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silvio03cSilvio Sirias is the author of Bernardo and the Virgin (2005) and Meet Me under the Ceiba (2009), winner of the Chicano/Latino Literary Prize for Best Novel, and most recently The Saint of Santa Fe.  A native of Los Angeles, he spent his adolescence in Nicaragua and currently lives in Panama.  In 2010, Silvio was named one of the “Top Ten New Latino Authors to Watch (and Read).”  He has a doctorate in Spanish from the University of Arizona.  He has also published academic books on Julia Alvarez, Rudolfo Anaya, and the poet Salomon de la Selva.  In addition, he has a collection of essays titled Love Made Visible: Reflections on Writing, Teaching, and Other Distractions.  The Routledge Companion to Latino/a Literature lists him among the handful of authors who are introducing Central American themes into the U.S. literary landscape. For more information, visit his website at www.silviosirias.com.

Q: Congratulations on the release of your latest book, The Saint of Santa Fe. What was your inspiration for it? 

A: Thank you for the congratulations! I read about the tragic, yet heroic, story of Father Hector Gallego’s in a local newspaper shortly after my wife and I moved to Panama. Something about his sacrifice, as well as the photograph they published, started to haunt me. Even though his disappearance and death occur nearly forty-three years ago, Panamanians still remember him and the work he did. In fact, they continue to clamor for justice in his case.

Q: Tell us something interesting about your protagonist. 

A: The story is about a young, Colombian priest who left his homeland to start a parish in a remote area of Panama. He soon discovered that his parishioners had been living as indentured servants for generations. He helped to free them. In the process, however, he offended a wealthy landowner and he was kidnapped by military operatives never to be heard from again. Also, in researching the novel I met his sister, Edilma, who moved here from Colombia fifteen years ago to discover the truth about her brother’s death. The novel tells her story as well.

Q: How was your creative process during the writing of this book and how long did it take you to complete it? Did you face any bumps along the way? 

A: This has been the most difficult of the three novels I’ve published. At first it was because I knew little about Panama’s culture and history, so I had a lot to learn. It took me about three years to become comfortable enough to write about my new, adoptive homeland with confidence. Then, because of this insecurity I included too many historical details in the narrative, weighing the pace down. It took me quite a while to decide what to jettison, but once I did the pace improved significantly.  Finally, General Omar Torrijos, a figure many revere in Panama, is the villain in this tale. It was a tremendous challenge to flesh him out. He became clear after I took a trip to Coclesito—a town he adored and used as an experimental Sirias - Cover - 9781937536565.inddstation to improve rural conditions in the country. In fact, he died in a plane crash while flying there. During my visit I felt his spirit and I came to understand his legacy with absolute clarity. But it all took quite a while, nearly ten years from the moment I decided this would be my next novel. Of course, I took long hiatuses, but getting this story right required of all my faith and patience. In the end, though, I am thrilled with the results.

Q: Do you experience anxiety before sitting down to write? If yes, how do you handle it? 

A: I am also a teacher, and even though I have been teaching for many, many years, I still get a bit nervous before starting every class. I take it as a sign that I care about what I’m doing. It’s the same with writing. But as with teaching, after a few minutes into it the anxiety disappears.

Q: What is your writing schedule like and how do you balance it with your other work and family time?

A: When I write full-time, I work from 8 a.m. until 3 p.m. five days a week.  My wife and I have chosen to lead a simple life. We own little and are almost debt-free. Because of this, I can take long stretches off from my teaching job, usually two years at a time.  It is then that I can devote myself entirely to my next novel. I am hopeless at multitasking.  When I write, that is all I do. I just can’t balance it all, I’m afraid. But because of this, I am much more of a homebody when I am a writer than when I’m a teacher.

Q: What advice would you give to aspiring writers whose spouses or partners don’t support their dreams of becoming an author? 

