[sic] Magazine

Interview – Roxanne Sancto

In 2010 [sic] contributor Roxanne Sancto had her first novel published. The title of the book is The Pink Boots, the story, a darkly comic, bittersweet examination of relationships and redemption.

Wanting to find out more, Editor Brett Spaceman buttonholed Roxanne in the corridors of [sic] towers, turning the tables and forcing the dynamic young scribe to play the role of interviewee. As ever with Ms Sancto, the results were intriguing.

Brett Spaceman: Tell us about the book and your reasons for wanting to write this story. Also the significance of the pink boots (if you can?)

Roxanne Sancto : When I was about 15 a mate of mine had one of his typical, post-apocalyptic style dreams. He told me that in his dream he was walking through our destroyed village searching for me but there was not a soul to be seen. Finally he found
me crying in some bushes wearing a pair of pink boots. I really liked the feeling behind the idea of a sad girl in her pink boots. So I wrote a short story about it. It was about two pages long, an anonymous girl, desperate and lonely in her behaviour, needs and surroundings. These two pages show the journey to her final destination.

My mind works in mysterious ways when it comes to people, society in general,
relationships and values. When I met Martin Tarte in a Headshop on the costa del crime,
I knew I had met my match in ways of perceiving the world and the people in it. He’s blunt, he says what he thinks, no bullshit. When we discovered our mutual passion for writing, I showed him the short story I had written about the girl in the boots. I talked him into continuing it with me. Through various discussions, agreements and disagreements, the idea started to shape. We became great friends and housemates and so we shared a lot of our experiences with each other and more than often took the piss out of one another for having totally twisted ideas about the opposite sex. In his eyes my perception of men was naive. In my eyes his perception of women was just…weird! So that was one thing we really wanted to bring to life in The Pink Boots, the differences between men and women within a relationship.

Another thing we really wanted from this book, is to paint a picture of our generation today; we may think we’re so cool because we’ve got the technology, the drugs and the wealth, but all in all it can be a pretty fucking lonely existence. Sometimes it’s a deep connection with someone, a bond you don’t always necessarily want to admit to, to help you through it. Sometimes it’s just the sweet and bitter memory of better times, which is the significance of the pink boots.

Spaceman: You co –wrote the book? So I guess Martin wrote the male character(s) and you the female? What can you tell us about your co-contributor?

Roxanne Sancto : I co-wrote the book with Martin Tarte. He published his first novel “We reserve the right for admission” (“Nos Reservamos el derecho de admisión”), the year we started working on The Pink Boots. He’s so bloody modest about his writing, when the truth is his work is amazing. Whether he’s writing about gay donkeys and eyelashes or tapping into the inner workings of a paedophile, his work is engaging, profound and funny. Some may not always be able to tap into the wondrous mind of Mr Tarte, it takes time but the patience is truly worth it. I’m lucky to call him (I’m sorry dude, I have to do it:) my BFF!!

Yes, Martin wrote Tayel’s story and I wrote Jamie’s. But Martin also wrote Virgine, which is hilarious. I think he got her spot on.

Our Roxy

Spaceman: How was that writing process? A lot of sending back and forth?

Roxanne Sancto : Yes, I wrote the first chapter to set the tone and establish surroundings without actually distinguishing them and Martin followed up to the events and the feeling. This went on for about a year. Luckily we had the backing of my aunt Juliana Sancto, editor at ICAEW Accountancy Magazine London, who was incredibly enthusiastic and supportive. When we were done, we sent it to her and she did an amazing job at editing our first draft and encouraged us to dig deeper where necessary. That’s when the real work started. Martin and I had our moments of bitchiness and sulking, sure, but our house turned into literal warzone sometimes after days of working crazy hours, going over the same shit over and over again. Ten minutes of rocking out to Jimi Hendrix blaring from the speakers and a wild session of broom-guitar solos and spastic dancing usually did the trick though.

Spaceman: Do you find that when you create strong characters, when they interact the story almost writes itself in a certain way?

Roxanne Sancto : Yes, definitely. Especially with these characters! There are some great, funny moments between each of the characters and it was great to really put yourself into their shoes and feel the moment, go with it. It starts coming naturally. Jamie and Tayel, their thoughts and emotions are out there, naked, crude and honest.
We never really discussed the “who, how, whens” before writing, we just did it and it ran incredibly smooth.

Spaceman: How much of your characters are based on you and how much is creative license?

Roxanne Sancto : I think the characters are based on all of us. Anyone can take a bit of this story and relate it to their own.

Spaceman: Which other writers have inspired your work?

Roxanne Sancto : I find inspiration in the works of so many writers, there are so many vision and truths in every book, it’s hard to narrow it down. When I walk into a bookshop the authors I’m always on the lookout for are Chuck Klosterman, Hunter Thompson, William Burroughs, Spike Milligan and Chuck Palahniuk.

Spaceman: How close was the finished story to what you had initially perceived before you wrote it?

Roxanne Sancto : To be honest, the only thing we planned, was to end it with the short story I had written at 15. Sure, we had set ideas of how we wanted our characters to develop and what course they were bound to take, but we didn’t discuss that with each other. That way it was all very spontaneous and open.

Spaceman: How was the finished book received? Where can we find it?

Roxanne Sancto : We have been getting great reviews from people, they enjoy the intensity and the humour. They all grow to love the characters, even the “difficult” ones. I’m horrified at the thought of my Grandma having read it, but even she said, “Well, it’s not my type of thing, but well done!”. You gotta love her, most grandmas wouldn’t be able to look their granddaughters in the eye after having to digest a story like that!
The book can be found on various online book shops (amazon, barnes & noble, etc).

The Pink Boots

Spaceman: Does it exist as an e-book and what’s your opinion on e-books generally?

Roxanne Sancto : We are actually now in the process of getting an e-book out there. A lot of people seem to be getting into the e-book world, I guess it’s a matter of convenience. I’m not really a believer myself, I’m a book junkie. I need the feel and the smell, the whole shindig to really feel a book. A screen doesn’t really do that for me.

Spaceman: What next for Roxy?

Roxanne Sancto : I am currently working on my second novel, “Jenny Blaze and her friendly Therapists”. The story is based on three real-life characters I have been interviewing over the course of two years, the main character being Jenny. Due to her background and experiences Jenny has a rather warped outlook on life, sex, people and the world.The characters she meets along her way emphasize these thoughts and feelings and shape the person she becomes.

Although the story is set in a fictional environment, the character’s individual stories are autobiographical. One story is based on the life of David Dalby, a musician currently residing in Spain. After taking a break of several years to overcome his heroin addiction and getting back on track, he is now back in the studio recording. I feel honoured to have been allowed to dig into the very depths of his mind and his history; working with him was a great experience. Biographies have always been a strong passion of mine and with Jenny Blaze, I am taking the first step into the direction of biography writing.
I am also working on a illustrated children’s book, The Adventures of Kyle the Kid with Cartoonist Damian Muscat. This has been my most challenging project so far. Although it is great fun inventing silly names for characters and letting my mind loose in the world of fables and fantasy, it was difficult finding my voice as a writer of children’s stories, seeing as I usually tackle the more morbid, absurd and sexual content.

I am currently working as a writer/editor for The Times of Earth. However, my main passion lies in Music writing, so if you are an artist or band in need of articles, features, bios or press kits, please feel free to contact me!

[sic] thanks Roxanne and Martin. The Pink Boots is available now via Spinetinglers Publishing. You can find it at most leading bookstores.

The Pink Boots offical.