On the art of Writing


I do not fear the day I run out of inspiration. I have enough to do for the next ten years without having to think of anything else to write. By then, trust me, I will have new material.

I do not consider myself as an ethnic writer. I think of myself as a writer. I write about people. People are the same. I have had letters from all over the world and people tell me how much my books remind them of their ancestors.

I portray the Mexican-American in a good light, as a human being just as human as anyone else. I also portray him with dignity, the same dignity that all mankind possesses.

A writer's job is to depict life and its events in the way he sees them. A writer like myself sees things different than the normal person. The writer, as an artist, is very much in tune with everything going on around him. He feels what others do not feel. He sees what others do not see. Consequently, it is very hard to live with a novelist. One goes through so many moods in such a short time that it must be taxing to those around him. Ask my wife.

I consider it an honor to have been born a Mexican American. I love the culture and its use of humor to shield it from adversity and prejudice. We have a lot of fun. We are not puritanical in any sense of the word.

My job as a writer is to try with all the talent I have to make every novel I write a classic. The important thing for a writer is what he leaves behind. It must be good. Nothing else matters.

When I write I look for the usual, the common, in life and try to extract from it the emotions of the people. Even the most insignificant happening can be used to show the human condition.

The person that writes and the person that I am are two different people. You will never see or talk to the writing me. That person is me under the influence of writing and I am alone in a different world. I am not the same as the person you talk to on a daily basis. That is another person also. Who the real me is, I don't know.

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