A: Such an honest question deserves an honest answer. And although my answer may seem brutal, any writer facing such a situation has a difficult choice to make. I couldn’t be an author if my wife wasn’t 100% supportive. Every writer needs a spouse who helps to nurture the muse, otherwise it would be akin to sabotaging one’s work. As heartless as this may sound, I’d say either give up on writing or get out of what appears to be a bad relationship. To become a writer one has to make countless sacrifices, and a spouse needs to be on board for all of them.

Q: George Orwell once wrote: “Writing a book is a horrible, exhausting struggle, like a long bout of some painful illness. One would never undertake such a thing if one were not driven on by some demon whom one can neither resist nor understand.” Do you agree? 

A: I wrote an essay titled “The Kindly Demon that Fuels Me.” I wrote it precisely in response to Orwell’s essay “On Why I Write,” where the quote you mention can be found. I agree that most writers have demons. Mario Vargas Llosa added to this thought by saying that novelists write to exorcise demons. Yet the one that drives me is a benevolent one, taking the form of my desire to be remembered after I’m gone. When I look at it this way, I am don’t find my demon terrifying in the least.

 

 

 

 

 

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Please welcome my special guest, award-winning Nicaraguan-American writer Silvio Sirias. He’s the author two novels, Bernardo and the Virgin (Northwestern University Press, 2005) and Meet Me Under the Ceiba (Arte Público Press, 2009). This latest one garnered him the 2007 Chicano/Latino Literary Prize for Best Novel. In addition, he’s published numerous pieces of literary criticism. Sirias holds a P.h. D. in Spanish from the University of Arizona. Since 2002, Silvio resides in Panama, where he continues to write and teach at Balboa Academy. For more information on the author, visit his website at www.SilvioSirias.com.

About Bernardo and the Virgin:

In 1980, with the Sandinistas newly in power, Bernardo Martinez witnesses an extraordinary thing: an otherworldly glow about the statue of the Virgin Mary in the church where he works as sacristán. Soon the Holy Virgin appears. She tells Bernardo to forget his money problems and fear of ridicule and spread her message of peace and faith to his neighbors. Though a work of fiction, Bernardo and the Virgin is based on actual events. The visitation of the Virgin Mary at Cuapa, Nicaragua, remains one of the few such events accepted by the Catholic Church in the last sixty years.

Silvio Sirias’ sweeping novel tells many stories: that of a humble man touched by the transcendent; that same man as a devout boy denied the priesthood because of poverty; and those in his orbit, past and present. It is also the stormy epic of Nicaragua through the long Somoza years to the Sandinista revolution. Sirias’ beautiful language mixes English with Spanish and details of dusty village life with wondrous images of Catholic mysticism. His portrayal of the rich recent past of Central America resonates with the experiences of both the natives and the thriving communities of Nicaraguans, Salvadorans, and other Central American putting down roots in the United States.

Thanks for being my guest today. Why don’t you start by telling us a little about yourself and how you started writing?

I was born in Los Angeles, California and grew up there until the age of eleven. My parents then moved to Nicaragua, their country of origin. This move is, without a doubt, the most significant milestone in my life as it shaped the way I see the world. During my years in Nicaragua, I also learned that Central America is a place full of wondrous, and at times heartbreaking, stories. After graduating from high school I returned to Los Angeles to attend college. I fell in love with the study of literature and eventually received a doctorate in Spanish from the University of Arizona and worked as a professor of Spanish and U.S. Latino and Latina literature for several years before moving back to Nicaragua in 1999.

Ever since adolescence I’ve enjoyed writing, but I’m a late bloomer in the writing of fiction. My college training taught me how to produce literary criticism, but after meeting and conducting interviews with several Latino and Latina novelists, I saw how much fun they were having and decided to join in.

I hear you were named one of the 2010 Top Ten “New” Latino Authors to Watch by LatinoStories.Com. That’s quite an honor.

Learning the news stunned me, and then I was elated. But once the elation wore off I was humbled. I realized that I needed to work harder in my current and future efforts to be worthy of the honor.

How did Bernardo and the Virgin come about?

