An Interview with Carizz Cruzem

What is your motivation for writing?

If you don't talk a lot (or "can't" talk), writing is a good way of expressing things. I guess that is motivation enough. But I only started writing stories and poems when I was 18. I'm 24, by the way. Before that, I only wrote about my opinion about things and my hurts. It's probably not good to baby your hurts (hehe).

When I was a kid I wanted to be a scientist. But then, my teacher in grade two laughed at me in front of the whole class and said that I would never become a scientist. Since then, when people asked me what I wanted to be, I just shook my head. Until my teacher in first year high school asked me what I wanted to be. I shook my head as I was accustomed to do. And then she flared at me and said, "What? You reached this age not knowing what you want in life!" So then, I jumped from wanting one profession after another, but never a writer. At least not making a living out of it. I don't think I'm that good .

I don't have a particular mentor or role model. I take corrections and suggestions from anyone giving it to me.

Why do you write Biblical speculative fiction?

Again, complete honesty. I only learn about biblical speculative fiction when I joined Dan Weaver's yahoo group. I didn't even know that fiction have sub-genres. Heck, I thought there are only non-fiction and fiction!

The Christian community has varying opinions on the appropriateness of speculative fiction. Can you explain your take on the compatability between speculative fiction and your Christian worldview?

People can debate about this forever and never reach an agreement. Much has been said about this already. But the preacher's conclusion in Ecclesiastes sums it all up for us nicely. It says that God will bring every work into judgment. We are accountable for what we write. Is God glorified in what I write?

What length of fiction do you prefer to write?

Ok, another honesty. Before I met you guys, I thought my three-pages (8 x 11 paper) short story is long already. I know I know, I'm an ignorant imbecile. I don't think I have the patience to write a novel, so I'm sticking to short stories for a little while.

What writing techniques work best for you in terms of character, plot, setting development?

Hehe. I don't have a writing technique. I just write whatever inspires me. And before I sit in front of the computer and tap tap, I have worked out everything in my mind. Ok, not everything, but the gist and I know the ending already. AND, I do a lot of reading.

Have you had any life experiences that have (positively or negatively) influenced your writing?

Everything in my life influences my writing, whether positive or negative, that I don't know.

Any advice for new writers in general? Christian writers?

Just write!

When do you write?

I usually write when everybody in the house is sound asleep. But I do keep a small notebook and a pen with me all the time. You'll never know when an idea will come.

Do you do any research for your writing?

I do! Extensive internet search. I read a lot of books. I listen to and observe people or the species of the subject I'm writing about. Then I compare. Especially with "Soar on Wings." I had to make sure it was at least possible. It was actually funny. I was torn between the actual intelligence of my character and how to make the readers understand because it was from his point of view. I guess that's why some don't understand the story. That instead of soaring in the wind, it plunges to quick sand.

Who do you think would most likely enjoy your fiction?

I'm not sure. But I guess a crazy writer will draw a crazy crowd (hehe).

Do your stories/novels have any common themes or threads? Do you try to provide a message for your readers?

Now that I had time to think about it, yes, they actually do. It's always about the rejects. I do try to send some message, but often than not, the plot bogs the message down.

What can you tell us about your short story"Soar on Wings" included in Light at the Edge of Darkness?

One day, I was in my mother's eatery shooing flies to keep them from landing on the food. That gave me the idea to write "Soar on Wings." My main motivation in writing this story is to prove that good things can come out from the things we consider ugly in our lives if we allow God to use it for His purposes. To understand the story, you have to think like a fly, which I guess is difficult because no one has been a fly before. But I'd had headaches for days thinking of the best way to capture fly history from my main character's point of view during those nights I was writing the story. Only you can tell if I succeed or not.

And of course, Tito Frank guided me in the process. Have I thanked you yet, Tito Frank?

I still have a lot of things to learn. The more I write, the more I become aware that I know very little about writing. But I love writing. So I guess, even if people doesn't like what I write or even say bad things about what I've written, I'll keep on writing. Plus it helps that I don't fully understand English because I'm not entirely sure what the person meant (hehe).


cyn said...

Thanks Carizz for sharing this with us. I am always interested in writers' research methods and like how your everyday observations come alive in your writing, i.e. "Soar on Wings."

Daniel I Weaver said...

Thanks for sharing, Carizz. It's nice to learn more about everybody. I can only imagine how different life is over-seas, but it's great that we're able to bridge the gap with our fiction. It's all to glorify Him.

God bless,
Daniel I Weaver

chrisd said...

Carizz-I'm sorry I missed this--what an excellent job you did!