Dare to Read

November 15, 2012

My Road to Publication: M.V. Freeman

 

Today my fellow author, M.V. Freeman, shares with us the road that took her from writer to published author. Her journey shows that, as it is the case for most of us writers, perseverance is key to getting published.

Here is her story.

First of all, thank you Carmen for allowing me to be here on your blog. It is a pleasure to be here.

I love adventure, mayhem, and larger than life stories. As a writer, my instinct is to create a fabulous saga to tell you of my road to publication, to fill it with fantastical details, maybe a car crash for good measure–actually, I put that in my story.

The truth? It is a simple tale. I finished a book.

Sounds easy enough? I rewrote the book five times.

I never knew how long it would take to write my book… or how much I would learn. I thought once you wrote it—that was it. Editing what was that? I am embarrassed to admit how green I was. I have since rectified that little problem.

At this point I want to cue hysterical laughter because after I polished my manuscript, wrote my query letter and started to send it out. I expected—like every writer–the people I sent it to would love it. Everyone makes this mistake, I don’t care who you are. It is human nature.

I thought–who wouldn’t want a story about a dangerous Russian man, desperate and charming who will do anything to protect his people? Throw in some strange creatures, elementals, and a woman who wants nothing to do with him.

Apparently a lot of places didn’t want this story. My story was rejected—many, many, times.

I’d like to say I handled it in stride. Of course I didn’t. Knowing that people don’t want or like your story is hard. I won’t lie. The experience toughened me up. Publishing is a subjective business, not objective.

I could’ve given up. Instead, I decided I was going to be fearless. The worst I would get was a “no”. Heck, I was getting plenty of those. I kept submitting (and eating way too much chocolate when I go the rejections).

That’s why when I opened the email form Crimson Romance—I actually expected a “Sorry, but not this time.”  Instead–they wanted to take a chance on my story—as a Paranormal Romance. I had to read the email several times to comprehend that.

It was one of the best decisions I made accepting that offer with Crimson. With Publication I have been exposed to even more learning opportunities. I’ve had to learn about networking, marketing, more editing and other craft writing elements. A writer never stops learning or writing.

My road to publication isn’t very exciting—but I have no regrets and it is only the beginning.

What have you pursued in spite of rejections? Have you succeeded? Are you still working toward your goal?

Author Bio: M.V. Freeman is a native of Minnesota, but calls North Alabama her home. She is a member of RWA, and the chapters: Georgia Romance Writers and Southern Magic. By day her mind is filled with medical jargon at the local health clinic, but at night she finds herself exploring alternate worlds within our own. Heavily influenced by Slavic languages and culture, you will find she weaves these elements into her stories. Her award winning story INCANDESCENT is the first in a series. She is currently working on the second book in the series while plotting another project. When she is not writing, she’s reading, cooking, throwing around kettle bells, or making coffee.   www.mvfreeman.com  my twitter @MVFree

INCANDESCENT: Some gifts are unwanted, and Laurie Hudson’s affinity for fire is one she hates. It has destroyed her relationship with her family and she has few friends. She’s fought hard to keep the fire inside suppressed, living a low key life as a bartender, until a brutal and charming man blows into her life.

Around Mikhail Petrov, her careful control disintegrates. She is at once drawn to his urbane, cool demeanor and irritated by his overbearing manner. Her options are taken away when he kidnaps her, forcing her into a fight she wants nothing to do with.

As she learns to survive, Laurie faces the hardest choice of all, her freedom or the destruction of the frustrating man she’s come to care for.

October 18, 2012

My Road to Publication: M.J. Schiller

 

 

 

Today my fellow author at Crimson Romance, M.J. Schiller, tells us about what inspired her in this difficult road to publication.

Please help me welcome her here at Dare to Read.

Hello, all!

On Tuesday of this week I discussed my “Road to Publication” on The Ladies in Red blog, a blog that was set up for all of the Crimson Romance authors.  Today I’d like to tell you a little bit about what got me onto that road in the first place.  For you youngsters out there, this may come as a shock, but…just the other day I was twenty, trying to figure out my place in the world, and the next day, all of a sudden, I was forty, still trying to find my place in this world.  I’m afraid that’s how it happens.  Time passes far too quickly.  When you get to be my age, you start to look around and realize that the rest of your time will go just as rapidly, and you better do something with it.  So you begin to ask yourself The Big Question, why am I here?

