Author Spotlight: David Salazar

How does inspiration strike you?

Inspiration is very fickle for me, especially as an autistic person---my literary interests come and go wildly, but for the most part I enjoy writing things inspired by my life or by the media I consume. For example, the piece you will feature, "Mal de Puna", was inspired by my trip to San Pedro de Atacama and my brother getting altitude sickness during it; of course, I added a magical realism twist to it, as it is a genre closely associated with Latin America and I love to rep that.

For what purpose do you write?

I write for myself, mainly. While I love to get published and to have attention put into my work, a lot of it comes down to wanting to please myself and satisfy myself as the audience. That usually involves telling stories that aren't told very often in popular media, from autistic people's perspectives to trans people's to Latinos. I love to see people like myself see themselves represented in my words, too---it's such a joy to be understood across the page.

Is there a certain process you go through while writing?

I don't really have a process: I try to keep a vague outline, whether I write it down or not, but for the most part I just smash things together and hope for the best. I could definitely be described as a mix between a planner and a pantser; I'm making things up as I go, but I also have an idea of what direction the train is going.

Where do you see magic in everyday life?

Nature is the main source of magic for me in everyday life. Living in a coastal town and on the outskirts of the city, it's hard not to find magic in nature---the birds, the trees, the sound of the ocean, the Strait of Magellan. Apart from nature there's kindness, too: there is nothing more magical than being kind, than a 'thank you', than a 'you're welcome'. I love to be kind and to appreciate nature.


David Salazar (he/xe/she) is a teenage writer from Chile. He is a writer at Ogma Magazine and Ice Lolly Review. Xe has been published in various magazines and you can find xir on Twitter at @smalllredboy and in his website,