1. What’s your favorite song to dance to?
That depends. With my sister, any Sonora Dinamita song. At a family wedding, “El Sinaloense.” As part of a folklorico performance (I was a dancer, for 16 years), I love a good northern polka, a son jarocho or jaliscience. I like Blondie. And Prince. Pop and R&B and Hip Hop. I like that part of the night when you’re really sweaty and they bust out that really guilty pleasure and next thing you know you are touching your toes and shouting the lyrics. And when I’m home alone, I pretend I am an ice skater and twirl to Love on the Brain by riri.
2. Describe your personal hell.
Watching my parents age.
3. What’s something that always makes you laugh?
When Ana follows me around making a song out of whatever I’m doing. She writes good songs.
4. You’re sucked into a bad movie and you have to choose a point in history to live out the rest of your years. What time do you choose and why?
History and the future all suck. So, I’d find the present again.
5. What’s a gif that you can relate to?
Homer as a toasty cinnamon bun. I love getting under covers. SO. MUCH.
6. You’re hit by lightning. What happens?
I get a cool new birthmark on the entire left side of my body. It looks like a purple firework. Also, I can now understand and speak every language in the world because the lightning scrambled my brain’s language center. So I have to hide this gift so the pentagon doesn’t disappear me and use me to decipher foreign intelligence. I have thought about this since I was a child : )
7. It’s snowing outside, how do you feel?
Happy to be warm, inside.
8. What’s a cat picture you can get behind?
Any picture of Scout my amazing sassy calico. Or do you mean like a famous cat. Whatever. Scout is famous.
9. Where did you write most of your book? Why?
Here at home, outside in my yard or on my ratty blue couch covered in cat hair or at my wooden table.
10. What are your struggles and strengths as a writer?
Um. Doing it. (Furrowing brows over here, trying not to be a sarcastic ass). I have a flair for impactful turns of phrases? A line that might haunt you a little? I’m bad at big picture stuff with a book-arc and such.
11. Tell us a little about your writing process. What works, what doesn’t, what doesn’t but you still try anyway? jajajajajaja (me laughing in Spanish), like, people have a Plan? Okay, okay. I’ll get this preoccupation and it’ll eat away at my brain for a few months. Then I’ll start to try to articulate it to myself. Then I might write some stuff down. Then I’ll abandon it for months. Then someone who loves me will force me to re-engage it. Then, if someone asks to publish some or all of it I’m really screwed. Then I camp out on the couch, the table, outside in the yard with whiskey or a pop playlist or a box of tissues, swatting mosquitoes or freezing my ass off and crying and being sullen. Then my back is ruined and I have to go to the chiropractor and get strapped into decompression contraptions. So fun, writing books.
ROCÍO CARLOS attends from the land of the chaparral. Born and raised in Los Ángeles, she is widely acknowledged to have zero short term memory but know the names of trees. Her other books include Attendance (The Operating System) and A Universal History of Infamy: Those of This America (LACMA/Golden Spike Press). She was selected as a 2003 Pen Center “Emerging Voices” fellow. She collaborates as a partner at Wirecutter Collective and is a teacher of the language arts. Her favorite trees are the olmo (elm) and aliso (sycamore).