As I began to search around for the answer to that question, I ran across Rick Warren’s The Purpose-Driven Life.  (Coincidentally, Warren put forty chapters in his book because, not only is forty the age that you begin to question your life, but it is also a spiritually significant number in the Bible.)  The main premise of Warren’s book, and, of course, I’m simplifying here, is that God gave you your talents for a reason; He wants you to use them.  The book then suggests that you do some thinking and inventory those talents.

I have two skills of which I am proud.  I can fall asleep just about anywhere, at, pretty much, any time.  And, I can write.  Now, I couldn’t see how to work that first one into some kind of purpose for my life, so I was stuck with the writing thing.  ( ;

At about this same time I was watching the Emmy Awards show.  They were giving a lifetime achievement award, post-humorously, to Aaron Spelling.  You probably remember him as the man who gave us such classic television as The Mod Squad, S.W.A.T., Starsky and Hutch, Family, Charlie’s Angels, The Love Boat, Fantasy Island, Vega$, Hart to Hart, T.J. Hooker, Dynasty, Hotel, Melrose Place, Beverly Hills 90210, and 7th Heaven, my favorite being The Mod Squad.  Yes, when I grow up I want to be just like Julie, Pete, and Lincoln.  I also discovered, when looking him up for this blog, that Spelling produced one of my favorite movies of all time, Mr. Mom.  Ho But I digress.

I believe it was Jaclyn Smith who got up to talk about Aaron Spelling and quoted the producer as saying something profound like, “Reach for your dreams.”  I don’t know how many times I’d heard or seen that phrase before, but somehow, that night, it struck me.  Aaron Spelling had once, perhaps, been a geeky, pimple-faced junior high student like the rest of us, but had eventually made himself a household name.  How?  He put his talents to use.

I started writing my first book the next day.

Incidentally, I also read that “Aaron Spelling was so severely taunted by his classmates for being Jewish, he was rendered psychosomatically unable to walk for more than a year,” according to NNDB.  Had he not risen above that to use his God-given gifts, my childhood would have looked a lot different.  So that is what got me started on the long road to where I am now, about to publish my debut novel Taken by Storm.  If you’d like to hear more about that journey, read Tuesday’s blog at http://crimsonromanceauthors.com/ .

Or you can check me out at  www.mjschiller.com or M.J. on Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, Pinterest.

Taken by Storm can be purchased at Amazon, BN.com, and other e-Book retailers.

So, what are your talents?  I’m betting you don’t have anything as cool as super-sonic sleeping power.  Ever have one of those wake up moments like I described above when watching The Emmy’s?  Owe a little push down the road to your success to anyone?

Thank you for your attentive ear today.  Or should I say attentive eye?

Taken by Storm is a romance about Prince Tahj of Avistad and begins with a coup in the palace.  Tahj escapes with his captain, Radeem, and a young woman he finds bound and gagged on his bedroom floor, Bashea.  He falls in love with Bashea, but has to overcome a lot of obstacles to win her love–being on the run from Lord Boltar’s men, facing desert storms, even fighting off a panther.  But perhaps the toughest impediment to their happiness is Bashea’s own insistence that a prince can’t love a sheep herder’s daughter.  If you’d like to hear the rest of their story, you can purchase Taken by Storm at Amazon.com, BN.com, and through other E-book retailers.  Come visit me at www.mjschiller.com.

Check Taken by Storm and other titles at: www.crimsonromance.com

October 4, 2012

My Road to Publication: Laurel Garver

Filed under: Author's Interview,YA — carmenferreiroesteban @ 5:48 am
Tags: , , ,

 

Interview by Carmen Ferreiro-Esteban

 

 

Today my fellow writer Laurel Garver answers my questions about her Road to Publication for her YA novel, Never Gone.

Hello Laurel and welcome to Dare to Read, please tell us first, about your book:

Why did you write this book?