Beginning in my early 30s I started looking for an engrossing story through which I could also explore the history of Nicaragua in the 20th century. I met Bernardo Martinez, who was good friends with my father, in 1999, and the more I learned about his story, the more I became certain that I had finally found the perfect vehicle for the panoramic tale I had long wanted to tell.

Critics have called Bernardo and the Virgin a tale of religious mysticism. Tell us about that.

In telling the story of Bernardo Martinez, who claimed that the Virgin Mary appeared to him several times in 1980, I narrated the apparitions through his point of view — and this lens is indeed out of the ordinary and highly spiritual. Whether one believes his account or not — and acceptance or disbelief became a highly politicized issue in revolutionary Nicaragua — he maintained until his dying breath that he had experienced an intimate encounter with the divine. Nicaraguans are highly religious people who easily accept the existence of mystical experiences. Long before the reports of Bernardo’s visions Nicaraguans fervently venerated Mary — fanatically so. Because of this, tens of thousands immediately accepted the news of her visit. It is this collective belief that gives the novel its mystical dimension, I think.

I hear you’re a very disciplined writer.

Yes, friends say that I’m a highly disciplined writer. That’s because when I feel I’m on to something writing feels like play, not work. But I’m not one of those supremely dedicated writers who will stay up until midnight or wake up before dawn to write. I need major blocks of time at reasonable hours; I’m talking about six to eight hours a day for months, or even years. I was fortunate to have a couple of years where I could afford to stay home and write. What a luxury! During that time, I’d work from 8 a.m. until the late afternoon, six days a week. When I’m able to take time off from my day-job I write feverishly and get a lot accomplished. But I’m back in the classroom now, which I love, to refill my bank account so that within two or three years I can stay home again to write. At present, however, I have a three-hour block in the mornings where I get as much done as I can.

How was your creative process while working on Bernardo?

The first task was to conduct the research. That’s always the most exciting part for me; it’s where I vicariously experience the story I’m preparing to write. Once I’m confident that I have most of the information I need, I sketch a general outline of all the chapters, and this includes the ending because, for the sake of my nerves, I need to know how the story ends. Then I begin to write with the help of a detailed outline of each chapter. As I write, I start each day by revising what I have written the day before. This helps my mind get back into the story. I then start a new section and write straight into the mid-afternoon. This cycle repeats itself until the rough draft is concluded. Then I will work on a chapter at a time, revising it until it is as perfect as I can get it. When I polish the last chapter I share the manuscript with my peer editors, a wonderful team that has served me faithfully.

How is this work different from your second book, Meet Me under the Ceiba?

The primary difference is in the scope of the novels. Bernardo and the Virgin explores important events in Nicaragua’s history through the lives and thoughts of characters that represent ordinary people. As a result of this exploration, the pace of the narrative is leisurely. Bernardo is more like a ballad, while Meet Me under the Ceiba, which is based on an actual murder case, has more of a rock ’n’ roll pace. The reader has to practice a little patience during the opening chapters of Bernardo, but there’s a big payoff when the stories begin to lock together.

Which novel has a closer place to your heart?

Both novels are very dear to me, Mayra, but for different reasons. Bernardo and the Virgin is my first-born, and like any parent a lot of my hopes and dreams about the legacy I hope to leave as a writer are contained within those pages. What’s more, I wrote Bernardo as a tribute to the people of Nicaragua. I am most grateful for everything they’ve taught me. On the other hand, the goal of Meet Me under the Ceiba was to write a fast-paced story with an unusual structure that would capture the reader’s attention from the onset and hold it throughout. By all accounts I’ve been fortunate enough to have succeeded in both attempts.

I’ve received feedback from many readers with ties to Nicaragua who have thanked me for writing Bernardo and the Virgin because they claim that the novel, in addition to telling Bernardo’s story, captures the essence of life in that country. And I’ve also heard from several readers of Meet Me under the Ceiba who have said that they had to read the novel in one sitting because they couldn’t put it down. Because of such positive feedback, and because the books are so different, the answer regarding which one is closer to my heart depends on the mood I’m in at a given time. I love them both, for varying reasons.

