When I first wrote Thirty Nights, I expected Javier to be the most controversial character, but, alas, I was wrong. (That one turned out to be Aiden—duh, I should have known.) Javier—even though he is at the crosshairs of one of the biggest political divides our country has experienced—has been uniformly loved, accepted, and supported. And that makes me really proud of my readers. Yet, there are some who believe Javier doesn’t belong here, and they rightfully have a voice in the book, too, because their view needs to be heard and respected. To borrow a phrase from Aiden, I won’t engage in a debate about Javier’s rights—this is a love story after all. Instead, I will let each reader to find their own sense of justice in the book. Here, I’m just giving you some fun bits information you may not have known about Javier.
Javier goes by “Javi” at home. Elisa is the main one who calls him his full name, because she believes it gives him legitimacy here. (Over time, Reagan has also adopted Elisa’s view.)
Javier first started painting at age three. Yep, three. He used his mashed sweet potatoes to turn them into a close resemblance of a sunflower—Maria’s favorite flower.
Javier is driven by a deep sense of duty, whether it is duty to his family, duty to his work, duty to his art, duty to his friends, and duty to his own core values. Because of that, Javier experiences a huge chasm between what he wants and what he does in life. However, he does not—and cannot afford to—wallow about that. He works 16-hour days, and when he is done, it’s the only time he can do what he loves: paint. Contrary to common belief, Javier—and not Aiden—is the character that sleeps the least in the novel.
Javier’s room serves as his painting studio, and his bed is actually the couch. This makes his romantic life kind of difficult. He laments the fact that he grows facial hair like a yeti, and has a five o’clock shadow by 9 am. He is extremely protective of his sisters, including Elisa, and despite his artist personality, when someone teases them, he resembles very much a caveman (with a beard to match). Please see below for Javier’s favorite songs, books, and things.
Isaac Albeniz, Asturias
Black Sabbath, Planet Caravan
Bruce Springsteen, Born in the U.S.A.
Led Zeppelin, Immigrant Song
Joe Strummer & The Mescaleros, Mondo Bongo
Tango Project Volume II, Sentimientos
Depeche Mode, The Policy of Truth
Kings of Leon, Closer
Bob Marley, One Love
D.H. Lawrence, Sons and Lovers
Pablo Neruda, Selected Poems (Spanish version)
Robert Penn Warren, All the King’s Men
Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird
V.S. Naipul, A House for Mr. Biswas
John Steinbeck , East of Eden
Jack London, The Call of the Wild
JAVIER’S FAVORITE THINGS
Painting supplies, especially the pigments that Elisa prepares in her lab (to be revealed in the book)
The paintings of Francesco Solimena, Francois Le Barbier, August Renoir, and Gustave Courbet
Tango, especially Argentine tango
Portland’s Food Carts, especially Brunch Box and Sam’s Saj
Running, especially in Forest Park
Maria’s carnitas (recipe coming up soon)
Portland Art Museum, especially European Art at the Belluschi Building (to be revealed in the book)
Steel-toed boots, especially Dr. Martens, if he could afford them
Black, piping hot Stumptown Coffee