An Interview with Izai Amorim
This is a sponsored interview
We’re delighted to welcome author Izai Amorim to e-Books India with whom we carried out an interview. Izai told us about his background and his work as a writer. Continue reading to learn about Izai who is currently based in Germany and recently published his second novel entitled On the Run.
Please tell us about you. Where are you from? What is your professional background and how did you become an author?
I’m Brazilian from Salvador, a coastal city in the northeast. I spent most of my adult life abroad. I moved around a lot before I settled down in Munich, Germany. I studied civil engineering and architecture in Brazil and America and worked very long as an architect before I became a branding consultant. I wrote literature for my own pleasure for many years but I only decided to “get out of the closet” and publish my work in 2013.
What types of books do you write?
I write fiction. Literary fiction, to be more precise. Storytelling must be entertaining, so my first goal is to create an exciting story people won’t stop reading. But in my opinion storytelling must also convey meaning, make people think. Therefore I try to address important issues in my stories. Every book has a theme and many layers of meaning. I let readers decide how deep they wish to go.
Could you please tell us about your most recent book, its overall plot, and the main characters in it?
On the Run is my second novel and was published in September. The story is set in New York City in the early 1990’s.
Pablo, an MBA student in California, witnesses the killing of a DEA agent and two Colombian drug dealers, and becomes the only suspect. He can’t prove his innocence and runs away, with both the Feds and the Colombians on his trail. And so the young Central American man, rich and well educated, is forced to go on the run instead. Suddenly his life, which up to then had been effortless, becomes a raw fight for survival.
With everyone expecting him to cross the border into Mexico, Pablo heads east to New York City instead, where he searches for Douglas, aka Mad Dog, a Jamaican drug dealer he knows from his college years at Columbia. Douglas teaches Pablo how to go underground and gives him a job: disguised as a personal coach, Pablo delivers cocaine to rich executives inside their Manhattan offices. Together, Pablo and Douglas build a very successful drug-dealing operation.
The two young men couldn’t be more different. Douglas is street smart and hardened by a decade in the drug trade. He has a childhood fascination with spies and undercover agents, and has built his business using spy techniques. Pablo, the youngest child of wealthy and influential parents, has always enjoyed the good life while being groomed to join the family business. He has had the best education money can buy, but he never learned anything about surviving on the streets.
Pablo’s plan is to make a million in the drug business and start a new life in a country very far away, where no Feds or Colombians will ever find him. It could be done in less than three years…
As Pablo meticulously executes his plan, he has to deal with problems completely new to him: constantly watching his back; handling boring clients and mean secretaries; avoiding getting involved with very attractive female clients; getting new identity papers; laundering money; overcoming post-traumatic stress disorder; etc. Along the way, he has to figure out who he really is and what he is really capable of. The question of identity is at the heart of On the Run. More than a contemporary story of survival, it’s a journey of self-discovery.
The story is told in the first person by Pablo. His voice is funny, sometimes mean and merciless. He moves with nightmarish ease from recounting his adventures to recollecting his early life. Not always politically correct, On the Run gives you an insightful, twisted, humorous, and often disturbing view of conflicting worlds and beliefs: North and Latin America; black, brown, and white; rich and poor; rational and esoteric – and shows how they mix, match, and clash.
Are you working on any other book(s)? If so, can you please tell us what we can expect to see from you in the future?
I’m putting the pieces together for my next book, a family saga set in Brazil and covering three generations. It will probably be called Liberty Farm. If everything works well, it will be published in the fall of 2018.
Can you please tell us about your approach to writing? For example, do you follow structures and writing rules? Or do you write in a free flow way? Do you have any particular time of the day you like to write? Or any specific environment you prefer to sit down and write in?
First phase structure, second phase free flow, third phase structure again. Before I write anything I must have the basic story structure – theme, plot, characters, message, issues, etc. – clearly defined inside my head, like a virtual rough draft. Only then I start writing. This second phase is free flow. I write and write and write until I have the story that I want to tell. Finally I start to edit and rewrite to get to the story people want to read. That’s again a very structured phase.
Do you have any favorite authors? If so, who are they and what do you like about their work?
I have a favorite genre: literary fiction (well, technically it’s not a genre but on most websites it’s listed as such), and I read a lot. So there are too many good authors and good books to list here… What I like is originality, a story told in a different way. That’s why – with the exception of thrillers, which I read every now and then – I seldom read pure genre fiction like fantasy, science fiction, or romance. There are almost no surprises in them.
What other things do you like to get up to when you’re not writing?
I love my work in branding, specially creating names for companies and products. It’s the ultimate challenge for a writer: telling a story in one word. I also have many hobbies and interests: doing sculptures (cast bronze), photography, learning languages, reading, and watching movies.
How can people find out more about you and keep in contact?
I post everything of relevance to my work on my website izaiamorim.com. If people want to get updates per email – for example when the next book will be available as ARC on NetGalley – they can sign up for my mailing list. I have author pages on Goodreads and Amazon, where people can read what others have said about me and my work. I’m also on Twitter (@izai_amorim), but not on a daily basis. In case someone wants to contact me directly, the best way is either via email (email@example.com) or direct message on Goodreads.
“Make me think, make me laugh, make my day!”
That’s why Izai Amorim reads and writes books. He has great interest in the interplay of media, information, and politics in a globalized world and the quest for identity and borders in a worldwide cultural melting pot. Izai was born and raised in Brazil but spent most of his adult life abroad, briefly in the USA, mostly in Germany.
He was trained as an architect and worked many years in this profession. But his real passion is storytelling. At some point in his life he decided to mix storytelling with architecture, changed profession, and became a branding consultant, something that he loves and has been doing to these days.
His first novel The Games (2013) is a humorous but dark, even mean, political thriller. This mother of all conspiracies shows how information is processed to create and spread the stories needed to establish power structures not accountable to anyone.
His second novel On the Run (2016) has the question of identity at its heart. More than a contemporary story of survival, it’s a journey of self-discovery. On the Run gives you an insightful, twisted, humorous, and often disturbing view of conflicting worlds and beliefs: North and Latin America; black, brown, and white; rich and poor; rational and esoteric – and shows how they mix, match, and clash.
Izai also does sculpture (cast bronze) and photography. He has published two photography books: The Lace Curtains of Berlin (2013) and Sky Over Liberty Farm (2014).
Author website: http://www.izaiamorim.com/
Books by Izai Amorim
On the Run available at:
Barnes & Noble USA:
The Games available at:
The Lace Curtains of Berlin available at:
Also published on Medium.