- Hispanicus: The Apostate Life Of Antonio Pintero
- The Hellbound Heart
- The Silence Of The Lambs
C. G. Cooper: Welcome to Books in 30, with me, C.G. Cooper. Here at Books in 30, we discuss great books, with some of today's top authors. Don't forget that you can snag the full list of books we discuss in this episode at cg-cooper.com/podcast, along with a full transcript. Welcome to our listeners, and a big Books in 30 welcome to today's guest, Eddie Cisneros.
C. G. Cooper: Eddie has been employed as a doorman for over 23 years. Eddie has been quoted as saying, "I am not a doorman who chooses to write, but a writer who happens to be a doorman." Apart from his novel series of Hispanicus: The Apostate Life of Antonio Pintero, Eddie has two screenplays under his belt, a stylized thriller titled Bend, about New York City homicide detective on the trail of a serial killer and its sequel.
C. G. Cooper: He also served as a contributing writer for the real estate website, BrickUnderground.com for two years with more than 40 posts in a bi-weekly segment that was titled, A Doorman Speaks, which dealt with the inside workings and stories in a residential building, all voiced by none other than a doorman.
C. G. Cooper: Eddie also has a memoir of sorts, even though he continues to work in said field, titled, Opening Doors, A New York City Doorman's Secrets and Stories, which is garnered the attention of several blog websites in the past, including write ups in New York Magazine and the New York Post. Can't wait to hear what he says. Eddie, welcome to the show, man.
Eddie Cisneros: How are you? How you doing? Thank you. Thank you for having me.
C. G. Cooper: I'm good, so you're calling from New York today, right?
Eddie Cisneros: Yes, I am.
C. G. Cooper: All right. Is it getting breezy up there yet? How's it feeling?
Eddie Cisneros: It actually is. The last couple of days ... We can't really complain. It's been pretty, pretty good, pretty decent. Again, those 40 degree weather's now.
C. G. Cooper: Yeah. Yeah.
Eddie Cisneros: We're for it.
C. G. Cooper: Well, you know what? 40 degrees is better than 20. I'll tell ya, and you'll probably laugh. I'm sorry, this year, earlier this year ... I've been all over the world. This past January, was the first time I'd ever been to New York City, if you can believe that.
Eddie Cisneros: Oh!
C. G. Cooper: Yeah. And of course now I'm hooked. Now we're like, "All right, so how many times can we go back, before we start to seem a little bit too New York-y?" You know what I mean? I'll tell you what: that town, it just blew me away. You're a native, right?
Eddie Cisneros: Yeah. I mean, I've been here all my life pretty much. I'm a Queens boys.
C. G. Cooper: Yeah, well, I'll bet you've got some stories. I'll bet you've seen some things, and we're definitely gonna get into that. Why don't you tell the listeners why you started writing? You know, what was that first idea that made you, either start jotting something down, or start clicking away on that keyboard.
Eddie Cisneros: You know, it was, I guess, it's been something that I've always just had in me. I mean, even going back when I was a little kid. I mean, I just loved the whole creative process of writing. Even with friends, I would get into writing these fake scripts that we thought in our head that we were gonna actually film in the neighborhood and stuff. These very low budget, I mean, very low, low budget type horror movies and stuff. You know, like I said, I did something that, for me I've always felt that I've had in me.
C. G. Cooper: That's awesome. Yeah, you know what? Before I started really writing, I wanted to do screenplays. I remember I was deployed overseas. I think we were in Okinawa and Guam. I picked up every, well, it was probably like two that they had in the bookstore, books on screenplays, on screenwriting, you know.
C. G. Cooper: I'm like you. I always wanted to be in the movies or TV, whatever. It's funny how you kind of get pushed in, you know, not the other direction, but into books, right? I mean, what was that trigger that said, "All right. You know what Eddie? Let's put the screenplays aside for a little bit, and let's actually write a book that people can read."
Eddie Cisneros: Well, you know what it is ... I mean, when you write a screenplay, not that it's hard, but it's more, I guess... You give a little bit of information as far as the characters and everything, but it's more direction, you know, and the dialogue. Whereas in a book, it's more fleshed out, so you have a lot to play with, you know, whereas you can focus on one character, but you give 'em such a backstory and readers, when they get involved, they actually get a feel of this character on a personal level, you know. Whereas a movie, it's basically: You write a character. You try and set them up as best as you can, and basically you give them that whole plot wise of what's gonna happen and pretty much that's it.
