Q&A With Xochitl Gonzalez
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Q&A With Xochitl Gonzalez
Tonight I’m doing a Q&A with Xochitl Gonzalez. Xochitl Gonzalez is a screenwriter and producer as well as an author. That is quite an impressive list. This year Xochitl released her debut novel “Olga Dies Dreaming”.
Q: So Xochitl at what point in your life did you realize you wanted to become a writer?
A: I was raised by my working grandparents and I spent a lot of my childhood reading at my local library, imagining so many different worlds and such complicated characters. So the dream of being a writer was always there, latent, but it wasn’t until I turned 40 that I decided to pivot, sell my demanding event planning business, and get a 9-to-5 so that I could actually have a bit of structure and spare time to write. Many things scaffolded together during that ‘milestone’ but mainly it was both my grandmother’s passing and one of my best friends, who died at 35, at work after a bad performance review, that really forced me to reevaluate my life and what I really wanted to do.
Q: Which scenes were your favorites to write in “Olga Dies Dreaming”?
A: I loved writing Olga’s return to Sunset Park because it’s such a special moment for her to reconnect with home and for the readers to connect with the old and new South Brooklyn in a unique way.
And I just love when she meets Matteo. They speak each other’s language and their spark feels just like home.
Q: Which shows and movies did you write scripts and produce?
A: I wrote and co-executive produced a pilot episode based on Olga Dies Dreaming with 20th Television. We’re fighting to get a series but it’s just all a bit slower than we’d like.
As for other projects, I really can’t disclose much! I’ve had exciting meetings about beautiful upcoming projects, but again, there’s still some moves that have to happen before anything is solidified.
Q: What were your favorite novels you read this year so far?
A: My Government Means to Kill Me by Rasheed Newson, Neruda in The Park by Cleyvis Natera, Why Didn’t You Tell Me? by Carmen Rita-Wong. Also the forthcoming Maame by Jessica George and A Country You Can Leave by Asale Angel-Ajani – SO so good!
Q: What advice do you give to someone who wants to be a writer?
A: I believe that even when life stops us from physically typing, we can be writing our novels in our minds, so don’t let the frustration of the former stop you from working on the latter.
Q: What advice do you give to someone who struggles with writers block?
A: Take a walk. Go to sleep. Work on something else. Don’t force it.
Q: Are you writing a new novel now? If so can you spoil a little bit about it?
A: I am working on my second novel, which is a fictionalized retelling based on the life, death, and after-death of a Latina artist from the 80s. It’s braided with a campus novel that explores themes about erasure, belonging, power dynamics, artistic relationships, and creativity