Today’s Question by Aart Hilal

Do you feel the connection with others Latin-American writers? Had the writers, such as Borges, Márquez and others have any influence on you or your work?

Of course I’m bound to other writers. Borges has been a constant source of inspiration. It’s through his novels and short stories that I found ideas that subsequently became books.
The Zahir for instance was a term that I found in one of his stories and his definition is what propelled me towards the realms of obsession.
He also guided me throughout my youth. I remember, when I only caressed the dream of becoming a writer, that I took a two day bus trip to Buenos Aires to meet him. I saw him in a caf – but didn’t have the courage to talk to him. I regret this. Specially from a man that said something that I regard as being one of the fundamental truths in life: “there no other virtue than being brave”.
With time I came to realize this: that braveness is not the absence of fear but rather the strength to keep on going forward despite the fear.