What’s the hardest part about being a novelist? The most rewarding?

The hardest part is being able to afford the time to right. People have misconceptions about the financial aspect of being a writer. But it’s not entirely their fault. For instance, in most films, as soon as a character who’s a novelist publishes his or her first book they become wealthy, get to ride in limos, and they hang out with celebrities in upscale New York restaurants while learning to elude the paparazzi. The reality is that very, very few novelists receive public acclaim or get to live off of their royalties. Many sacrifices are required to become and remain a novelist. The ideal situation, for me, would be to earn just enough to stay home and write full-time. I can do without the limos and the glamorous company. Regarding the most rewarding part, for me it’s been what I’ve learned along the journeys of each novel.

How has the publishing process been for you?

Because I had already published books of an academic nature, I was familiar with the world of publishers. As a writer of fiction, I’ve had nice experiences with Northwestern University Press, the publishers of Bernardo and the Virgin, and with Arte Público Press, who published Meet Me under the Ceiba. With Bernardo the road got a bit bumpy when there was a delay during a crucial promotion period, and then the editorial team that strongly supported the novel left to work with other publishers. Because of these problems, which were beyond anyone’s control, when Bernardo and the Virgin was released it went under the radar, barely getting noticed. But that’s all part of the game. Also, I confess that at the onset of my career as a novelist I was naive, believing that publishers would do all the promotion. But after learning that it was in my interest to become actively involved in this part of the business I’ve worked diligently to explore the ways I have within my means to promote my work. This is something every author needs to learn, so a writer may as well become good at it and enjoy the challenge.

What kind of themes do you like exploring?

It depends on the novel. Critics have described Bernardo and the Virgin as an “epic” account of Nicaragua in the latter half of the 20th century. And because of the broad canvas of this narrative, I had the opportunity to explore every theme that possesses me: politics, history, religion, spirituality, family, war, immigration, biculturalism, the shifting traditions, superstitions, death, and so forth. Meet Me Under the Ceiba allowed me to delve into the heart of an actual murder and then explore what’s good traits, if any, such a horrendous act can bring out in us. My third novel, The Saint of Santa Fe, deals with the disappearance of Father Hector Gallego, a young Colombian priest who accepted an assignment in the then faraway mountains of Veraguas, in Panama. He was confronted with a campesino population that lived as indentured servants, and he did what was necessary to change their lives. Sadly, however, in the process of liberating his parishioners, he offended the landed gentry as well as General Omar Torrijos, the country’s strongman before General Manuel Antonio Noriega, and this cost the priest his life. I wrote The Saint of Santa Fe to better grasp the recent history and culture of Panama, my new homeland.

What are you working on at the moment?

I’ve completed a third novel, but I need three to four months where I can devote myself exclusively to revising the manuscript as it’s not quite ready to send off to the publishers. The story is based on an actual event in Panama, in 1971, concerning the disappearance of a priest, a noble person, who upset the status quo in a remote mountain community. I also have a collection of essays that I will soon start circulating among publishers. In the meantime I continue to write essays and I’m researching topics with an eye toward possible future novels.

Thanks for the wonderful interview, Silvio!

This is the first stop in Silvio Sirias’ virtual tour with Condor Book Tours. Don’t miss his other stops in the during the next two weeks. To see the full schedule, visit Condor Book Tours.

Live chats with the author!

There will be two live chats with Silvio at the author chat salon at Condor: http://condorbooktours.com/index.php?pr=Author_Chat_Salon

The first will be on Friday June 11th from 7-8pm EST and will be for questions from the readers of the blogs hosting from June 7-11

The second will be on Friday June 18th from 7-8pm EST and will be for the questions from the readers of the blogs hosting from June 14-18.

Support your independent bookstores by purchasing Sirias’ novels from Dulce Bread and Bookshop.

