1--What is the title of your latest release?
THE SILENCE IN HER EYES
2--What’s the “elevator pitch” for your new book?
Since childhood, Leah has lived with akinetopsia or motion blindness. For the past twenty years, nothing has moved around her. Her world often transforms in the blink of an eye: when she blinks, whatever is in front of her disappears. As she walks around her Morningside Heights neighborhood in Manhattan with the help of a cane, those around her assume she is blind, but in reality, the only thing she cannot see is movement.
After the death of her mother, Leah has a quiet, orderly life, with little human beyond her housekeeper, her doctor and her elderly neighbor, until Alice moves into the apartment next door. After a violent argument between Alice and her husband, Leah discovers, through the walls, that her neighbor is living with a death threat.
The night Leah wakes up to feel to someone has entered her apartment, she blacks out and in the morning, wonders if she dreamt the episode. Her only certainty is the smell of the intruder. And when she hears Alice through the wall pleading for her help, Leah makes a decision that will test her courage, her strength, and ultimately her sanity.
3--How did you decide where your book was going to take place?
I don't write about me, but almost all of my novels, when the action takes place in New York, are always set in Morningside Heights, right near the Columbia University campus, in a 1905 building covered in Boston Ivy overlooking Morningside Park. It's my neighborhood, my building, my apartment. Leah Anderson, the protagonist of The Silence in Her Eyes, goes to Book Culture, the same bookstore I frequent and where I have presented my novels, and where I will also be presenting Silence. She goes to Le Monde, the neighborhood French restaurant, where I go for brunch with my family.
4--Would you hang out with your protagonist in real life?
More than hang out with her, I would love to get inside her head, see how she sees, think like her, move like her without seeing the movement. That's what I tried to do with the book, get the reader inside Leah's head. With all the shocks and the doubts.
5--What are three words that describe your protagonist?
Intelligent, sensitive, grim.
6--What’s something you learned while writing this book?
That nothing is what it seems to be. That the human brain is the organ we know the least about and that we will never be able to decipher or understand.
7--Do you edit as you draft or wait until you are totally done?
I only edit the first few pages of the book. The beginning of my books is always the most polished when I finish the first manuscript. When I'm over thirty thousand words, rarely go back and reread what I've already written.
8--What’s your favorite foodie indulgence?
I like sweeter than salty and among the sweet, ice cream. It's something I try to avoid.
9--Describe your writing space/office!
I actually have two offices. One in my house in upstate New York, where most of my books are and where I do most of my writing with a view of the woods. I have a twelve-foot-long desk, a thirty-five-inch monitor in a room away from the noise of my children. In the Manhattan apartment, I have a small desk at the foot of the window overlooking Morningside Park, with a monitor as big as the one in the country house and of course, also surrounded by books.
10--Who is an author you admire?
The last one I read. This has been my year of Emmanuel Carrere, the French writer. I had read The Adversary many years ago, but last month I read Yoga and his last one V13. Fascinating. To catch up on all his work I read The Kingdom as well.
11--Is there a book that changed your life?
All the books I have read have changed my life. Reading has changed my life. I always say that I am a reader who writes.
12--Tell us about when you got “the call.” (when you found out your book was going to be published)/Or, for indie authors, when you decided to self-publish.
The first book I published in the United States was In Search of Emma. One day, I received a visit from editor René Alegria, who ran the imprint Rayo at Harper Collins. He came to my office at Time Inc. (I was the editor-in-chief of People en Espanol) and thought he wanted the magazine to do a partnership with Harper Collins with a celebrity book. There he asked me, to my surprise, to write a book about the process of having my daughter through a surrogate mother and an egg donor. That is how En busca de Emma was born, which was published in Spanish. Then Johanna Castillo, then editor of Atria Books at Simon & Schuster, read my book and told me it read like a novel. A few months later, she acquired my first novel The German Girl, of which I only had the first ten pages written. The rest is history.
13--What’s your favorite genre to read?