I wanted to explore how loss and grief are handled well–and poorly–in Christianity. People of faith can at times have an unhealthy stoicism about death. By emphasizing heavenly rewards for the departed, they can make the bereaved feel as if they’re spiritually deficient for having emotions like sadness, anger and loneliness. But when someone isn’t given space to fully grieve, the emotions will come out sideways and be far more damaging. Yet the story also has positive counter-examples of folks who comfort and support well because they understand the church as a body: “when one part suffers, every part suffers with it” (I Cor. 12:26). I wanted to encourage teens not to settle for platitudes when it comes to hard questions like “where is God when we suffer?” but to really engage deeply.

Writing this story was also a way to indirectly work through my grief after I lost my dad in 2003, but under very different circumstances.

What genre is it?

Young adult edgy inspirational (in other words, Christian in outlook, but with mature, challenging situations)

Who is the expected audience?

The book is intended for teens ages 14 and up. I’ve described it as The Truth About Forever (Sarah Dessen) meets Once Was Lost (Sara Zarr) with some of the style of The Sky is Everywhere (Jandy Nelson). But the story would resonate with anyone who has grieved a loss, experienced some faith-shaking tragedy, struggled to understand someone who keeps secrets, or wrestled with the question of where is God when we suffer.

I agree that grief has no age and, as I always say just because a book is labeled YA does not mean adults wouldn’t like it too.

Now,  let’s start our next block of questions. Tell us about the cover of your book:

Who designed your cover?

The design concept was mine. My good friend Ruth Hoover, a former book designer for Lipincott helped me turn the idea into reality. She suggested I use custom art rather than stock photos. My husband did the pencil drawing. I hired a photographer to shoot the drawing with a leaf, and purchased all rights to the final photo from the 40+ images she shot. Ruth took that high-resolution digital negative and did some sophisticated photo editing on it. The leaf in the original was green, since the shoot was done in August. She also did some great work on the typography and sizing and formatting for both an e-book and a paperback.

How does the cover reflect your story?

The two things my protagonist loves most are her dad and art (especially pencil drawing). The autumn leaf is a subtle nod toward the subject of grief and loss. I went for lighter and organic colors because I wanted readers to connect with the emotional heart of the story — a teen’s struggle to hang onto her faith and hope in the midst of a devastating loss.

Tell us now about the book as a product, starting by telling us in which formats is it available?

Never Gone is available an an e-book for Kindle, Nook, Kobo, plus some other platforms that Smashwords supports. It’s also available as a paperback.

How did your book get published?

I worked with five different vendors who will handle sales and distribution, and in the case of the paperback, printing as well. I did have to learn e-book formatting for the big guys–Amazon, B&N and Kobo. I did it “the hard way,” using HTML and CSS, then running it through conversion software. I’m glad I did, because the final product looks as good as anything traditional publishers do.

What is your marketing plan?

I sent review copies to a select group, who agreed to do early reviews. I also sought out some published authors to write endorsement blurbs.

I’m doing a three month long “blog ramble,” with 1-2 posts per week on various blogs and some giveaways. I’ve also begun contacting grief-oriented blogs, asking to be added to recommended reading lists.

I created a trailer for the book, which is on YouTube (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JY0gSZ3-nU4&feature=plcp), and I include it with most guest posts I do for the blog ramble.

I’ll also be doing Goodreads giveaways, and some additional fun things on that site including quizzes and chats.

I have a Twitter contest planned for October. Follow me at the link below for updates.

I’ve been invited to speak at a few book clubs, and hope to do more, likely using Skype. I’m also looking into podcasts.

Finally is there any advice you want to share with our readers who have a manuscript ready?

Take you time. Getting published is not a race. There are advantages and disadvantages of any publishing route you take. Be sure you know what they are before you make a decision. Know how much support and how much control you personally need to feel professionally satisfied with your work. Self-publishing is not “the easy way” by any stretch. You need a dozen other skills besides writing to succeed. But it is an appealing option for stories that aren’t a neat fit in a particular genre or market trend.

 

Great advice.

Thank you so much Laurel for a thoughtful interview and best of luck with your book.