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My guest today is young author Estevan Vega, whose third novel, ARSON, will soon be released by Tate Publishing. Estevan has been my guest before in the past and it’s a thrill to have him here again.

Congrats on the release on yet another novel, Estevan! What is your writing schedule like and how do you juggle it with your studies?

Thanks, Mayra. Yeah, it took a crazy long time to get here, but ARSON is finally gonna get out to the world. The release date is set for May 4, so mark your calendar. It’s funny you should ask about my writing schedule, especially because I don’t really have one. Yes, I’m afraid it’s true. I write when I can and sometimes that’s not always as much as I should be doing. It gets sorta complicated with school and a life and right now, promotion ARSON. So, yeah, that’s my excuse for not writing as much as I should. As far as juggling, I’m becoming quite skilled. Well, kinda.

What do your teen peers think of your career path and early success? Do you think it has inspired them?

When I was in high school, many of the kids saw my publishing a book as a reason to make a stupid joke at my expense. It was lame, but I did go to an all-guy school, so it somewhat comes with the territory. It’s better in college, though. Kids tend to see it as more of an accomplishment than they did a few years ago. So that’s cool. I think they do see it as something to aspire to, yeah. The kids who write anyway.

To what do you attribute your dream of becoming published? Not many teens are focused on ‘getting published’ the way you were.

Well, when I was in fifth grade I couldn’t stand writing or reading, for that matter. If it weren’t for my father’s guidance and “push” I probably wouldn’t have done it. I mean, yeah, I thought an author’s life is all fame and money, but once I started writing, I realized how far-off I was with that theory, and I still am doing it. I’m not sure why I decided to stick with writing longer than any other thing, but I have, and now, no matter how hard it gets, I’m always brought back to it. It’s like a part of me that won’t let me go.

How has your writing evolved since your first book came out at age fifteen?

Oh, it’s definitely evolved. I look back and read pages of Servant of the Realm and go, ‘man, did I write that?’ But it’s all part of the growing process. I can’t expect to write like a twenty-one year old when I’m fifteen. But there are hints of things to come within those pages, and that’s cool, to sorta watch my progression between each book. It’s definitely taken some time, but the journey is all worth it.

Do you do character profiles before sitting down to craft your fiction?

Not really. I just sit down and start creating a character. Depending on which book I’m writing, the characters tend to have different themes running through each of them, and sometimes they cross over depending on what I’m trying to say with each story. The characters tend to just sorta create themselves as the story goes, with me making changes here and there. It’s fun to watch them progress from page one until the end.

What was the most dificult aspect of writing ARSON? The most fun?

I had the most fun and the most difficulty writing ARSON, to be honest. I love the story more than anything I’ve written. And I can think of several reasons why, but the thing about ARSON is that it took the longest to get out there to the public. I mean, I got the concept in the fall of 2006 and it’s finally coming out nearly four years later. Both Servant of the Realm and The Sacred Sin took about three years. So, I’ve spent so much time on this thing, trying to get everything perfect, you know. The most fun was writing the story arc between Arson and Emery. I just fell in love with these characters. Watching their story unfold was so cool. The most difficult part was probably choosing how it was going to begin and end. I changed both ends of the book several times, asking people for opinions and choosing which ideas I thought would fit the story best.

How do you celebrate a new contract?

When I got the contract for ARSON I was a little shocked. I had been e-mailing the publisher back and forth about the manuscript and he seemed interested but didn’t really want to budge on anything. Then out of left field he sends me a contract. I was, like, whoa! I didn’t think he was that interested. So I called my dad and we celebrated over the phone, since I was at school. It was a great feeling.

What would you say to young people who dream of becoming published authors?

Don’t let that dream die. Critics will scare you. The current book market will scare you. Your own family and friends might scare you, but if it’s in your blood to write, then write.

Thanks, Estevan, and best of luck with your book!

