SpeakEasy Blog

Seriously Questioning…Raymond Villareal

Raymond Villareal is a practicing attorney in San Antonio, Texas. He is a graduate of Texas A&M University and the University of Texas School of Law. His first novel, A People’s History of the Vampire Uprising, came out in June. Film rights have been optioned by 20th Century Fox and 21 Laps Entertainment.

On October 27, he will be speaking at House of SpeakEasy’s Seriously Entertaining show, Dazed and Confused, alongside Heather Havrilesky, Reyna Grande, and Tarfia Faizullah. We spoke to Raymond ahead of the show.

What is your earliest memory involving reading or writing?

My mother taking me and my sister to the library before we could even walk.

What is your favorite line from your current work?

“I’ll just have to search for the in experiences and love…the joy of this place—raising the dead when it suits us…”

What is your favorite first line of a novel?

“A screaming comes across the sky. It has happened before, but there is nothing to compare it to now.”—Thomas Pynchon, Gravity’s Rainbow

What advice would you give to aspiring writers?

Keep writing—if I can do it, anyone can.

What writer past or present do you wish you could eat dinner with?

William Vollmann

What writer do you wish you could share with the world?

Stephen Dunn

What are you reading right now?

The Great Believers, by Rebecca Makkai

What fictional character do you most closely identify with?

The dog in Robot Dreams, by Sara Varon

If you could live inside a fictional world, which one would you choose?

Harry Potter

Are there any quotes you use to inspire you?

“Impossible is not a fact. It’s an opinion. Impossible is not a declaration. It’s a dare. Impossible is potential. Impossible is temporary. Impossible is nothing.”– Muhammad Ali

Seriously Questioning…Reyna Grande

Reyna Granda s the author of the bestselling memoir, The Distance Between Us, where she writes about her life before and after illegally immigrating from Mexico to the United States. The much-anticipated sequel, A Dream Called Home, will be released in October. The Distance Between Us is also available as a young readers edition. Her… Continue Reading

Seriously Questioning…Joel Rose

Joel Rose was was co-founder and editor of the legendary and influential Lower East Side literary magazine Between C and D, published in the 1980s. He is also the author of the novels Kill the Poor and Kill Kill Faster Faster, both of which have been made into feature films. His other books include The Blackest Bird,… Continue Reading

Seriously Questioning…Laura Spinney

Laura Spinney is an author and science journalist. She has published two novels in English, The Doctor and The Quick. Her third book of non-fiction, Rue Centrale, came out in 2013 from Editions L’Age d’Homme (in French and in English), and her fourth, a tale of the Spanish flu called Pale Rider, came out in 2017.  She also writes on science for National Geographic, The Economist, Nature, New Scientist and The… Continue Reading

Seriously Questioning…Gregory Pardlo

Gregory Pardlo’s ​collection​ Digest won the 2015 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry. His other honors​ include fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts and the New York Foundation for the Arts; his first collection Totem was selected by Brenda Hillman for the APR/Honickman Prize in 2007. He is Poetry Editor of Virginia Quarterly Review. Air Traffic, a memoir in essays, was released by Knopf in… Continue Reading

Seriously Questioning…Itamar Moses

Itamar Moses is the Tony Award-winning author of the full-length plays The Band’s Visit, Outrage, Bach At Leipzig, Celebrity Row, The Four of Us, Yellowjackets, Back Back Back, and Completeness, and various short plays and one-acts. His work has appeared Off-Broadway and elsewhere in New York, at regional theatres across the country and in Canada, and has been published… Continue Reading

Seriously Questioning…Richard M. Cohen

Richard M. Cohen is a journalist and producer, having spent 25 years in network television news on shows such as PBS’s McNeil Lehrer Report and The CBS Evening News, where he was the recipient of numerous awards in journalism, including three Emmys, a George Foster Peabody and a Cable Ace Award. Cohen is the author of… Continue Reading

Seriously Questioning…Elliot Ackerman

Elliot Ackerman is the author of the novels Dark at the Crossing, which was a finalist for the National Book Award, and Green on Blue. His writings have appeared in Esquire, The New Yorker, The Atlantic, and The New York Times Magazine, among other publications, and his stories have been included in The Best American Short… Continue Reading

Seriously Questioning…Faith Salie

Faith Salie is an Emmy-winning contributor to CBS News Sunday Morning and a panelist on NPR’s Wait, Wait…Don’t Tell Me! She also hosts the PBS show, Science Goes to the Movies. Her book, Approval Junkie, a collection of essays chronicling her lifelong quest for validation, has been called “disturbingly hilarious.” On September 18, she will be speaking… Continue Reading

Seriously Questioning…Caroline Weber

Caroline Weber is a Professor of French at Barnard and the author of The New York Times Notable Book, Queen of Fashion: What Marie Antoinette Wore to the Revolution. Her essays have appeared in a wide variety of academic and mainstream publications. She has published articles on eighteenth-century authors such as Rousseau, Voltaire, Diderot, Sade, Charrière, and La Chaussée,… Continue Reading

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