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Details:

  • Location: Ceará / Brazil
  • Age: 28
  • Background: Software development
  • Hobbies: Reading, writing, video games, coding, making desserts
  • Languages: Brazilian Portuguese, English (US)

The short version:

Ayrton Silva is a software developer, who cracks his head writing fantasy stories whenever said head isn’t being walloped by bugs (or Souls-like video games). Brazilian, when not sitting in front of his computer he can usually be found walking his dog, or riding his bicycle on some highway.


The medium-length version:

Ayrton Silva was born and raised in Brazil, and has been a fan of fantasy and historical fiction for as long as he can remember. An avid reader throughout his life, he now draws inspiration from his favorite books, video games and songs, as well as from his background in software development, to come up with dysfunctional worlds and dangerous magic systems.

Married, and owner of one disastrous dog, he spends most of his days coding for a living, but in his free time you’ll usually catch him trying to juggle his writing and hobbies. Something usually comes crashing on his head, but he doesn’t mind.

Currently has one published novelette and one short story scheduled to come out in an anthology, and is working on his debut novel (and several other shorter stories).


The long version:

Bio:

I was born in 1996 and raised somewhere in the state of Ceará, Brazil, which I never left except for three harrowing days, which I won’t speak of. I’m sure the nitty-gritty details would just bore you, so I’ll skip over them and get to the meaty parts.

I’ve always loved reading. Seriously. I’m fairly sure I learned by the time I was four, and I never really stopped. When I was twelve or so the people at the town library realized I had checked out over a hundred books and actually congratulated me. I was stumped. I couldn’t possibly have read over a hundred books so fast, could I?

The writing didn’t come as easily. At around six I tried writing my first book, something about chickens, but within two hours or so it became repetitive and I lost steam. At around nine I wrote some poetry for an International Women’s Day event that got an astounding amount of praise from my teacher, and for a short while thought it was my calling to be a poet. It wasn’t.

In the meantime, I devoured books. I read stuff that probably wasn’t appropriate for that age range, such as The Book Thief and a whole lot of books by Bernard Cornwell, but I was happy with the books, and my parents were happy to see me reading them, so that was that. The writing fell by the wayside, forgotten, for a long time.

I’d like to say it happened because life got in the way, but it didn’t, really; I just found other things better at taking my attention, such as a crippling addiction to Valkyrie Profile 2 that lasted all the way through high school. But I never stopped reading. Not even through my degree in Computer Science, though the sheer volume of papers almost killed my desire to ever write anything. I loved the way the stories lingered with me long after I read them, as if I had a personal library inside my head.

It was around that time the writing came back. I didn’t know it at first, but I could tell something had changed. My head was no longer populated only by stories I consumed (which were many), but by new characters and events that I was coming up with myself. I didn’t do anything about it, not right away. I let the new stories play themselves out, let the characters run around expecting they’d get exhausted.

It didn’t work. The stories, and characters, stayed with me. If anything, they got stronger with the passage of time, until one in particular gave me an urge to write it down — if only in summary. So I wrote it down (well, I typed it down; my handwriting is catastrophic). To my unending surprise, I enjoyed it. After that, I never stopped for long. In fact, I’m still writing. You’re reading this, aren’t you?

Writing:

Here’s my writing journey so far: Around 2017 (might’ve been 2016, I’m not sure) I started writing a big, chonky fantasy novel mostly inspired by Bloodborne. Meanwhile, I also wrote around half a dozen shorter stories which I’ve sent around to magazines, all of them rejected. Once that novel was done, I sent it to a couple of friends and asked for their feedback, and in the meantime I busied myself writing even more short stories.

The novel wasn’t very good. The first sign of it is that out of the eight people I sent it to, only two of them actually finished it (one of them now being married to me). The other signs came when I started actually studying the craft and rereading it, and finding more and more problems with it that I wasn’t quite equipped to fix. The fact that none of the short stories panned out didn’t help, either.

And so I stopped writing, for a while, as I waited for more feedback on my novel. In fact, I came close to giving up. But I didn’t. Wanna know why?

Because the stories still wouldn’t leave me alone. I was plagued by them. Haunted and taunted, at every idle moment. Walking my dog. Riding my bike. Working. Scrubbing the bathroom floor. They didn’t leave me alone. It was a nightmare.

Unsurprisingly, writing made them go away. I went back into lectures and books about the craft with a vengeance, started writing a different, new novel out of the seat of my pants without a care for how bad it would turn out to be, and finally, as a writing exercise, I wrote Coward. In two sittings, more or less. Initially, I didn’t intend it as something to be published — just an exercise, really — but something felt different about that one.

So I did what a reasonable person would do in such a situation, and sent it to my friends, and they... loved it. I certainly wasn’t prepared for it. I mean, they had liked my other stories (in fact, they got quite infuriated when one of them was rejected by a magazine) but the reaction was also different this time. I decided to send it out too, even though it was novelette length and there isn’t a whole lot of submissions open for novelettes. I sent it out anyway.

REJECTED.

It looked like the last nail in the coffin of my writing aspirations, but I... didn’t stop writing. I just set it aside and kept working on my main project — the novel. When I let my friends know about the rejection they were, yet again, infuriated, but one of them up and said: “Why don’t you just publish it on your own?”

A brief disclaimer: I know this isn’t such great advice. Self-publishing isn’t (or at least shouldn’t be) just dumping a manuscript on the web. But it was kind of what I needed to hear. You know why? Because it made me revisit what I wrote.

Some context: When I first submitted Coward, I only found *one* magazine open to novelettes, and the deadline was in three days after I found it. So I had limited time to self-edit before it was sent.

You can probably guess where I’m going, right? When I opened what would later become Coward, it had no more, and no less, than seven typos. Which is something submissions aren’t usually very tolerant with, because you’re not supposed to send unedited stuff. So yeah, that was the first sign I had actually not done such a great job with it. In fact, it was only the tip of the iceberg.

So I went back to work. I went through it almost a dozen times. I translated it to English. I hired an editor, and later a proofreader. I went through all the steps I was supposed to go to self-publish anything (other than properly promoting it, I guess), and, finally, I published it for real.

And here we are. That novel is still in the works, by the way. I hope you all like it. And as for that first novel I wrote, so many years ago? I still have it. It still stinks. Instead of fixing it, I decided to start it from scratch later (and I kinda did, already), and it’s still in the works as well.

That’s it. Hope you enjoyed the read.

The end (for now).

Copyright © 2023, Ayrton Silva