RA: In your book, 'Fatal Rhythm', why did you decide to write a Latino lead character?
RONALD: My book was inspired by a devotion to Our Lady of Guadalupe and the faithfulness that typifies the Latino community. My protagonist believes he must leave behind his cultural heritage and religious beliefs to succeed in the traditional sense. For him, there is a disconnect between science and religion. The Latino community place value on family and tradition. I thought using a character with this ethnic background would highlight the struggle that we all encounter.
RA: Do you have some personal experience with your character's culture?
RONALD: Growing up I attended a Catholic church that utilized a bilingual liturgy. There, I developed a devotion to Our Lady of Guadalupe. During my training in Houston, we cared for many Latino patients.
RA: So you have medical know-how and familiarity with Latin American culture, both of which would go a long way toward realism in your book. How does your protagonist's wife fit into your experience? Adding a hearing impaired individual seems like a really ambitious move.
RONALD: My college roommate was deaf. He was an inspiration with respect to the ability to accomplish goals despite handicaps. Additionally, I saw that often we make judgments based on preconceived prejudices. My friend was an all-state football player but came to Rice U. on a National Merit Scholarship. Because of his hearing deficit, his speech was altered. At first encounter, frequently people thought he was a jock on an athletic scholarship and not particularly bright. In actuality, he’s one of the brightest persons I know. He has a Ph.D. in space physics, has worked for NASA and teaches at a major university.
RA: Wow, I love hearing about people who excel with apparent disregard for the things others would expect to hold them back. They remind us to quit whining about minutia and move on already.
It's so cool that you have taken your experiences and relationships and let them inform your writing. It's easy to go with 'mainstream' instead of reality, so kudos to you for taking the road less traveled. Thanks for adding a diverse book to our shelves!
You can find Ronald on facebook here.
Find the book here.
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