"EJ: How much of your Basque heritage plays a role in your creative career?
CL: Asko! (A lot!) Basque people love a good story, and we have plenty of them to tell. When I visit my family in Spain, it seems like my uncle always has a new ghost story for us, like the tale of the priest who walked for miles and miles to perform an exorcism on my great-grandfather’s childhood home (which sits abandoned to this day). The very first book I started writing was set in a fantasy-version of the Basque Country (I still need to finish that one, dagnabit). I’ve published a book of short stories inspired by Basque folklore (Galtzagorriak and Other Creatures), and I’ve plotted a stand-alone horror novel based on one of my favorite ancient Basque deities. I love being Basque and I inject it into my writing as often as I can.
EJ: What part of the publishing world do you think needs change?
CL: I would love to see less gatekeeping and tribalism by members of the various publishing communities. There are so many paths to publishing, and wish I never had to hear or see the phrase “REAL writers do XYZ” anywhere ever again. A writer writes. That’s it. And whichever path helps someone meet their goals in a way that keeps them happy and spiritually sound is great.
EJ: For you, can you talk about the power of your work, what you are trying to do with your writing?
CL: For me, reading and writing are very cathartic. There’s something about experiencing an emotion through the lens of a character on the page that just makes it easier for me to process what I’m dealing with (or what I’ve been avoiding dealing with). With the Soul Searchers mysteries, I’ve been processing a lot of pent-up grief. Writing the series has spanned five years of my life, and during that time, I’ve lost many dear and important members of my family, so I’ve had plenty to work through. Earlier this year, a reader reached out to let me know reading Donn’s Hill (the first book in that series) helped her get through a period of loss in her own life. That closed a pretty incredible loop for me. I never imagined I would create something that helped someone else that way, and I’m very grateful I had the opportunity to do it."
Excerpted from "Caryn Larrinaga, Basque-American Author", by Enheduanna Journal, an author interview forthcoming in Vol 5 of Enheduanna Journal.
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.