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I’ve had the chance to interview some great authors these past two weeks. Here are the links:

Interview with Raul Ramos y Sanchez, author of AMERICA LIBRE

Interview with TV producer Anjanette Delgado, author of THE HEARTBREAK PILL

Interview with author & poet Daniel Olivas

Interview with Belinda Acosta, YA author of Damas, Dramas and Ana Ruiz

Intervieww with Margaret Mascarenhas, author of The Disappearance of Irene Dos Santos

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6My special guest today is talented Sandra Rodriguez Barron, author of the award-winning, The Heiress of Water. Sandra was kind enough to take time out of her busy schedule to answer my questions. Welcome, Sandra!

Your novel, The Heiress of Water, won the 2007 Best First Book Award at The International Latino Book Awards and has been a top book club selection and a Publisher’s Weekly ‘Top Pick’. Did you foresee such success when you started writing the novel?

Yes and no. I had to make huge sacrifices to enable my writing and study of writing, and so I hoped, from the very beginning, that success would come quickly. On the other hand, I know that distinguishing yourself in anyway as a writer is difficult and highly unlikely. So when I got these awards I was amazed and grateful, but I also felt relieved and validated.

Tell us a little about what made you decide to write this story. What was your inspiration for it?

First, personal rebellion: I find that Latin American culture can be shallow and inflexible in its expectations of girls and women. There is the emphasis on physical beauty, social status, marriage and family, but rarely on intellect, creativity, individuality and legacy. The mother figure in my novel (Alma Borrero Winters) isn’t remotely interested in any of these standard feminine values that her family demands that she embrace. Her intelligence is unappreciated and her passion for the science is treated as rebellion. The tragedy of the story is rooted in the moment when this character compromises her values and marries someone who is socially acceptable to her parents, thus allowing herself to be trapped in life that is contrary to the path suggested by her instincts. The consequences are devastating to the entire family, especially her daughter, Monica. I wanted to point out that there is a danger in making women fit into a cultural mold that doesn’t embrace their natural talents and intelligence. Second, I wanted to present a balanced argument to the reader in regard to Latin America’s class struggles by using the example of El Salvador’s civil war. I worked very hard to “walk the line” and to leave it up to the reader.

When did you decide you wanted to become an author?

I announced that I would become a writer at age seven. It’s amazing to me how long it took me to return to that early self-knowledge. I believe that most of us identify our life’s passion pretty early on. What happens in between, how we get lost, how we ignore who we are, is another story.


How long did it take you to write the novel? Are you a disciplined writer who writes everyday?

The Heiress of Water took me about a year and a half, working 5 to 8 hours a day. That was before I was a mom, and so now it’s a lot harder to get more than 5 hours of uninterrupted time to write. Right now I’m deep into a novel, and yes, I write or revise every week day between 9 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. Still, my family life is ever-changing, and I teach writing sporadically. I am forced to be flexible.


Yours was a first-time author’s success story. Can you tell us how you searched for an agent/publisher and how long the editing and publishing process took?

Mine was a “textbook” scenario. I worked it four ways: One, I bought a copy of The Writer’s Market Guide to Agents. I read it cover to cover, placing sticky notes on the agents that seemed like they could be a match for my book. Two, I made a list of agents from the acknowledgement pages of novels that seemed to be aimed at a similar audience. Three, I asked former professors if I could use their names in my query letters. I began to send the letters out in alphabetical order. The rejections and“almost acceptance” letters began to dribble in. Then the fourth method was the winner: I discovered a web newsletter, “Latinidad”, aimed at Latino writers (published by the phenomenally helpful and wise Marcela Landres). There were several publishers and agents listed as “seeking Latino writers.” I wrote to one of them, and that became my agent, Julie Castiglia of Castiglia Literary Agency.

What are you working on now?

