Lit Chat Author Interview with Debut Novelist Alejandro Nodarse

Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Lit Chat Interview with Alejandro Nodarse. Image includes an author headshot and book cover for Blood in the Cut

#Debut Florida Author Brings the Magic City to Jacksonville

"I am, first and foremost, a Miamian. No physical location has done more to shape my personal and artistic sensibilities than the Magic City," Alejandro Nodarse said in a recent interview. "Miami is, unquestionably, very different from its neighboring Floridan cities, and I am a product of that high energy, heavy neon, fiercely multicultural coastal city."

Critics seem to agree... This deeply personal vision of the streets and swamps of Miami is getting some attention, with Publisher's Weekly saying, "Heat practically radiates off the page."

Nodarse went on to say, "The creative impulses that fueled the novel were heavily inspired by texts that, in their own right, are some of the best examples of how Florida has defined itself in the national consciousness." Learn more and pick up your own copy at our next Lit Chat author program!


Attend the Lit Chat Interview with Alejandro Nodarse on Monday, June 10, at 7 p.m. This interview will take place in person, live at the Webb Wesconnett Library. If you cannot attend in person, you can join the live stream online via Zoom. A book signing will follow and books will be available to purchase on-site from our partner, Femme Fire Books.

Register for FREE!

Alejandro Nodarse holds an MFA from the University of Miami and is an alum of Las Dos Brujas Writers Conference and a former staff member of the VONA Writers Conference. Blood in the Cut is his debut novel.

Interviewer Michael Wiley is the Shamus Award-winning author of twelve novels in four series. The most recent series features Franky Dast, an exonerated convict who investigates crimes involving the unjustly accused. Michael’s short stories appear often in magazines and anthologies, including Best Mystery Stories of the Year 2022. A former board member of the Mystery Writers of America, he teaches creative writing and literature at the University of North Florida. His new novel, Find Your Own Way Home, will release this summer at the end of July.

Blood in the Cut Book Cover
"A standout debut. . . He enhances the action with indelible descriptions of the Florida setting that underline the state's intoxicating blend of beauty and danger. S.A. Cosby fans, take note: this jagged Southern neo-noir is not to be missed." - Publishers Weekly starred review


Check out Blood in the Cut from the Library!


Here are the top Florida-themed works of art that helped hone Blood in the Cut:

Moonlight directed by Barry Jenkins

"Few films are so Miami-as-it-is and Miami-as-it-should-be as Moonlight. In early drafts of Blood in the Cut, Chiron served as a model for Carlos, my protagonist Iggy’s brother, and while Carlos’s character arc fell to the background, Chiron, Jenkins’s Miami, and the rugged determination of the characters to find their lanes in life held steady as I wrote."

The Orchid Thief by Susan Orlean

"This book is everything I love rolled into one: Mystery, adventure, botany, orchids, the Everglades—what more could you want!? Orlean weaves a tale for readers that examines the lengths that some will go to feed their passions and find rare orchids. It’s this combination of beautiful, deep descriptions, unbreakable determination, love of the Everglades, and eye for detail that I hoped to capture in Blood in the Cut."

The Florida Project directed by Sean Baker

"Throughout the film, Moonee is far wiser than any six-year-old should be, but because of it, she takes everything in stride. I wanted my protagonist, Iggy, to embody that same sort of steely determination as his situation deteriorated. Like any Floridians worthy of the name, both Moonee and Iggy are adept at “resolviendo”, a Spanish word that loosely translates to “making things happen”, and this is what allows us to hope against all hope when things are darkest for them both. "

Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston

"The tumultuous external landscape that Janie must navigate throughout the novel mirrors her internal turbulence, and that sort of well-rendered, thoughtful characterization is a literary feat I desperately hoped to accomplish as I crafted my characters, especially Iggy."

Cocaine Cowboys directed by Billy Corben

"Corben’s skill at recreating a bygone era and fully immersing audiences is something I’ve always marveled at and wanted to achieve in Blood in the Cut, which is set in Miami in 2016, just as the presidential elections are taking shape."

Gator Country by Rebecca Renner

"I think of this book as Blood in the Cut’s nonfiction aspirational counterpart because of how beautifully Renner renders the Everglades and the worlds it contains within. One goal I set for myself as I was writing my novel was to treat the Everglades as a character by rendering it as elegantly, vividly, and faithfully in terms of scope, beauty, danger, and primordial, elemental mood. Gator Country forced me to step my game up as I rendered the Everglades in my work."

Ace Ventura: Pet Detective directed by Tom Shadyac

"I’d like to go on the record and state that the protagonist of this eponymous, comedic whodunit, Ace Ventura, is the original Florida Man. This film is part mystery, part comedy, part love letter to Miami: a tryptic of accomplishments that inspired some key elements of Blood in the Cut."

Swamplandia! By Karen Russell

"This book. All of it. The way that Russell lures readers into the Everglades and into the lives of the Big Tree family is the magic I pray for every time I crack open a book. This coming-of-age mediation on love, loss, and “resolviendo” is one of the reasons Blood in the Cut exists."

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