Silvio Sirias’s most recent novel is The Saint of Santa Fe (Anaphora Literary Press). He is also the author of Bernardo and the Virgin (2005) and Meet Me under the Ceiba (2009), winner of the Chicano/Latino Literary Prize for Best Novel. In addition, he is the author of a collection of essays titled Love Made Visible: Reflections on Writing, Teaching, and Other Distractions. The Routledge Companion to Latino/a Literature lists him among the handful of authors who are introducing Central American themes into the U.S. literary landscape.
Purchase The Saint of Santa Fe on Amazon.
Thank you for your time in answering our questions about getting published. Let’s begin by having you explain to us why you decided to become an author and pen this book?
Author: I have wanted to be a writer since adolescence, but I was afraid to commit to such a gargantuan task. I did, however, study literature in earnest, eventually obtaining a doctorate in Spanish. After publishing several academic books, dealing with literary criticism, I decided to try my hand at fiction. It is the best decision I’ve ever made. The reason I wrote The Saint of Santa Fe is because the story of Father Hector Gallego’s life and sacrifice in a remote area of Panama hijacked my imagination and wouldn’t let go.
Is this your first book?
Author: The Saint of Santa Fe is the seventh book I’ve published, third novel.
With this particular book, how did you publish – traditional, small press, Indie, etc. – and why did you choose this method?
Author: All my books have been with university presses, except The Saint of Santa Fe. I chose to go with Anaphora Literary Press, a small, independent publisher with a university press feel.
Can you tell us a little about your publishing journey? The pros and cons?
Author: It has been quite a learning experience. My novels have a niche among those who enjoy U.S. Latino literature, but they yet to make agents salivate at the prospect of earning large commissions. Because of this, I’ve had to learn to do everything on my own—including being very active on the promotional end.
What lessons do you feel you learned about your particular publishing journey and about the publishing industry as a whole?
Author: That I am solely responsible for spreading the word about my work. Publishers can only be accountable for keeping the work in print. The rest is up to the writer.
Would you recommend this method of publishing to other authors?
Author: If their work fits the criteria of university presses, indeed I do.
What’s the best advice you can give to aspiring authors?
Author: Becoming a published author all boils down to one question: “Am I willing to pay the price?” That price is to commit one self’s to the long path of learning the craft. If the answer is yes, then get to work at once and don’t look back.