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Aquino Loayza - DEEP-Diving Sushi Caretaker

I met Aquino when he reached out about a review for his debut novel, DEEP (review here), and there's no way to read that book and walk away without respect for the mind behind it. The IT vibes, combined with exceptional cosmic horror and character development, drag you kicking and screaming into the tunnels under the city!

If that isn't enough, add in Aquino's passion for the community and desire to spotlight voices not heard as often as the mainstream (and his hilarious posts about Sushi), and you've got someone who should definitely be on your radar!💀😊

1. What is your earliest horror-related memory? A movie you watched, book you read, or even a local monster story?

My first horror related memory was Stephen King's IT playing on TV, I remember having nightmares of that clown when I was three years old. Particularly the scene of him jumping out of this book always runs through my memory.

2. Is there any specific lesson you learned during the process of writing Deep, that'll stick with you forever moving forward? 

I think the lesson there is to trust your gut. When you make a story with so many points of view and one that doesn’t have a unified message it’s really important you have conviction behind it. Deep required me to self edit very stringently and now I take pride  in that. 

3. You can to pick one holiday to get a spooky makeover: which is it and why? 

This is totally Saint Patricks day, which is just one big drinking fest. I am from Boston, the intersection of annoying Massholes, and spooky season is too good to pass up. 

4. Please tell us Sushi's story and her feelings on being forever a part of the horror narrative as sweet lil Mango.

Sushi is my best friend, pretty sure she landed on earth via flying sauce like the Killer Klowns from Outer space. Admittedly, she hasn’t devoured me like her many other victims. She has suggested while she loves Mango, she feels more kinship to the Slickerman.

5. How was it coordinating an anthology after writing a novel? Are there certain parts of the process you've fallen in love with, or any that ended up being more difficult than you'd imagined/expected they would be?

I think the hardest thing is trying to maintain the balance of delivering what people perceive to be a product but you see has art. I love reading the stories, trying to find nuggets in them and help the artists shine those gems. I could live a thousand times over without filing tax paperwork.

6. Has all the chaos with social media platforms shifting in popularity and new limitations being introduced (on a daily basis it feels like), caused any difficulties for you as an author trying to promote your work? Do you have any tricks that have helped you adapt and might be useful to others?

I think finding something authentically you is so terribly important. Market to your strengths, writers are very introspective, it’s what makes our observations so poignant. I personally love to do panels but don’t love to do live streams so I try to get connections with local indie stores and make content about my work that’s hilarious but also doesn’t need to be interacted with beyond watching.

7. When you need to step away from writing/editing/literary work in general, what is your favorite way to unwind and try to clear your head?

Hiking is massive for me, but also being in the world, breathing in the vibrancy of the human condition as an observer.

8. What are the most and least eerie settings for you, when you're consuming horror fiction?

The ocean scares the hell out of me. The vastness of the unknown is really appealing to me. So much world to be built. 

I find medieval or church settings to do very little for me. I was raised around Catholicism and the mystification of it in horror rarely interests me.

9. What is your favorite part of working with the indie community?

Community is everything, art is everything. There are large parts of the Indie scene who share the artists soul that I have. I love the community, with everything I have.

10. If someone came to you wanting to make Deep a movie, who would you want to see cast to be the primary players? 

So there’s one actor I need in this film and it’s Bruce Campbell has Giovanni's father. There is a tenderness Bruce is capable of while maintaining his hilarious charm and I’d kill to see him play a father on screen. 

Find Aquino here:

Twitter: Aquinoauthor

Instagram: aquinoloayza

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