C. G. Cooper: Yeah, and it's funny. I remember learning the lesson. I don't remember how I learned it was ... Basically it's a skeleton for a director to put his own stamp on it, right? That's how they teach it. It's like you said, you're not supposed to put a lot of flavor in there, other than the dialogue and the basic scenes. It's interesting going over the book side where you need to do everything. You are the director. You're the producer. You're everything all rolled into one.
Eddie Cisneros: Pretty much. Yes.
C. G. Cooper: Yeah, well cool man. That's exciting. I gotta know. All right. Have you seen some crazy things?
Eddie Cisneros: As a doorman, yes. I mean, I don't divulge too much on that, only because unfortunately you know, when I came about it was just weird. I mean, I had written a book. Like I said, it's titled Opening Doors, a New York City Doorman's Secrets and Stories. But yet, I was still employed as doorman, so the whole thing was, I had to ... Obviously the names have been changed to protect the innocent, or if you aren't guilty, you know. Yeah, you know, in my time, yeah, I've seen some stuff. I've done some stuff, you know. Again, hopefully I guess it's more ... Someone told me one time, like, a memoir is best suited when you're finally retired, and then you could just let it all out.
C. G. Cooper: There you go man. Well, you know what? There's no rules against slipping past experiences, you know, fictionalized into books, or movies, screenplays, whatever you want to do. I'm sure everything you do is laced a little bit, with those experiences, you know?
Eddie Cisneros: Sure. Sure.
C. G. Cooper: Well cool. Let's get to the meat of it. Let's talk about a book that you're currently reading, or something that you finished that you think the listeners might love.
Eddie Cisneros: Actually, I have such an affinity for horror, so whether it's horror movies and books, and that kind of dark psychological stuff, so a couple of months back I actually revisited a book that I had read a while back. It's The Hellbound Heart by Clive Barker.
C. G. Cooper: Okay.
Eddie Cisneros: It was actually the basis for the movie, Hellraiser.
C. G. Cooper: Oh, really?
Eddie Cisneros: Yes. It's very sick, very twisted, but again, you have to have that kind of liking for those kind of books. Some people just shy away. I mean, you know, they don't really like to read those kind of creepy books. Clive Barker is a writer who kind of has that habit, or just has that ability to take certain things just over the top, very descriptive.
C. G. Cooper: Tell me, when did you first get into the horror genre?
Eddie Cisneros: Again, like I said, this was something growing up. I mean, it was just always a love for horror movies. I even have, one of my best friends, I've known him for more than like, 35 years. We used to actually take snippets from movies and make our own master mix.
C. G. Cooper: Did you?
Eddie Cisneros: Yeah. Certain lines of movie. It was fun stuff. Like I said, that whole horror stuff, especially when I came to that. I mean, I'm just, you know a total fan when it comes to that kind of stuff.
C. G. Cooper: That's awesome. I had no idea that movie was based on a book. Is it true to the book, or is just kind of loosely based?
Eddie Cisneros: No. It's actually pretty much. I mean, some of the characters were changed here and there, but for the most part ... Again, the whole subject matter is basically ... You have this character by the name of Frank Cotton, who's this hedonist/sadist, who's forever trying to take his experiences and pleasure to another level. He's made privy of this puzzle box. It's called the Lemarchand box. It's this mystical puzzle box that essentially is described as a mechanical device, that when configured, it will act as a key to open a door to another portal.
Eddie Cisneros: Again, through this portal of this other dimension, these beings come in, which are called the Cenobites, and in his mind he's thinking he's gonna be reveled by a bunch of beautiful women and it's these hideous creatures, who ... They're, I guess definition of pain and pleasure is more about eternal torture.
C. G. Cooper: It's a gateway to hell basically.
Eddie Cisneros: Pretty much. A door you never wanna really open.
C. G. Cooper: That's awesome. All right. Well, now I'm curious. This brings us to the next question. What is your favorite book of all time?
Eddie Cisneros: Again, thinking on the psychological stuff. When I wrote my screenplay, I don't wanna really like, detract from the question itself, but I wrote a screenplay, which is entitled Bend. It's about two homicide detectives, trying to track down a serial killer. One of my main characters, which to this day, I love her to death. The character that I fleshed out is a character by the name of, Detective Elise Shaw. I would say, the book that really had an influence on me, and actually kind of inspired me to try and flesh out a strong female character, I would definitely have to say, Thomas Harris', Silence of the Lambs.
