Since I always think in terms of whole books, I had the idea to write a series of short stories that would be interrelated in some way. From there each story started with a different seed –an image, a snippet of a dream, something I once saw when travelling abroad, or a random memory. The characters in these stories are not related in any obvious way, though I had a secret back story that related them all together in one way or another. If you read closely you will find a Mexican priest (a character only mentioned in passing) from the 1930’s showing up 40 years later in another story in Berkeley, California, and a few other things like that. Otherwise the stories play with some of the same themes, share elements of magic and humor, and bring the reader to many different countries and eras. The title story is the only story that is based on a real person, my maternal grandmother, who loved through food, and who felt a deep dismay that her daughter and granddaughter were vegetarians.
My first three books, all self-published, were graphic novels. I have always liked text and image together, and wanted to include a visual element in For the Love of Meat, even though the stories are regular prose. I wanted that visual to be subtle and something that would enhance the mood of the stories, the internal landscape, rather than literally represent the content. As such, the images are sometimes surreal and usually random.
Erika Lunder, from Raincloud Press, read my three first books and approached me to talk about Raincloud becoming my publisher, starting with one of those graphic novels in 2014, Siberiak, My Cold War Adventure on the River Ob. Raincloud is releasing another one of my graphic novels this year, Spot 12, Five Months in the Neo-Natal ICU, along with For the Love of Meat.
She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Creative Writing from The Evergreen State College, a Master of Arts in Hispanic Literatures from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. She is a certified interpreter and translator, and has taught Spanish at three universities. She is the author and illustrator of three graphic memoirs. For the Love of Meat is her first book of fiction.