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The Latina Book Club welcomes back author Edward Cisneros aka Eddie C.  He has revamped and revised his old book, HIS-PANIC, to bring us the new improved version – HISPANICUS: THE APOSTATE LIFE OF ANTONIO PINTERO.  It’s the dirty, gritty story of a 15-year old drug dealer who rules the streets of New York.  Before we share an excerpt from his book, we asked Eddie C about how New York City inspires much of his writing.--mcf

Q:  How does New York City and its dark underbelly inspire you?

EDDIE C:  I think for visualization purposes, you can easily move away from the neon lights of Times Square and perhaps move a little further uptown, soak in a totally different atmosphere. Maybe journey out to the Bronx, Brooklyn, certain parts of Queens. It’s not to say that New York in general is this entire rotten apple, but there are parts that can give you that grime and realness, in order to authenticate what you write about. I've always said that I was fortunate to have been raised in a let's say decent neighborhood, but I grew up knowing individuals, hung out in certain places and witnessed situations that have truly helped me in my writing, especially for this series of Hispanicus. 

Q:  Do you have a favorite part of town?

EDDIE C:  I'm a Queens boy so go figure that my series deals with the Bronx. But I don't think I can be biased towards one particular place. I think there is much to do all over New York and its outer boroughs. On any given weekend, I may hang out in Astoria, or in the city, the village, Brooklyn, wherever. I have what Latinos call "patas caliente", hot feet, so wherever there's something going on, a party I'm invited to, I say, let's do it.

Hispanicus: The Apostate life of Antonio Pintero
By Eddie Cisneros

I remember covering my ears. I tried anything to block out the horrible sound. “Please God, I promise I will do anything, just make her stop.” I prayed again. I know I was sincere and passionate about my plea. When suddenly, I felt a calm come over me. I felt relaxed and unafraid. The banging had stopped like magic.

I was young but at that age I still had some kind of faith in a higher being. I prayed at night before going to bed, asking for forgiveness on what Rolando was teaching me. I asked for my mother to get better one day, for my brother to be like any other normal boy. I would follow along with my grandmother by making the sign of the cross every time we passed Woodlawn Memorial cemetery on a bus ride back to my apartment. I would even go to church with her on occasions, always asking to light the candle after she'd made a donation.

I felt relieved. For the first time, God had truly answered my prayer by bringing light to such a dark cloud that always hovered in my apartment. I slowly began to slide out from under the bed. After all my praying and crying, I looked down at my hand and remembered the reason for all the drama. I still held onto the bag of Mister Blackstone. Wiping away the tears from my face, I then massaged my cheek. Surprisingly, the sting was also gone. A faint smile began to form on my face as I stared at the door.

I was beginning to feel relaxed; suddenly, the door flew opened by a kick from Mildred's dirty foot. She quickly ran into the room grabbing me by my hair and pulling me down to the floor. She then proceeded to finally yank the bag of heroin from my hand.#

BOOK SUMMARY:  HISPANICUS tells the fictional story of Antonio Pintero, a once big time drug dealer from the Bronx who as an adult is retelling his life story in all its vivid detail. Antonio scrambles to make certain things right fearing time is running out on him.   The first installment introduces the main character of Antonio, an innocent child growing up in the early eighties surround by dysfunction in the worst of forms. He would see the effects of drugs firsthand, dealing with a heroin addicted mother sick with AIDS and a controlling stepfather that pushed a business on him, teaching the young boy to bag marijuana at the age of five and at twelve already out in the streets and selling it. The series of HISPANICUS is tough, edgy and gritty. It is the painful story of one man desperately seeking balance in his life after years of selling drugs and a childhood lost.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:  Employed as a doorman for over twenty-four years, Eddie C 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 finished screenplays under his belt. A stylized thriller titled BEND about New York City homicide detectives on the trail of a serial killer, and its sequel. He also served as a contributing writer for the real estate website for two years, with more than forty 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. 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 has garnered the attention of several blog websites in the past including write-ups in New York magazine and the New York Post. The project is on the shelf as of now with the hopes of it being shopped to publishers in the near future.  Follow him on Twitter @eddiecauthor.