Desert Storytelling – interview with Frederiko Aguilar (16 March 2009)

Introduction

Tan May Lee recommended I contact Frediriko and ask him if he’d like to be interviewed. When I looked at his website, I was keen to know his story and I contacted him. He agreed to the interview and without further ado, have great pleasure in introducing you to Frederiko Aguilar …


Aneeta: Thank you, Frederiko, for agreeing to this interview.

Frederiko: Thank you, Aneeta. Isn’t the internet great? We can communicate with one another while we are separated with half the world between us.

Aneeta: Let’s start with something about you: where were you born and where did you grow up? What was your youth like? Where do you live now and what do you do for a living?

Frederiko: I was born in Los Angeles, California, USA. When I was six years old, my father and mother bought their first house in a suburb of Los Angeles. Norwalk, California was a community for growing families. I was part of a phenomenon called “The Baby Boomers”. We are children of post war parents. After WW II and the Korean War, a majority of the surviving generation created families and thus began a new era of house building, modern house appliances, and great automobiles. The first friends I met in Norwalk are still my close friends today. That was 55 years ago. I began grammar school in a parochial school. St John of God Catholic School was filled with new friends of all cultures. We didn’t know what being a bigot was or just plain prejudice. We were children who played together which included all sporting events in school, or in some cases, had to physically use our fist to make a point. But it was never over race. To this day, our class of 1962 will get together for a small party reunion. I now live in Las Vegas, Nevada. It’s considered the entertainment capital of the world. It’s my lifestyle. Many “Baby Boomer” entertainers of the old Las Vegas days (1960’s and ’70’s) are still performing. Thanks to this town and environment I was able to come up with a novel. As an actor, I’ve always written small scripts for cable TV or did theatre. But this is my first novel and I am working on the sequel.

Aneeta: On your website, http://www.thedeserthasnoking.com, it is stated that you once produced and starred in your own comedy show. What was this all about?

Frederiko: When cable TV started taking off in America, it was a regulation that the cable company had to provide public programming for the city they broadcasted from. They provided broadcasting classes. I graduated as a producer. That was a great opportunity to expose my writing, directing, and acting talent for television. I also cast other hidden talented people from the community. There is a lot of talent out there. I wrote comedy, so we had comedy skits in the studio and on location in the city of Norwalk. But my special was writing parodies on movies and old television shows. My show was the first comedy show for local cable.

Aneeta: I understand that you’ve written a novel, The Desert Has No King. Can you tell me what this novel is about.

Frederiko: This is a story of a young man growing up in the suburbs of East Los Angeles, California. A story of what all young gamblers dream of and few will experience— and perhaps, survive. Frankie Santos started learning the games of poker and horse racing at the age of 10 years. He gambled for money playing marbles and pitching pennies. At 12 he shared his new devotion with his fellow classmates by getting them involved in poker games on the school grounds. In high school, he continued to live in the environment of trying to make a fast dollar by betting racehorses. As a young man in his 20’s, he enters into a journey of big money, greed, drugs, and becoming the target of the Mexican Mafia. He is on the run and while in hiding, he discovers another hard fast paced journey. By nature, he is a compassionate man and a protector of good decent people that may be in harm’s way… especially family. From the age of innocence to manhood and the commencement of rise to power, Frankie Santos did not know what was in his destiny.

Aneeta: What, would you say is the most challenging part about writing a novel?

Frederiko: That you are able to tell the world a story and have their attention. You are free to say whatever you want. You are controlling the life of the characters. And yet, some escape from the trail you have them on. At the end of a paragraph, you sit back and say, “What happened?” You surprise yourself that your character is going on another journey, but still related to your original story.

Aneeta: I see that you attended the London Book Fair in 2007. Why did you go and what was this experience like? What did you learn from this Book Fair?

Frederiko: It was the most fantastic experience. I was in the greatest atmosphere of my peers. I went to my first book convention. I wanted to meet and network with people from all over the publishing world. I met many Authors and Literary Agents from different countries. I went to many seminars that gave the best information about publishing. I made a new friend who was from another country. She was also new to the business. Now we’re book friends forever. The education was priceless, and in the future, I will attend more book fairs around the world.

Aneeta: There is also a sequel to your novel, I understand. Would you care to explain what this sequel is all about?

Frederiko: ‘The Scorpio Vengeance’ is the sequel to ‘The Desert has no King’. The circa is late 1970’s. There is a lot of story to tell in the genre I chose. The first book gives you the characters journey and the story of organized crime who wanted him dead. In the sequel he must find the people who tried to kill him and his family. You will learn the inside of a casino operation. The Mafia World seems to create a lot of interest, especially when it has to deal with Las Vegas, Nevada. Don’t forget the body rush of ‘Gambling’.

Aneeta: As you know, this website caters for storytellers. What advice would you give to those people who would like to venture into storytelling?

Frederiko: We all have a book in us whether it’s fiction or non-fiction. The first thing you have to do is set a schedule to write, even if it’s for one hour. The first line is the hardest.

Remember, we all have told a story to someone or a group. By nature, you exaggerated the tale. It’s the same thing. Pretend you’re telling a story to a group, but put it on paper. Just remember, is there a reason someone would be interested in your story besides you?

Aneeta: Frederiko, this is all I have to ask. Is there anything you’d like to add?

Frederiko: Yes… I am blessed that I was able to complete something I’ve always had a passion for. I’ve had an adventurous life with family and friends. The novel is my gift to our family’s future children. If anyone really has a desire to write, then write.

Aneeta: Thank you, Frederiko.

Frederiko: Thank you, Aneeta. I hope your journey will continue to be happy and adventurous. Hey… Write a book.


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