C. G. Cooper: Oh yeah.
Eddie Cisneros: It's an awesome book. I mean, for the movie. Just the book itself. It's so pro-feminism. I mean, this character of Clarice Starling. Throughout the book, basically the way she's treated and everything. She's even kind of conned into interviewing Hannibal Lecter on the basis of a psychological, behavioral, of serial killers, when in fact they were basically trying to get clues from him as to pertaining to another serial killer by the name of Buffalo Bill.
C. G. Cooper: Yeah that ... You know what? Gosh. I can't remember the last time I read that book, but, holy cow. That's just one of those, that just grabs you and never lets go, right?
Eddie Cisneros: Yes. It really does. Like I said, on a psychological factor ... It's just that game between Hannibal Lecter and Clarice, you know that quid pro quo how he gives her little tidbits of information pertaining to what she wants, but yet, it's more of a game on his part to try and get that information from her, which, because she was an orphan and she has this kind of traumatic experience with being raised on a horse and sheep farm and hearing the sheep slaughtered at night that, that's what she kind of has that traumatic experience, and hears the lamb screaming at night. It's like I said, that whole psychological factor to me is just very strong and it's something that I kind of gear toward. I love that kind of stuff.
C. G. Cooper: That's awesome. The screenplay, Bend, that you mentioned. Have you had any thoughts about turning that into a novel?
Eddie Cisneros: You know what? I've tried. I mean, not tried. I've thought about it at first, but then I got into the series that I'm working on now. I actually do have other ideas for screenplays. I would actually like to go back to screenplays. You know, again, I do work as a doorman. I've been going to school and trying to get certified as a superintendent, so I have, I think, this kind of a killer idea about a super movie, which basically be Home Alone meets Die Hard type.
C. G. Cooper: Yes. Is John Wick gonna be in there by any chance?
Eddie Cisneros: No. Definitely not. I mean, the whole basis is basically this ... It's just this very Joe Schmo superintendent. He's not ex-CIA. He's not an ex-Navy Seal. He's just a basic guy that knows his way and he deals with building stuff. Through whatever reason, you got some people that are trying to kill someone in the building, and he kind of defends his building, but using basically either his hands or his knowledge of tools and any kind of acids. It kind of makes for, I think, a fun idea.
C. G. Cooper: I love it man. Make sure you send me a copy when you got that draft ready, cause I want to read it.
Eddie Cisneros: Okay. Definitely. Definitely.
C. G. Cooper: All right. Well cool. Well, back to your work. I would love for you to read a snippet of your work for the listeners if you've got one.
Eddie Cisneros: Sure. It's basically the very, very beginning of the book. There are little curses in it, but I will take those out, but it basically serves as a very strong introduction to what the series is basically about. I'll read it now.
C. G. Cooper: Awesome. Let's hear it.
Eddie Cisneros: This is coming from the actual character, who in the book, his name is Antonio Pintero. It goes like this:
Eddie Cisneros: "I've lived the life of a rockstar. I had it all, the money, women, cars, clothes, and jewelry. I had everything and anything you can possibly think of. People often say when you live fast, you die young. If that's the case, then my life was that of a slick, turbo charged Lamborghini, racing at the ultimate of speeds. Problem is, I'm still alive. Truth is, I shouldn't be."
Eddie Cisneros: That's pretty much, just the leeway into a very deep, deep series.
C. G. Cooper: Awesome man. Tell us again what, or tell the listeners what that's called, so they can make sure that they pick up a copy.
Eddie Cisneros: It's titled, Hispanicus: The Apostate Life of Antonio Pintero.
C. G. Cooper: And so, is that ... The snippet that you just read, is that how it rolls? It's this guy, who's led this life at a thousand miles an hour. Who is he and what is he doing in this stories?
Eddie Cisneros: Well, the thing is ... The basis of the book is, this gentleman, Antonio Pintero. He was this once big time drug dealer from the Bronx. As an adult, he's retelling his life story, but he's had a change of heart. He's kind of scrambling now to right certain wrong, fearing that something bad is about to happen to him. Basically again, it's this one character retelling his entire life, but it's such a deep story, when you get into the friends, and to everything that he's done. He's kind of on a journey now of penance, if you will.
C. G. Cooper: Oh. I like that. Let me guess, while he's on this journey, things try to pull him back into that old world? Is that kind of how it goes?
