Interview with Aimée Medina Carr
"We are Stardust (billion-year-old-carbon)
We are golden (caught in the Devils bargain)
And we got to get ourselves
Back to the garden"
- " River of Love”
Finally and long awaited, I am so excited to have Aimèe Medina Carr's inspirational words down for all to read! A powerful book representing Indigenous People. Their stories need told and I am so happy this story fell in my hands.The name of this novel drew me in, I knew once I held this book in my hands that I needed to read it. The prologue is by far the most favorite pages of words that I have read this year. This is a beautiful novel about love, friendship and loss. This book is also about change and pushing social norms set around the characters but also a reminder to us as well to push those social norms each day. As each chapter sweeps by you feel as though you are experiencing everything through Rose's eyes. A beautiful piece of literature that gives a spiritual experience as well. I loved "River of Love” and how the river was such a crucial and important theme/ place in the book. You will find placed throughout the book, that there are many inspirational sayings and words that make you think for a few moments before you read, or read on to prepare you for what is to come.
With that being said, I hope you enjoy this interview as much as I do!
Where did your passion for writing "River of Love" come from? What was the driving force?
I've been acting out and telling stories since early childhood. It's as essential to me as breathing. I hatched River of Love when my sons were little (they are now grown men). I just couldn't find the time and lacked the knowledge of how to build a novel. Then my published poet sister/cousin Juliana Aragón Fatula came to the rescue and helped me with a one-on-one writing workshop at Dillon Beach on the coast of Northern California. It was the guidance I needed. The secret to writing is there are no rules, and the muses have to find your butt in the chair so they can help you! Daily distractions and self-doubt are the worst enemies of creativity (Slyvia Plath quote). Stories are everywhere. You just have to pay attention. River of Love was a mosiac of my youth, family, and history. I grew up during a raging cultural revolution. It was glorious! And so much fun to relive while writing about it. Don't ever hesitate to ask for help for me it was the boost that got me over the hump of fear of failure. A for guidance, and as Mr. Rogers said, "look for the helpers."
I love the elemental factors in this book. What can we as readers better understand your purpose of placing these subtle but distinct notices of the elements at work in this novel?
This book's title was born on a walking path along the Arkansas River in my hometown of Cañon City, Colorado. From the start, spirituality and Mother Nature were omnipresent. I'm Indo Hispano and grew up in the Sangre de Cristo mountains among all my relatives, including the plant and four-legged ones. The metaphor of the river was potent and magical. The land and locations are also characters in the story. The theme of interconnectedness was reinforced by the character's deep relationship to the environment.
Who was your favorite character to create/ write about & why?
The most joyous part of writing this book was recreating my colorful family. And, of course, Cha Cha! She's a free spirit and a symbol of the time. We grew up during the second wave of feminism. We take for granted the freedoms fought so hard for and now are threatened of being reversed.
& Last but not least I love to ask, What novel has changed your life or inspired your writing?
For me, everything I read, hear, sing influences me. That is why to be a good writer; you have to constantly read and never be without pen and paper for notetaking! I wish all your readers happy adventures through reading. I love to do book clubs and am available on Zoom for a reading of River of Love. You can find me at aimeemedinacarr.com.
Muchísimas gracias to Ashley Bailey at Heart and Soul Books.
So much thanks to Aimèe Medina Carr for her time, thoughts and words. You can get your copy "River of Love" in our paperback collection!