Q&A: Estevan Vega
Arson Gable feels like a freak. He can create fire. He never asked for it. He never wanted it. But he can't shut it off. Using what he fears most about himself, Arson must face his consuming past and confront the nightmare that is his present as he walks the fine line between boy and monster.
Estevan Vega's Arson is dark, moody, breathtakingly relevant and sure to ignite the hearts and minds of a new generation.
WHAT LED YOU TO WRITE ARSON?
I originally got the concept of a firestarter who lived on a lake with his psychotic grandmother in the fall of 2006. I was a junior in high school, visiting a college. I was in some dorm room, and it just came. I actually started writing (and then scrapping) the original chapter freehand, which I'm not a fan of. Anyway, I got really serious about the following year when my mom announced she was divorcing my dad. Totally sucked, and I needed a deeper escape than anything I'd written before Arson. So I got cracking hardcore on writing it, fleshing out the characters, and so on. I was really drawn to the idea of a kid who started fires with his mind because I grew up on X-men, Spider-man, and all those superheroes. I love that stuff. So this was my version, only I knew I wanted this story to be more character-driven than most of the genre fiction out there. So a love for the comic-book superheroes and a need for an outlet for all my frustrations...sounded good to me.
STARTING OUT, WHO WERE THE AUTHORS WHO INSPIRED YOU? WHO INSPIRES YOU NOW?
Stephen King. And it's funny, because when I began writing, I had never read any of his work. As a kid, I just knew I wanted to hardcore emulate a guy who started writing young and is now one of the top-selling authors ever. I had seen some of the films based off his work as a kid, and I really enjoyed his blend of character-driven stories with supernatural twists. Also, during my teenage years, I was really into Ted Dekker and Edgar Allen Poe. The writers who make you feel a little uneasy, that's what I liked.
HOW DOES YOUR FAITH INFLUENCE YOUR WRITING?
My faith plays a huge part in my writing. Honestly, no matter how gritty or intense or realistic my stories become, if you look deep enough, you'll see spiritual truths. I have been a Christian since I was, like, four maybe. I've definitely had some ups and downs in my walk, but my faith definitely got me through a tremendous amount of issues and hardships. God is such a mystery. One minute, I could be infuriated with him, and the next I'm on my face. He tends to do that. But as far as my writing goes, I've gotten flack from Christians and non-Christians alike, whether they thought my work was too intense or too realistic or too "profane," but God always shows up. I can't hide him. And it's in the darkness that we need light the most. That's where my stories begin, in the darkness of human hearts. Some people just don't get it.
HOW LONG HAVE YOU KNOWN YOU WANTED TO BE AN AUTHOR?
Since I was about ten or eleven. It's starting to blur a bit now. But I remember writing or co-writing (with my pops) my first "real" short story. It was a cool detective-style piece about a demon...pretty heavy stuff for a kid in fifth grade. But I got an A, and after that short story, the ones that followed were often read in front of the class. I loved having people comment and have opinions about what I wrote, so I knew it was something I would have a passion for. I've never wanted to do much else since I found this passion fulfilled in writing. Really, there is nothing like it.
WHAT DO YOU MOST HOPE THAT READERS GET FROM READING YOUR WORK?
A new perspective. A glimpse at hope. A little creeped out. A chance to relate to characters who are just like them, dealing with similar junk in their lives, just like them. If that means some people won't like my work in order for others to fall in love with it, I'm cool with that. I want my work to make you react in some way.