I'm a fiction reader, mostly. I read books, not specific genres. Yes, I can say that there are books I wouldn't think of reading, for example self-help or horror, or fantasy. They're not for me, unless they were written by a friend, and friends will do anything for friends.
14--What’s your favorite movie?
I have been fascinated by cinema since I was a child. I have many favorite directors, the so-called auteur cinema. I don't have a favorite film; it would be impossible.
15--What is your favorite season?
Undoubtedly, winter. I am Cuban, I was born on an island that is an eternal summer. I am not a fan of summer. Summer and the intensity of the sunlight drain my energy.
16--How do you like to celebrate your birthday?
I love celebrating my children's birthdays, which luckily, they celebrate only as a family. I’m not a fan of parties and even less so those given in my name.
17--What’s a recent tv show/movie/book/podcast you highly recommend?
Smuggling of Shadows (Contrabando de sombra) a book by Cuban writer Antonio José Ponte who lives in Madrid. It one of the best Cuban novel written in the 21st century. Too bad this book is not in English, which I know would have an impact on Americah audiences. Ponte’s prose has a neatness and purity that some may find stifling. For me, let it suffocate me. No one writes like him. The ending of Contrabando de sombras leaves you breathless. I will never tire of repeating this until am editor decides to publish the novel in English. They will not regret it.
18--What’s your favorite type of cuisine?
I would say the Japanese one. My family and I love to try new Japanese restaurants, and at one time we even enjoyed making sushi at home, until a friend's son got food poisoning. We have also been to Japan and my twins loved it. Now they want to go back in the summer.
19--What do you do when you have free time?
Travel. We love to travel the world. I have been to every continent, my kids have yet to go to Australia and I promised them that on my next book tour I would take them, if I can make it coincide with the school vacations.
There is nothing like reading and traveling.
20--What can readers expect from you next?
I became known as a writer of historical novels. Now I have just published The Silence in Her Eyes, a psychological thriller that my publishers and agents didn't want me to write at first - why change genres when I sold more than a million copies of The German Girl, they told me. Now, the novel I have just finished, and which is due out in 2026 (there is nothing I enjoy more than editing and polishing my books), is inspired by the life of my grandmother, a daughter of Spanish immigrants who arrived in Cuba at the beginning of the 20th century. It is the hundred years of a family in the middle of an island, of exile, wars, and family traumas. What We Once Were is my most personal and, perhaps, most ambitious novel.
In the vein of Paula Hawkins and Ruth Ware, a bold and suspenseful psychological thriller about a young woman with a rare neurological condition who is convinced her neighbor is going to be murdered.
Leah has been living with akinetopsia, or motion blindness, since she was a child. For the last twenty years, she hasn’t been able to see movement. As she walks around her upper Manhattan neighborhood with her white stick tapping in front, most people assume she’s blind. But the truth is Leah sees a good deal, and with her acute senses of smell and hearing, very little escapes her notice.
She has a quiet, orderly life, with little human contact beyond her longtime housekeeper, her doctor, and her elderly neighbor. That all changes when Alice moves into the apartment next door and Leah can immediately smell the anxiety wafting off her. Worse, Leah can’t help but hear Alice and a late-night visitor engage in a violent fight. Worried, she befriends her neighbor and discovers that Alice is in the middle of a messy divorce from an abusive husband.
Then one night, Leah wakes up to someone in her apartment. She blacks out and in the morning is left wondering if she dreamt the episode. And yet the scent of the intruder follows her everywhere. And when she hears Alice through the wall pleading for her help, Leah makes a decision that will test her courage, her strength, and ultimately her sanity.
Thriller Psychological [Atria Books, On Sale: January 16, 2024, Trade Paperback / e-Book, ISBN: 9781668055922 / ]
Armando Lucas Correa is an award-winning journalist, editor, author, and the recipient of several awards from the National Association of Hispanic Publications and the Society of Professional Journalism. He is the author of the international bestseller The German Girl, which is now being published in thirteen languages. He lives in New York City with his partner and their three children.
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