 

Bio: Laurel Garver holds degrees in English and journalism and earns a living as a magazine editor. She enjoys quirky independent films, word games, British television, Celtic music, and mentoring teens at her church. She lives in Philadelphia with her husband and daughter.

Blog: http://laurelgarver.blogspot.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorLaurelGarver

Twitter: https://twitter.com/LaurelGarver

Buy links:

Amazon.com: http://www.amazon.com/Never-Gone-ebook/dp/B0096DWVSG

Also available from Amazon’s EU sites in the UK, France, Germany, Spain, Italy

Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/never-gone-laurel-garver/1112775142

Kobo: http://www.kobobooks.com/ebook/Never-Gone/book-IBAo3rxFwkyRKKs0EXPzdw/page1.html?s=wAAubaT6VkyWdmKFA2Ob6A&r=1

Smashwords: http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/229715

 

 

September 27, 2012

My Road to Publication: Kristina Knight

Filed under: Author's Interview — carmenferreiroesteban @ 6:09 am
Tags: , ,

Today I’m very pleased to introduce my fellow author at Crimson Romance, Kristina Knight.

Hi, Carmen, thanks for having me over to your blog home today! I’m getting ready for the release of my second book from Crimson Romance, The Saint’s Devilish Deal, and I’m thrilled to tell you all a little bit about the book. Here it goes!

I wanted to tell a true reunion story, because reunions are some of my favorite romances to read. As I was working on another book – a yet to be finished book, Saint & Esme got a little mouthy! – the characters of Santiago & Esmerelda came to me, arguing. They argue a lot. They’re passionate people, devoted and loyal people…both have been badly betrayed by family members – the people you think could never betray you. And so they have some serious issues to overcome. This is a contemporary romance and it’s set in Puerto Vallarta – one of my most favorite places in the world. I love the sun, sea, the relaxed atmosphere of the city.

I think the setting is represented well on the cover – I just love it! It was designed by the cover goddesses at Crimson Romance and I think it reflects the story very well – both Saint & Esme are very attached to a villa they must work together to save, so I love that the villa plays a part in the cover.

I mentioned above that this is my second romance from Crimson, and I’ve had a ball with them over the past six months. My road to publication has been filled with fits and starts. I’ve been writing for as long as I can remember, but my fiction career was interrupted by 1) a career in journalism and 2) a couple of cross-country moves with my amazing husband and 3) the adoption of our amazing, wonderful and creative daughter. Among all the drama I continued to write, but a lot of what I wrote was for me – to quiet the voices in my head, to learn story structure. In 2008 I got serious about my writing and then came another interruption (our daughter’s adoption) and I stalled. By 2009, the adoption was finalized, my life had come to a place where I knew it was time to either 1) take this writing thing seriously or 2) give it up entirely. I took it seriously. I took some online workshops, joined a local RWA chapter and started sending my work out.

The best advice I have is to send the book out. Seriously, the only way anyone is going to ‘find’ you is if you first put yourself out there. So write and polish until the book is as perfect as you can make it, and then send it out. Contests are great and can get you some valuable information, but definitely send the book to publishers and see what happens!

The Saint’s Devilish Deal is available in e-formats, wherever e-books are sold, on October 1; a paperback version is planned but that release is still a few weeks away.

BIO: Once upon a time, Kristina Knight spent her days running from car crash to fire to meetings with local police – no, she wasn’t a trouble-maker she was a journalist. When the opportunity to write what she wanted – business and family/parenting articles – and to focus more energy on the stories in her head, she jumped at it. And she’s never looked back. Now she writes articles for magazines and such by day and writes romance novels with spice by night. And any toddler-free, five minute break she has. She lives on Lake Erie with her husband and 4 year old daughter. Happily ever after.

