Homer Alvarez has been a member of the Writers’ League of Texas since February of this year. He lives in Austin, Texas.
Scribe: In what genre(s) do you write?
Homer Alvarez: In the past, I’ve written short stories, essays, and poems set in the present day regarding real-world issues. Over time, I have become drawn to science fiction, fantasy, and horror, and my writing these days tends to skew toward these genres. Some of my stories take place in completely different worlds filled with magic, demons, or futuristic technology, while others take place in alternate versions of our own present-day world. I tend to focus on themes of love, loss, and the transitions that occur in people from life, death, and everything that lies in between. It’s not just about epic battles of life and death to save the world, but about the people who remain to pick up the pieces when heroes fall, friends turn into enemies, perceptions are challenged, and the world itself changes around them. The novel I’m currently writing takes place in a fantasy setting, but systems of technology and magic exist side by side with each other.
Scribe: What authors would you like to have coffee or a beer with and which beverage?
HA: I would love to have coffee with Stephen King at least twice, once to discuss On Writing, and another time to discuss the craft behind horror and suspense. I’d have some more coffee (yes, I love coffee) with Anne Rice to pick her brain on description, setting, and the subtleties of sensuality. Finally, I’d have a nice, full glass of red wine with Isabel Allende to talk late into the night about life, death, spirits, and the often unexplainable complexities of grief.
Scribe: If you were stranded on a deserted island, what book would you want to have with you to keep you sane?
HA: I would have a copy of Ready Player One by Ernest Cline. I grew up playing video games, and they’ve always been an escape of sorts (not unlike reading a book). This book has everything I need: video games, ‘80s nostalgia, entertaining characters, an action-packed story, and a hopeful, triumphant ending. It is one of the few books I’ve read that I felt was written specifically for me.
Scribe: What have you learned from your association with the Writers’ League?
HA: I’ve learned that I’m part of one of the most diverse writing communities in the country, and I am not alone. I tend to hole myself up for days and days when I’m writing up a storm, so it’s nice to have a group of people who are in the thick of it with you, who don’t think you’re crazy when you talk about all of the emotional highs and lows that come with the writing process. When I’m feeling great about what I’m writing, they’re there to inspire me and cheer me on. When I’m in a rut and wondering what I’ve gotten myself into, they’re there to support and help me get back on track. There’s a certain comfort I get when I go to a panel or writing class, a feeling of belonging that’s often hard to find in other groups. Even if the topic itself doesn’t necessarily apply to my own writing, I always learn something about the craft from every panel.
Scribe: Where do you see your writing taking you (or you taking it) in the future?
HA: I just want to keep writing and writing. Since I was a child, I’ve had imaginary worlds brewing inside my head, but it never occurred to me to pursue writing as a serious endeavor, let alone a profession. While I kept a journal for most of my adolescent and young adult life, I let writing stories sit on the back burner for years. I was lucky enough to meet a new author at Comic Con a couple of years ago, who inspired me to get back to writing. Now, the floodgates have been opened. I have characters and stories popping up in my head every day, and I have to keep notepads everywhere to get it all down before it disappears from my memory. I’d love to have my first novel published within the next couple of years. And since I’m dreaming big, sure, I’d love to see my books flying off the shelves and people making movies out of them. Until then, though, I’m just going to keep telling stories and hoping others will want to read them.
Scribe: Is there anything else about you that you would like to share with the world? An opportunity for blatant self-promotion!
HA: Since a lot my work is highly influenced by geek and gaming culture, I often spend time attending and volunteering for geek and gaming conventions in the area. I love the connections I make with the people I meet there who love these genres and media as much as I do. So if you’re into geek culture, gaming, or sci-fi, please come up and say hi if you see me!