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As an author, you think you know where the good parts and the bad parts are. And then you read to a group of children, and you learn when you're boring them, and you hurry through those sections to get to the parts where they're interested again. You start to get a sense of your story's rhythm and flow.
Personally, what I would like the most is to work on a project that would aid the historic rehabilitation of Havana. It's a shame - and it gives me tremendous sadness - to see the precious buildings, to see a city, which could be the most beautiful in Latin America, falling apart and with very little money for renovations.
There are certainly stories that I used to tell myself as a kid that did influence 'The Cabinet of Wonders.' There's a scene in the novel where there's a flood that bursts through the castle, and one of my favorite things to do when I was a kid at school was imagine what school would be like if there was a sudden flood.