Links:

My website: http://www.kristinaknightauthor.com
FB – http://www.facebook.com/kristinaknightromanceauthor
TW – http://www.twitter.com/authorkristina

Buy links:

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/The-Saints-Devilish-Deal-ebook/dp/B0096D6WFE/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1348683048&sr=8-1&keywords=the+saint%27s+devilish+deal
B&N: (link isn’t ready yet)
iTunes: http://itunes.apple.com/us/book/the-saints-devilish-deal/id559862469?mt=11

 

Check Saint’s Paradise Deals and other titles at: www.crimsonromance.com

September 11, 2012

My Official Introduction at Ladies in Red

 

 

by Carmen Ferreiro-Esteban

 

 

 

Today it’s my official introduction at Ladies in Red, the unofficial gathering of Crimson Romance authors.

Please come visit and stay a while with my fellow authors.

My paranormal Romance, Immortal Love, will be released on September 17.

Check it out at Amazon.com,both in English and Spanish.

September 6, 2012

My Road to Publication: Kate Fellowes

 

 

Carmen Ferreiro-Esteban talks to Kate Fellowes

 

 

Today my fellow author at Crimson Romance tells us all about her exciting road to the publication of her novel Thunder in the Night. Please help me welcome her.

Here is her story:

My new romantic suspense novel, Thunder in the Night, has its roots in a betrayal from the distant past.

You see, there was this elephant.

Lota lived in a zoo for over thirty years before being sold to a circus for one dollar.  She was stuck there in that circus for over a decade, as her health deteriorated and as the USDA investigated allegations of abuse.  Eventually, she and all the rest of the circus herd were confiscated by the USDA and poor sick Lota finally got to sanctuary, where she should have gone thirteen years earlier, straight from the zoo.

But it was too late.  She was dying.  For only three short months, she lived at the Elephant Sanctuary, but at least for those last months, she felt grass beneath her feet and knew the touch of loving hands.

I’ve always thought this was a horrible betrayal of that animal.  Those entrusted with her care were meant to protect her and see to her well-being.  Instead, they sent her to her doom.

What other ways have humans betrayed animals, I wondered, and a thousand examples flooded my mind.  After sifting them, combining them, discarding some and keeping others, I had my plot.

In Thunder in the Night, Allison Belsar is a journalist assigned to write a travel piece on a tour to Belize sponsored by the local zoo.  She finds adventure and danger and, yes, betrayal while on the trip.  And she also finds, most unexpectedly, love, in the form of Mart Lawler, assistant director of the zoo.

While Thunder in the Night covers a lot of ground geographically, at its heart are the hearts of Allison and Mart, who see in one another a strong and compassionate partner.  As with all my novels, (Thunder in the Night is my fifth) I’m aiming for wide appeal.  You can read this book—and so can your daughter and so can your grandmother.

My own favorite authors from what I think of as the golden age of romantic suspense—Barbara Michaels, Mary Stewart, Phyllis Whitney—all sprinkle details of their settings, occupations and events into their books and I’ve tried to do that as well.  There are no elephants in my novel, but you will meet a lot of other species.

A launch title with new publisher, Crimson Romance, Thunder in the Night has a fantastic cover, hinting at the mystery of the rain forest.  The publisher did a wonderful job of accurately reflecting my story.  There’s a good-looking guy with a glint in his eyes and you can tell he knows more than he’s saying.  The book is available in two formats—e-book and paperback.

And it’s all happened so quickly!

I read on one of my writers lists about a new publisher taking submissions, so I sent off a query straight away.  In less than a week, I had a request for the full manuscript and a week after that, a letter of suggested revisions.  I took a few weeks to make those changes and shortly after I submitted the new and improved version, I was signing the contract.

The line launched on June 4, 2012 with twenty-five titles, one of which was mine.  I’ve been talking it up on blogs like this one and encourage anyone with a completed romance to check out Crimson Romance at www.crimsonromance.com.  They have been terrific to work with and I’m already planning my next romance.

Thanks so much for having me here today.  I know firsthand the value of writers sharing information and ideas and hope my path to publication will encourage someone else to take that next step, too.

Kate Fellowes’ working life has revolved around words—editor of the student newspaper, reporter for the local press, cataloger in her hometown library. She’s the author of five novels and numerous short stories and essays. Married, she and her husband share their home with a variety of companion animals.