Eddie Cisneros: Pretty much. Sure. Again, like I said, when I spoke before about traumatic experiences and stuff like that. Basically this book deals with that. Unfortunately, you know, in the first installment, you're introduced to this main character and it's a rough childhood. This kid has his chips stacked against 'em from the very beginning. I mean, at five years old ... First of all, he has a brother who's mentally handicapped. His mother's a heroin addict, who reveals to him at one point, she's dying of AIDS.
Eddie Cisneros: He has a stepfather who's a drug dealer. It's this stepfather who's this very abusive sociopath. Takes him at five years ago, on a Saturday afternoon and just basically teaches him how to break apart marijuana and bag it, in order to have it ready to sell. This is the life that this kid, unfortunately, is thrust into, pretty much for a good portion of his life.
C. G. Cooper: See, here's what I love about authors talking about their own work. You just described that character as if he lives next door. I love that, man. It's obvious that you love the character, that you've been inside his head. He's been inside of yours. It's like he's come to life, right?
Eddie Cisneros: Definitely. I mean, you write and it might sound corny or not, but you know, when you comes to a close of a certain book, it's actually very emotional for a writer. Myself, I found myself, when I finish stories, yeah, it becomes very emotional, because you do become attached to these characters.
C. G. Cooper: Yeah. I know. Sometimes I have a hard time remembering which one's real and which one's not. All right, well ... Tell you what, let's move on. Are you ready for some speed round questions Eddie?
Eddie Cisneros: Sure. I think I'm ready to roll.
C. G. Cooper: All right man. You sound like somebody who can roll with the punches. All right, so first question.
Eddie Cisneros: That was my dog. I'm sorry.
C. G. Cooper: Hey. Hello dog. All right. Number one.
Eddie Cisneros: Shh.
C. G. Cooper: What's your favorite thing about being an author?
Eddie Cisneros: The creative process I would say.
C. G. Cooper: Creative process. Check. All right. Number two. What is the best advice you ever receive? And this does not have to be, just about writing.
Eddie Cisneros: Wow. You know, I will actually stick to the whole writing thing, but I did learn that your best writing sometimes, comes from what you know.
C. G. Cooper: Amen. Amen. All right. Number three. What is one piece of technology you could not live without?
Eddie Cisneros: Oh man. I don't wanna sound very cliché-ish and say my phone. I don't know.
C. G. Cooper: Could any of us live without it now?
Eddie Cisneros: It's tough, but it's ... Geez. Yeah. I think I'm gonna have to just say the phone, because unfortunately with the phone I can get on the internet. I could do all kinds of stuff. I can write if I want, take notes, take picture. If there's nothing else I could just reminisce and look at pictures.
C. G. Cooper: All right. Next question. What is one thing you wish you could change about publishing, whether it's the process, about the industry? What's one thing you wish you could change?
Eddie Cisneros: 18:04 You know what, trying to push this book, I would love to try and get more Latinos involved with the publishing. I mean, I just think ... It's not a stereotype thing. I think it's just more, you know ... I think we need more Latinos in publishing, whether it's writers, whether it's publishing companies that actually cater to Latinos, cause trying to push this book, it was very hard. I tried to push it to mainstream publishers, and for whatever reason, I mean, could be the subject matter. They kind of shied away from it.
C. G. Cooper: Yeah. It's interesting.
Eddie Cisneros: I would definitely try to get more people, like more Latino, hopefully that kind of flavor involved.
C. G. Cooper: I like that. I like that. It's almost like you ... I don't know if you found this. It's almost like you have to trick people into reading it, not trick them, but, you know you're writing a regular story and then you slip these characters in, kind of when they're not watching. You know, rather than ...
C. G. Cooper: I had this same conversation with another author the other day. She writes in the romance genre. She has a problem with the fact that, you know, everybody on these romance covers is basically, white. Her thing, you know, her answer to that question that I just asked you about, how she would change publishing, is to get more color on those covers. You know, get people to kind of open their minds a little bit, and that, hey, we're all here together. It doesn't have to be this vanilla thing all the time. I love that man. I mean obviously I'm half Mexican, so I wanna see all kinds of colors. That's how I grew up. How do you see yourself, kind of bringing that message to the masses? And showing them that, hey, this is a whole other world that you need to take a look at.
Eddie Cisneros: 19:48 I mean, I don't want to get too much into the whole politics, but you see what Latinos have been dealing with lately. You know, we're in the forefront. We are expanding, I think as a nation and stuff like that. We are more aware of a lot that's going around us.
