"See You on Venus" is a story brimming with messages and full of hope, according to author Victoria Vinuesa. It talks about the need to love, rather than being loved.
What was your inspiration behind SEE YOU ON VENUS?
A while ago I read about the story of a young YouTuber who had decided to take his own life. Looking at his picture I could see a desperation in his eyes, the muffled cry for help of someone who can't see a way out no matter how hard he tries. For some reason it struck a deep chord in me.
In an era in which we can launch satellites into space and are capable of the greatest scientific exploits, why is it that we can't find a solution to the most extreme forms of suffering and desperation? And how is it possible that every day there are more young people deciding to take their own lives because they don't see a way out?
For as long as I can remember, I've wanted to write stories that offer hope, that touch hearts. Studying psychology, then transitioning to writing have been natural stages in my quest to contribute my grain of sand to the alleviation of suffering.
After reading that article, my whole being pleaded with me to write a story that would offer hope to those who were desperate, and serve as an example of the fact that whatever we've done, it's never too late to start over, that there are good people who are willing to listen, and that suffering always comes to an end somehow.
What does "Reading Rainbow" mean to you?
For me, “Reading Rainbow” means that it’s okay to be you even if nobody agrees with it, and this extends to all aspects of life. That it's okay to study what you want to study even if your folks are against it; that it's just as okay not to study; to make mistakes; to love the person your heart chooses for you; to think differently; not to be perfect; to dress differently; to wear your hair differently; to be the you that your heart says you are. Love has never discriminated. When we love, what else matters?
We all need to feel a part of something, to be connected with others, and in those cases in which society or our family life doesn't allow that, pride means not letting that get us down, and offering ourselves the affection and care that we are not getting from others.
Why do you feel representation of a variety of people is so important when it comes to writing books?
Books, like movies, shape the way people perceive the outside world. They always have. That's why books bear a great responsibility in offering a realistic vision of the endless variety of people living together in this society, and reflecting the fact that we are fundamentally alike, that we are all kindred spirits on this planet.
On the other hand, we all need to engage in and belong to something bigger than ourselves. We were not put on this earth to be alone, but to share and grow together. And the stories we identify with strengthen this sense of belonging, of not being alone, and they embolden us to reach out and connect with others.
Tell us a little more about SEE YOU ON VENUS and why you decided to write it.
SEE YOU ON VENUS is a story brimming with messages and full of hope. It speaks of the need to love rather than to be loved, and points to that love as the only way out of suffering.
Kyle accidentally kills his best friend in a car crash. Riddled with guilt he is about to jump from the top of a waterfall when a mysterious girl, Mia, stops him with an unequivocal threat: if he jumps, she will too.
Mia, who is planning to travel to Spain to look for a mother who abandoned her at birth, pressures Kyle into accompanying her. On their journey in a rickety flower-power camper, Kyle discovers that Mia has a heart defect that will cost her her life if she doesn't undergo a dreaded operation. Kyle spares no effort in helping Mia find her mother. What he doesn’t suspect is that Mia has no intention of going through with the operation. She'd rather let herself die than risk another broken heart.
Kyle and Mia are two broken people who, though they've both thrown in the towel, each manage to set aside their own pain in order to help the other overcome theirs.
What can fans expect from SEE YOU ON VENUS?
The reading of See You On Venus is designed to cause extremely desirable side effects (some irreversible): heart flutters, tears, laughs, empathy, confidence, hope, a lust for life, and heaps of affection. Anyone not willing to suffer the consequences is kindly asked to abstain from reading. It may prove highly addictive.
What's next for you in the bookish world?
At the moment I'm relishing the writing of another YA romance novel (in addition to three separate screenplays). Like SEE YOU ON VENUS, it's a profoundly moving story, but this time with a frenetic pace and a touch of mystery and adventure. As a backdrop it describes the stunning landscapes of the Greek coast where I had the privilege of living many years ago.