With the cover declaring it, “A short story collection of nightmares, dreams, desires & visions of the Chicana experience,” you might think you have all the information you need about V. Castro’s new short story collection, Mestiza Blood (hardcover, paperback, Kindle). But as you’ll learn from the following email interview with Castro, there’s more to this collection than you might expect.
To start, the cover of Mestiza Blood says it’s “A short story collection of nightmares, dreams, desires & visions of the Chicana experience.” Why did you decide to do an entire collection of these kind of stories as opposed to one with a different theme or no theme at all?
I have no real concrete answer for that except I’ve gone my whole life hearing folklore and urban legends. They fascinated me and I wondered where they came from. Many of these stories I wrote because they formed in my mind from a few personal experiences, and I felt to compelled to write them down with a folkloric and urban legend slant. Before I knew it, I had a collection.
Aside from having to fit the theme, what other parameters did the stories in Mestiza Blood have to fit?
The book wasn’t created until I had a volume of stories to fill a book.
And then what genres do these stories fall under?
I would say they are solidly horror and a bit erotic horror.
Mestiza Blood is not your first published book. Are any of the stories in Mestiza Blood connected to any of your novels?
They are all unique and stand alone.
Are there any writers who you see as having a particular big influence on either specific stories in Mestiza Blood or on this collection as a whole, but not on any of your previous work?
There are two stories featuring the creature La Lechuza. It has the face of a witch and body of an owl in the original folktale, however, I wanted to re-invent who and what La Lechuza is. I think nightmares can be of one thing but manifest differently for different people. We all experience horror in different ways.
How about non-literary influences; are any of the stories in Mestiza Blood influenced by any movies, TV shows, or games?
I could go on forever! There are zombies (Night Of The Living Dead), half human and half other (Nightbreed), and urban legends (Candyman).
Speaking of movies, along with Mestiza Blood you have another book coming out October 25, Aliens: Vasquez, which is about Vasquez from the movie Aliens. Aside from being about her, what else is Aliens: Vasquez about?
This will give you a fleshed out version of her life based on existing canon before the mission on Aliens. I continue her legacy through her children.
Sticking with the movie stuff, Hollywood loves turning short stories into movies. Do you think any of the stories in Mestiza Blood could work as a movie?
I think any of the stories in Mestiza Blood would make excellent films. But my dream would be a Creep Show style feature with many of the stories brought to the screen. CALL ME SHUDDER!!
My novel The Queen Of The Cicadas would also make a fantastic film or limited series. Both books are fresh with an exciting twist on horror.
As I mentioned earlier, Mestiza Blood is a collection centered around “…the Chicana experience.” I am not Chicana; I am a white male. What do you think someone like me will get out of reading Mestiza Blood? Or, more to the point, what do you hope I will get out of it?
Something you have never experienced before.
Fair enough. So, is there anything else you think people need to know about Mestiza Blood?
It is a wild ride of creatures and tales you probably never heard of before (Donkey Lady Bridge). Expect the unexpected.
Finally, if someone enjoys Mestiza Blood, which of your other books would you suggest they read next?