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New Voice in Latino Horror

Interview with Ruby Dominguez, author and scriptwriter

By Mayra Calvani
Published on LatinoLA: January 11, 2010


New Voice in Latino Horror


My guest today is horror author Ruby Dominguez. She has book out--actually, a script--about the witch hunt in Salem titled, The Peruke Maker, the Salem Witch Hunt Curse. She has been a recipient of the "Editor's Choice Award," by the National Library of Poetry in 1999 and in 2007 for her published poems in the Shelter of Shade.

I hope you'll enjoy the interview!

Q: Thanks for being my guest today, Ruby. Is this your first book?

A: The Peruke Maker ÔÇô The Salem Witch Hunt Curse was my first book published. It is a compelling and suspenseful story that focuses on the infamous Salem Witch Hunt Curse, an ancient and evil practice which is unearthed from necromancy and violates the course of natural events in a modern day world.

Inspired by true events, The Peruke Maker is a well researched screenplay about the spiritual and emotional journeys of Bridget Cane, a stunning 17th century red haired beauty, and Sarah, a thoroughly 21st century woman. Their paths become inextricably bound across time and space as Thomas Cane's vengeful curse continues to threaten the virtuous during this relentless quest for an avenger of innocent blood.

Like the book's 21st century time traveler, Sarah, the author's readers are introduced to this earlier, frightening world by the startling image of Bridget Cane, scantily clad, frozen in fear, her own imminent death portended by the Banshee's bloodcurdling cries, set against the background of a witch hunt that has reached a feverish pitch in a society where the fear of sorcery and the devil is as real as God.

The story builds with heightened tension and conflict and fittingly ends in present day New York City when Sarah's journey ultimately comes full circle as Michael's love for her triumphs over the evil she must face in 17th century Salem. The suspense leading to her final redemption climaxes in a dramatic and magical act of rebirth which transcends the grave at the exact stroke of midnight on the Autumnal Equinox.

This is a beautiful illustration which captures the very essence of what this story is all about: love and forgiveness.

Q: What prompted you to start writing?

I have always dreamed to be on stage, the theater! I loved the instant gratification of the audiences' reaction and mind you, I have not let go of that dream.

My first ever realization that writing was an avenue that I may take on was when my high school teacher informed me that she has sent my short story titled "The Little Christmas Tree" to the school's newsletter for print. Then later on after having my babies (three boys, as matter of fact) I found myself cooing to them with self made nursery rhymes, my favorite being "That Baby Little Lizard," sang in an Elvis Presley kind of style.

Q:I understand that The Peruke Maker is a script, not a novel. What made you decide to publish it in book form? Did you consider writing a novel version of the script?

A: It's kind of like, "putting the carriage before the horse" so to speak. But I have envisioned without reservation or doubt that this story shall be a feature film.

When the story came to me I saw flashes of picture frames in my mind. The events were taking place like as if it were happening in the present time. A screenplay became the obvious format for delivery because of this.

Writing a novel version of the script is a possibility and would be an interesting twist in my writing career.

Q: I understand your story is based on true events. Could you explain?

Salem 17th century was a bizarre and deadly detour in American dark history. My research has unearthed among others the cruelest and inhuman means by which the victims were tortured at that time as reflected in the scenes of my screenplay.

Majority of my researched was internet based. I printed old and new maps of Salem, and photos of historical locations and places to geographically picture in my mind the events as they were happening at that time period.

Actual travelling to Salem came just recently during my book signing event at the Cinema Salem Caf?® last October 30th.

Thereafter, I was able to visit places that were relevant to my story such as the Witch's House, Old Town Hall Derby and the infamous Gallows Hill wherein I had some eerier experiences while there.

Q: 17th-Century Salem brings to mind mass hysteria. What do you think drove religious people to such extremes?

A: The witch hunt has hit a feverish peak at that time. Fear of the devil was as real as God. Witchcraft was a heinous and unforgiveable crime and was punishable by death at the Gallows Hill for the victims accused of sorcery.

The Puritan church hammered away at church members with sinful tales of the devil and its worshippers which drove a spike in the madness.

It is appalling how humankind can be rubbed off of sympathy and sensitivity for others. It is these complexities of the past and present that has challenged me to write the stories I do and like a curse it shall haunt the future for an explanation, an understanding, seeking for justice, and begging to be told.

Q: I often get afraid of my own writing when writing horror? Do you relate to this?

A: Strangely enough this story chose me. Driven by a mystical dream I had after trying on a 100% hand-tied human hair wig that I purchased online in 2004, described to be "harvested from a reliable and youthful donor."

I woke-up from the dream in shivers, seemingly reliving a dark history of a young woman's horrifying fate named Bridget and her father's (The Peruke Maker) vindictive quest for justice beyond the grave.

Eerily, I believed that in Salem, Massachusetts from three centuries ago, the Peruke Maker's Shop lay hidden behind a forgotten and abandoned room of an old crematorium built-up with dust and cobwebs with a finished white wig still sits by the boarded up window to this day.

Q: How long did it take you to write the full script?

A: It took me two weeks to write an unpolished version of the script. But just like any literary piece is shall always be a work in progress as new sparks light up the darkest recessions of my mind.

Q: Do you belong to any writers organizations? Any you'd recommend to other authors?

A: I have been a recipient of the "Editor's Choice Award," by the National Library of Poetry in 1999 and 2007 for my published poems in the SHELTER OF SHADE.

I also have been recently selected as a candidate in the USA Honor Society.

The Writer's Guild Association is my next step.

Q: Do you have any book promotion tips you'd like to share?

A: Here are some of the things I did to promote my book.

a) A Virtual Book Tour and blog radio interviews under the very capable Dorothy Thompson of www.pumpupyourbookpromotion.com.

b) Email blasting though I feel is a scam I tried, too.

c) I got involved with horror, Halloween events and festivals across the US via sponsorships/advertising opportunities.

d) I tweet at www.twitter.com about my book. I tweet on New York Times, ABC, Timelife, CNN, Breaking News, etc. They've got millions upon millions of followers! I just plug it in right there with them!

e) I posted my book on Craiglist under books for sale or the local news category everyday!

f) I've posted my book also at Backpage.com and Voice Village in New York, Los Angeles, Boston, MA and San Francisco.

Q: Is there anything else you'd like to say to my readers?

A: My book The Peruke Maker ÔÇô The Salem Witch Hunt Curse had received 5 star reviews from the likes of Amos Lassen, and a good script coverage from Lee Levinson. It is a compelling and suspenseful story that shall keep you at the edge of your seat.

I also have two other books/screenplays out and available to avid readers to avail of. They are: ROMANCING THE CLADDAGH are horror/romance screenplay genre while IT'S OVER MICHAEL, BUT is a romance comedy screenplay genre.

Please visit amazon.com, barnesandnoble.com and other 25,000 internet stores and grab a copy for your reading pleasure.

Thanks, Ruby, and good luck with your book!

About Mayra Calvani:
Mayra Calvani is the author of 8 books and the National Latino Books Examiner for Examiner.com.
Author's website




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