A novel due out in June of 2010. The working title is The Islanders but that could change. It’s about five siblings who were once abandoned as babies on a motor boat off the coast of post-hurricane ravaged Puerto Rico in 1979. Now thirty, one of them has an illness that is causing him to remember bits of their lost, pre-adoptive childhood. Despite fierce opposition from his siblings, he launches a search for his biological origins. For him, the search is a source of hope and healing; and a final chance to win back the love of the woman he once hurt. For his siblings, remembering is a far darker journey; one that will threaten their carefully-constructed sense of family and shatter what they believe about who they are and how they ended up on that boat.

http://sandrarodriguezbarron.com/

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I have the greatest pleasure of introducing you today to Rebeca Gomez Galindo, author of the short story collection, Habitantes de mi tiempo (Inhabitants Of My Time). Rebeca is a former vice-president 01of The Society of Hispanic and Latino Writers of San Antonio and a member of The Writer’s League of Texas. Currently, she’s working on a romantic suspense novel in English.

Thanks for being here today, Rebeca. Why don’t you start by telling us a little about your collection of surreal short stories, Habitantes de mi tiempo.

Well, I’ve been writing short stories for a long time now. Therefore, I decided to put them together and get them published. Moreover, I was lucky to be able to do it. Most of us write for the pleasure it brings and because we love it, but I felt the need to share with others the vast universe of Habitantes de mi tiempo (which I could roughly translate as Inhabitants Of My Time). All ten stories in this collection are intended to bring attention to various social and human issues taking place in our contemporary time. To do this I gave a human voice to animals and objects that performed as exceptional narrators. My stories feature all kinds of main characters; miners, homeless kids, foreign students, emigrants, maids, a polluted metropolis, desperate hard working women, etc. In all the stories there is hope, redemption, love and something divine, fantastic, unexpected and magical, highlighted by poetic imagery, novelty and sunlight.

What was your inspiration for this collection?

2Everyday people, especially those who are forgotten. Those who appear in the news one night telling us about their misery and then dissolve in the selfish fog that clutters our minds and actions.

What is a regular writing day like for you? Are you a disciplined writer?

I wish I were a disciplined writer, but I must confess I’m not. Everyday is different for me. I’d rather write in the mornings and I try to do so. The best ideas come to me at night when I’m tucked in bed under the covers and my creative self is liberated.

You are the former Vice President of the Society of Hispanic and Latino Writers of San Antonio and a member of the Writers’ League of Texas. Can you tell our readers about these organizations and how they can help authors?

I hold a very special place in my heart for the Society of Latino and Hispanic Writers of San Antonio. When I moved to San Antonio five years ago, the Society had just been founded and they immediately took me in. It is great to be surrounded by sensitive, creative, passionate people that love to do what I love to do. Our goal at the Society is to help Latino writers to get published, to improve their craft, to mix with other writers and to learn all about the editorial market. The Society has done all of that for me and many other writers. Being their vice-president was a completely new, challenging and rewarding experience. The Writers’ League of Texas is located in Austin. They offer excellent workshops and once a year they host one of the best Agent Conferences in the USA. For more information, please check out their sites at http://slhwnotes.blogspot.com/ and http://www.writersleague.org/.

You write in both English and Spanish. What comes more naturally for you when writing? Why did you choose to write your romantic suspense novel in English?

Spanish is my native language. When I write literary texts it comes naturally to me and its beauty and vastness is overwhelming. English, on the other hand, is so precise, clear and objective it has a beauty of its own. In the case of my novel, it came naturally as the language I needed to tell this specific story. When I’m writing in English, I’m thinking in English and my characters act in a certain manner dictated by this mode. My voice is completely different in each language so it’s very difficult for me, almost impossible, to translate my work from one to the other.

Is there anything else you’d like to share with our readers?

Thank you for keeping on reading. Our work is worth nothing without you.

Writers, poets, readers, and all kinds of artists have a lot to share. Humanity needs to be humanized, if that makes any sense. Watch them, listen to them, read them. They are capable of shifting your consciousness to a more positive state.

Links:

http://www.habitantesdemitiempo.com/Site/Habitantes_de_mi_tiempo.html

Watch a video interview with the author: http://www.habitantesdemitiempo.com/Site/Entrevista_con_la_autora.html

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