As part of the celebration for the release of the ebook version of LONTAR issue #10 at Weightless Books, we’re releasing three short interviews with some of our L10 contributors!
WB previously posted our interviews with Manish Melwani and Drewscape, and today we’ve got our third and final interview with award-winning novelist, fictionist, playwright and anthologist: Dean Francis Alfar! Here’s a taste:
Jason Erik Lundberg: Salamanca celebrated its 10th anniversary last year, with a reissue in the Philippines by Anvil Publishing and serialisation in LONTAR. What does the novel mean to you a decade on? Has your attitude to it changed in those ten years?
Dean Francis Alfar: Salamanca is very special because it came at a point in my writing life when I didn’t know if I had it in me to write a novel. I had written plays and short fiction but the prospect of tackling the novelistic space was daunting. Because I was able to write it—then have it win a prize, then get published, then still have legs ten years later—is very meaningful to me: it shows that fear, when conquered, has the potential to transform into something truly magical. It showed me that I shouldn’t be intimidated by something new, and this is a life lesson I have taken to heart.
Because the book has become required reading in some universities, I get notes from readers who are surprised that a novel written by one of their own countrymen could be moving and resonant. I’m always moved when new readers who’ve discovered the book reach out, inspired that if I could do something, then they could do something as well.
You can still, of course, get your hands on the gorgeous physical print edition of L10.