Simon Vincent is the pen name of Angel Vicente Fernandez, Jr. who was born in Cuba in 1951.He is the author of two novels, Waypoint 90-In the Chambers of The Sea, his first novel published in 2003, and "The Weight of Sin" his second novel soon to be published. He has also published a collection of his poetry under the title "Sea Lust". He edited and published,Memorias De Un Taquigrafo, his late fathers memoirs, in 1993.Following his family exile from Cuba in 1960, Angel lived in New York City, Austin, Texas and Miami, Florida. Angel attended the University of Texas at Austin earning a B.A. in Government in 1973. For over twenty five years he was devoted to a career in International Banking and Finance.At present he is working on another novel "Sea of Glass" and seeking an agent and publisher.
Currently, he lives in Miami where he fishes and writes, not always in that order. For more info, visit http://www.simonvincent.com/
1. What inspired you to write Waypoint 90 in the Chambers of the Sea?
Waypoint was actually my second novel, my new book The Weight of Sin was started first but I did not have the craft for that story as it is more intricate with more characters and a stronger plot. Waypoint came to me like a Mozart Symphony all in one thought that I kicked around for a few weeks and then began to write it. It is very autobiographical and has a simple plot. It’s a love triangle with a twist.
2. How would you describe Johnny's character and how did he evolve in the story?
Johnny is an integral part of the novel. He is the link between the three main protagonists. At the pivotal age of 12, he is deprived of his father due to his country's political upheaval. He finds himself living in the Florida Keys with his adoring mother in a life filled with the wonders of the sea, daily swims with his mother, and time to hone his fishing skills.
3. What is the relationship between Johnny and Michael?
Johnny’s imagination is captured by a local fishing legend that starts out as his idol and, in time, becomes his mentor and surrogate father. When he meets the boy, Michael begins by taking him under his wing, teaching him about the sea, about life and about fishing. A bond begins to build as their friendship intensifies. The boy introduces Michael to his mother after building him up in her mind as a paragon of male virtues, a highly skilled and famous captain.
4. What's the significance of Waypoint?
Waypoint is a navigational term used to name the point to which the LORAN (Long Range Navigation) devices now mostly replaced by GPS, are directed to a specific location. Waypoints are assigned to a location that is loaded into the GPS or LORAN and the device computes a route that is then shown on a screen telling the person steering the boat or driving a car where to go. On the Ocean it is shown by way of points on a compass as there are no streets or signs. In my story Waypoint 90 is the assigned destination point to the port of Mariel, Cuba.
5. What do you hope readers will gain from your book?
That perfect love always demands the ultimate sacrifice. And that it redeems all who embrace love with honesty and passion.
6. What do you like best and what do you like least about being a writer?
I love the act of telling my stories and building my characters. Sometimes I develop my characters and sometimes they tell me where to go by their actions. My favorite part about writing is the actual sitting down and writing which is the hardest to most people. But as a voracious reader since my early days I enjoy losing myself in a written story and in the story I make up as I write. To me the hardest thing about being a writer is marketing your work to readers. I hope and pray to land a literary agent like the legendary Hemingway had his Max Perkins, I long for an agent so that I can dedicate my time to writing.
7. Who are some of your favorite authors?
Hemingway, Garcia-Marquez, Nelson Demille, Jack London, Jules Verne, Barbara Kingsolver, Jumpha Lahiri, Isabel Allende, Sandra Cisneros, Shakespeare, and on and on I love them all.
8. Are you working on anything right now?
I just finished my second novel, The Weight of Sin.
Written in my usual highly visual style, The Weight of Sin is a story of two people, a man and woman from totally different countries and backgrounds that circumstances beyond their control steer them to begin a life of terrorism and violence. As each strives to reach their zenith in mayhem and horror they have to flee for their lives.
From Peru, the ancient land of the mighty Incas, comes a woman of mixed breed. As bloody as her ancestors, she carries the mark of death wherever she goes.
From America comes a new brand of terrorist. A disillusioned soul who has lost the two people that he loved most. Turning to a cause he doesn't truly understand to free his homeland, he becomes a heartless killer and revolutionary. Ultimately they are both forced into hiding to save their horrific lives.
In the mountains of South America these two people, sinners alike, two lost souls meet in the highlands and find each other and redemption with the help of a priest whose own background is not without sin.
But an FBI agent will not rest until she brings one to justice and find closure to her own sinful life.
9. If your book would be turned into a movie, who would you imagine playing the part of Johnny and Michael? (Actors can be ANYONE, living or dead.)
Johnny would be played by a young Scott Baio type, Tyler Posey from Maid in Manhattan. A young Mario Lopez type.
I wrote Michael with a 60ish Robert Redford in mind, since I started writing it when he was that age. Today I would see Kevin Costner, William Hurt, Pierce Brosnan, Don Johnson, and a young Harrison Ford.
10. And, finally, what do you think is in store for the future of Latino literature?
I recently read that Latino Literature by Latino writers in English is one of the fastest growing segments in literature. When I started writing I picked a penname of Simon Vincent, which are my baptismal name of Simon and my middle name of Vicente. But if I were starting out today I would use my real name of Angel V. Fernandez, Jr. because of the growing acceptance of Latino Writers. The future looks great. Recent Pulitzer Prize winners Junot Diaz and the late Oscar Hijuelos and best-selling authors, Isabel Allende and Sandra Cisneros have shown that we belong.
Up next: A review of WAYPOINT 90 IN THE CHAMBERS OF THE SEA