Interview with Marcelo Medone

Marcelo Medone

Marcelo Medone (Buenos Aires, Argentina, 1961) is a medical doctor, lyric tenor singer, painter, journalist, fiction writer, poet and screenwriter. His fiction and poetry has received awards and has been published in reviews and editions in various languages in more than 20 countries, in Latin America, USA, Canada, Spain, France, Nigeria, India and Australia. He currently lives in San Fernando, on the outskirts of Buenos Aires.


Bio:

I was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, in 1961 and was raised in nearby Montevideo,
Uruguay, where I resided till I was 27, when I moved back to Buenos Aires. (I have dual
citizenship: Argentinian and Uruguayan.) I started writing and became a journalist in
Montevideo, working for newspapers and magazines and also on radio. I studied and
became a Medical Doctor in Uruguay and I specialized in Pediatrics in Argentina. I
married, had three children and got divorced. I started singing as a tenor in choirs, studied
cinematography and became a screenwriter, then I dedicated myself to painting. Now I
continue singing, painting, writing and cherishing my children. I currently live in San
Fernando, on the outskirts of Buenos Aires.

What is your greatest accomplishment as a writer so far?

In 2009 I earned my first international writing prize with my book “Nada menos que
Juan” (“Nothing Less than Juan”), that was published in Spanish in most of Latin
America, and in Portuguese for the Brazilian market. Since then, I have been published
more than a hundred times in 27 countries, in various languages, thanks to the fact that I
write in English, Portuguese and French in addition to Spanish. The list of places include
Argentina, Cuba, Puerto Rico, Mexico, Canada, Spain, France, England, Nigeria, India
and Australia, as well as California, Texas, Illinois and now Arizona in the United States.
Most of these publications are flash fiction and short stories, but my poetry has been
published in 10 countries, so far.

Why do you write?

It is the same urgency that I have with singing or painting. I want to express myself and
produce something that I presume beautiful out of nothing. I read a lot (mostly books in
Spanish and English) and I also watch a lot of movies. And very often I find masterpieces
that inspire me or, on the other hand, good ideas badly executed that trigger my own
writings, in short fiction, poetry or even screenwriting.

What is your writing process? (Any favorite places to write? Any interesting quirks,
traditions, or rituals you may have? How many times might you revise something
before being satisfied with it? Besides you, does anyone else edit your work? Etc.)

I try to write every day, even when I’m on call at the hospital or in my private office,
making annotations in medical prescription pads. I devote three days a week to my
medical profession and four days to writing. Sometimes a story or a poem comes right
away, but most often I read it and revise it many times until I know that it is good
enough, even along many weeks or months. I write in my notebook and keep many of the
intermediate or alternate versions of my writings. Sometimes a short story has two or
three different endings. Sometimes I take a short screen script I have written long ago and transform it in a story or a chapter of a novel. There are some editors that help me but
only when I am sending material to be published with them. In the last two decades, I
participated in many literary workshops as a member. Since 2019, I take part in the
literary workshop coordinated by a great writer, editor and friend of mine named Sergio
Gaut vel Hartman (you can Google him). I upload some of the stories to his workshop
and we discuss them, which often results in better versions.

Do you have anyone (friends, relatives, etc.) review your works before you publish
them?

I live alone and, besides the literary workshop, I rarely ask for a second opinion. When I
send a story or a poem to a magazine or to an editor and it is eventually rejected, I revise
it and try to find a reason for the rejection. Sometimes I rewrite it for better. Other times,
I find a most situable destination for it.

Could you give us an idea of your upcoming works without spoiling anything?

So far, I have written four novels that remain unpublished, the last, a thriller titled
“Wolves and Rabbits”. And I am now writing what I am sure it will be my best novel,
titled “Open Ties”, in which each chapter may function as a separate story, but all
together they constitute a coherent whole, in the style of the great collection of stories
“The Burning Plain” by Mexican Juan Rulfo, one of my favorite authors, alongside Jorge
Luis Borges, Julio Cortázar, Gabriel García Márquez, Mario Levrero and Ernest
Hemingway. And I have finished my last feature film script titled “After the Tremor”, in
which a low intensity earthquake shakes a great city and as a consequence a series of
stories intermingle in unexpected ways. Its tagline is “Do you need an earthquake to get
your life shaken?” I have registered the script and I am actively looking for producers.

Do you have any writing events coming up? For example: something being
published/released? A reading of one of your works? Interviews? Any speeches or
talks?

I’ve been interviewed many times in the past, for literary and cultural magazines,
newspapers, and radio programs, and participated in various speeches in book fairs or
most recently in teleconferences by Zoom or Google Meet. I have more than fifty works
awaiting verdict in contests around the world and a dozen waiting to be published in the
next months.

What do you hope to achieve as a writer?

I hope to find an original way of telling the same old stories, the same old themes that
have always moved human beings: love, hatred, power, blood ties and the desire to
transcend death. I always have new projects in mind and I believe that my best work is
yet to be written.

What do you think of bad reviews? Are they helpful or harmful to you?

I’ve always had good reviews. Or maybe I was lucky enough for not finding the bad
ones.

What advice do you have for novice writers?

Read a lot and varied. Read books with good and bad reviews, but always with a critical
eye. Write every day, even half an hour. And read out loud what you write, whenever it is
possible. You learn to write by writing, revising and correcting what you have written.

What do you feel are the most important resources a writer can use?

If you are smart enough, you can decode the process of writing of the best well-known
writers in your language or in good translations and find a way to assimilate it to your
writing. This, as for the form. Then, you must observe everything around you as if you’ve
never seen it before and register the little details that may inspire you and give credibility
to your ideas. And use your imagination.

Where can people find out more about you and your writing? (web sites, social
media, etc.)

My short fiction, stories and poems are scattered among a large number of anthologies
and magazines around the world, mostly in Spanish. “101 Words”, in Berkeley, has
published me twice so far. Besides, you can find some more by visiting me on social
media: Facebook: Marcelo Medone / Instagram: @marcelomedone


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