Eddie Cisneros: Listen, if I could, I mean, I would love to have my series get to such a big thing that, if I could, I would actually have my own publishing company and not that I would X out, just everyone else, other than Latinos, but I would definitely try and infuse that kind of flavor, to try ... Again, I think there's tremendous writers and authors out there of all types. Again, being a Latino myself, and what I've had to go through, I would love to see that, just come out to the forefront and just have more of that kind of people, more writers and stuff like that out in the open right now, and hopefully writing and having their books on the New York Times best seller and everything like that.
C. G. Cooper: Very cool. Well, Eddie, I'm sure if you keep writing, you're gonna get that message out. I appreciate that. I appreciate you sharing that with me. All right. Next question. What genre do you wish you could write in?
Eddie Cisneros: Romance (laughing)!
C. G. Cooper: That seems to be really popular.
Eddie Cisneros: Well, you know what I'm saying, I think I capture a lot of the fighting. I don't know if that's more in a lovey-dovey sense. Although, I can be pretty romantic if I wanted to, but yeah it's a lot of dialogue and my series is pretty tough.
C. G. Cooper: I think 9 out of 10 guests that I've had on this show, that are guys, have said romance.
Eddie Cisneros: If it translates to romantic comedies, they make money.
C. G. Cooper: Yes they do. Amen. All right. Next question. What is on your bucket list? What are some things that you want to do, before you pass on?
Eddie Cisneros: Um. Got close, but definitely want to jump out of plane. Definitely try to have my series out, the entire series out. At that point, just let it just roll and see what happens. I think the biggest thing, if you look at it, is just to try and leave my family in a comfortable position.
C. G. Cooper: Awesome. I love that. I feel the same way. All right. Next question. If you could teach a college course, what subject or class would you teach?
Eddie Cisneros: Wow. A little slash on etiquette, being that I am a doorman and that we're supposed to uphold this certain type of image/traumatic experiences that might affect your etiquette.
C. G. Cooper: Give me an example.
Eddie Cisneros: Geez. Oh my goodness. It's funny, cause in my book, my character at one point, he fantasizes being that he's been dealing with drugs and he fantasizes about, if in class and his professors actually taught them about drugs. I don't wanna get too much into that, but it's ... I don't know. It's just weird I guess.
Eddie Cisneros: Being a doorman, I mean we're supposed to uphold this certain image and whatnot. The thing is that, being a doorman, when I see people come in, I mean, whereas someone else knows people as a doctor of such and such, I know them as Joe, and Bob. You become a personal level, so you get a kind of, you get that inside feeling of who these people are. I guess to me, it's just more, you know you don't have to be such uppity type people. I mean I guess people get the bad rep that, on Park Avenue you got all the snoots and whatnot. I don't know. I guess, to me, it's just more being more laid back and whatnot.
C. G. Cooper: I like that. I like that a lot. I think more people need to be that way.
Eddie Cisneros: If we would I think the world would be a lot more chiller.
C. G. Cooper: Amen. Amen. All right. Last question. This is a fun one. If you could only eat one kind of food for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Eddie Cisneros: I'm a pasta man. I think I can just roll with some spaghetti.
C. G. Cooper: Yeah. Spaghetti for the rest of your life, huh?
Eddie Cisneros: I think so. I think we could have fun with it.
C. G. Cooper: I like that. I like that. My answer's always been pizza, because you can make pizza about million ways, but I think number two would be pasta, because you can make that a ton of ways too.
Eddie Cisneros: At least, you know, if you're working out, at least you're getting your carbs. You know, you're doing all kinds of stuff with that.
C. G. Cooper: Amen. Yeah. You're getting plenty of energy there. All right well cool. Well, Eddie, thank you so much for visiting today. Can you give a few last words to our listeners? You know, let 'em know where they can find you and find your work.
Eddie Cisneros: Right now, I mean as far as all social media, I'm definitely just on Twitter right now. They can find me @eddiecauthor and that's on Twitter. The book right now is available on Amazon.com, on Barnes & Noble Online. If they go to the direct website of my publisher, which is Printhouse Books. The book is, Hispanicus: The Apostate life of Antonio Pintero.
C. G. Cooper: Awesome man. Well thanks again and for you listeners out there, as I mentioned the very beginning of the episode, links to Eddie's books will be on my website, cg-cooper.com/podcast. This has been Books in 30, with C.G. Cooper. Thank you for listening, and don't forget to email me at cgc (at) cg-cooper.com, to say hello, or let me know of an author you'd like to see as my guest. Thanks for tuning in. This is C.G. Cooper out.
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