to you?
It changes. I am obsessive and when I like one song or band I will replay the single or album non-stop for days or even weeks.
What’s next for you? Any appearances or conventions planned?
I’ll be at the Storm Crow in Vancouver on March 19 reading from the book. You can hear me speak and get drunk, which is a good combo. I’m a guest at Necronomicon this August in Providence.
Is there something else you’re passionate about other than writing and books?
Learning and reading about obscure historical subject matter. I know a lot of curious facts about eugenics if you care to discuss the subject with someone.
As a book reviewer, I’m all about the book enabling; I can’t help but want to make people read all the good books out there. But I can always use help. What are your top recommendations of books we should look out for in the coming months?
Sorry. I’m a terrible person to answer this question.
Finally, I have to stay true to my roots and ask a librarian question to finish off with: Do you shelve your books alphabetically, by genre or do you have an ingenious system?
We live in a small apartment so I only have two bookcases. One is arranged by color and the other is divided haphazardly between non-fiction and fiction with no particular system.
Bio: Mexican by birth, Canadian by inclination, Silvia Moreno-Garcia lives in beautiful British Columbia with her family and two cats. Her speculative fiction has been collected in This Strange Way of Dying.
Signal to Noise will be her debut novel.