Announcing: Dante Zúñiga-West

dante

Shannon & Elm is thrilled to announce the signing of Dante Zúñiga-West.

Zúñiga-West’s fiction has been published in numerous literary journals, both online and in print; his journalism, in alternative newspapers and adventure magazines. He has worked as a high school English teacher, a librarian, a kitchen cook, a graduate teaching assistant, a childcare specialist, a counselor for the developmentally disabled, a bouncer, a Muay Thai kickboxing instructor, a bartender, a cab driver, a writing instructor to homeless youth, a landscaper, a video game salesman, a copy-shop attendant, an SAT tutor, a freelance journalist, a newspaper editor, a private security guard, an at-risk-youth counselor, and a touring musician. He lives off the grid in the coastal mountain range of Oregon.

His first book for Shannon & Elm will be Rumble Young Man Rumble, a modern coming-of-age tale about love, loss, and prizefighting. By turns gritty and heart-warming, Zúñiga-West’s unique voice and marvelous storytelling transform a tale into a page-turner.

What else should we know about the one-and-only Dante Zúñiga-West?

How do you write?

Like a man held at gunpoint.

What do you write?

Stories that have stories inside them. Straightforward fiction that reflects gritty subculture, damaged people, and marginalized behavior.

Who are your influences?

Many of the people who influence my writing are not writers; they are kids from the homeless shelter where I taught, 100-year-old Benedictine monks I lived around, people who rode in the taxicab I was driving, men I fought in the ring, or musicians whose music was playing in the background of a dark bar. Those are the influences for my stories more so than anything else.

Why this story?

Rumble Young Man Rumble is a modern coming of age story. I wrote it because as a young man I did not identify with any of the iconic coming of age stories people gave me. I don’t think any of my peers did, either.

On a more personal note, I wanted Rumble to be a story about love, loss, and prizefighting, all things I find to be infinitely fascinating and quite similar to each other.

 

You can read the rest of Mr. Zúñiga-West’s fantastic interview on his author page. Afterwards, check out some of our other great authors.

Then mark your calendar for Rumble Young Man Rumble, coming this November from Shannon & Elm.

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