You can find her at: http://katefellowes.wordpress.com/

August 14, 2012

Interview Carmen Ferreiro-Esteban

Filed under: Author's Interview,Becquer,Immortal Love,Two Moon Princess — carmenferreiroesteban @ 9:40 am
Tags: , ,

 

 

 

 

As I promised to my fellow writer and friend, Sandra Carey Cody, here is the translation into English of my interview published in El Progreso, my hometown newspaper.

Have questions? Please ask.

Why Bécquer?

Gustavo Adolfo Bécquer is the most romantic of the Spanish writers, maybe the only one among them who was a real romantic.

Bécquer was a dreamer who lived two lives, his everyday life and the one he imagined peopled with beautiful faeries and doomed lovers.

His real life was rather sad. He lost both parents when he was a child, he acquired a chronic illness in his youth, he was rejected by his great love and all his life, he fought and failed to be recognized as a poet.

The only existing manuscript containing the poems he had written throughout his life was lost in 1868 during the Revolution that overthrew Queen Isabel II, and although he rewrote the poems from memory, the collection was only published after his death.

In all the biographies I read about Bécquer, he was portrayed as gentle and simple, honest and brave. He seemed the kind of person I would have very much liked to meet. That’s why I chose him as the protagonist of my novel.

Apart from the work of the eternal poet and writer, what was the inspiration for your novel Immortal Love?

The answer that first come to my mind is Lorca because Federico García Lorca is another character in my story. Why did I choose him? Because his death was a tragedy I would have liked to prevent not only because he was a most remarkable human being but also because he was killed when he was at the height of his creativity.

Lorca, for what I could gather from his biographies and the testimonies of those who met him, was a happy, enthusiastic person, full of life who was always the center of attention. Who wouldn’t have wanted to meet him?

The inspiration for the setting in Immortal Love was Bucks County, PA where I live.

In Spanish, the title of your book is Bécquer Eternal, would you like Bécquer to be immortal?

Absolutely. And I am not the only one.

When this past June, I visited in Sevilla the Exhibit about Bécquer, Bécquer tan cerca… A través del arte (http://youtu.be/73wEJDhKONo), I met Pilar Alcalá (the literary director of the exhibit) and some of the talented artists whose works were in the exhibit. I am certain all of them share my wish that the immortal Bécquer I created in my novel were real.

Was it easy for you to combine these two so different times, the time of the nineteenth century author and the present?

Immortal Love takes place in our time. Although to create the character of Bécquer I also had to imagine his past. Thus, I do have in my mind his whole story and know how he became an immortal. I included only a small part of this story in Immortal love. I hope one day I have the time to write down his complete story.

Bécquer died on December 22, and on the same day there was a solar eclipse, do you believe in coincidences?

Even more interesting is the fact that Bécquer died in Madrid and the solar eclipse was in Sevilla, the city where he was born. As for your question, no, I don’t believe in coincidences. I don’t believe in witches either, but they exist regardless.

Bécquer was a romantic, and you?
Totally. Like Bécquer, I live in two worlds, the everyday world and the one I create in my stories. Without this second life that takes place in my mind, I would find it very hard to live.

You were born in Lugo, how did you end up in the United States?

My ex-husband was from the States. I met him in California during my postdoctoral stay there. Although we lived in Spain for a while and considered staying for good we returned to the States after three years. My marriage ended in divorce, but we had two children by then and that forced me to remain in the States.

What do you most miss from Galicia?

My family, my friends, the food, the land, the language, even the rain. Everything, I guess. This longing that is an intrinsic characteristic in all of us born in Galicia and that Rosalía de Castro described so well in her poems and Gonzalo Torrente Ballester in his novels, is always with me.

Maybe it’s for this reason that my YA story, Two Moon Princess, takes place in a medieval world whose geography, and even names, I took directly from Galicia.

You were in Lugo this past June, are are you going to spend your summer vacation?

My stay in Spain was my summer vacation. I first went to Sevilla to see the Exhibit about Bécquer (Bécquer tan cerca… A través del arte) and then I visited family and friends in Vigo and Lugo.

Which books do you recommend this summer?

Rhymes and Legends by Gustavo Adolfo Bécquer and Poet in New York by Federico García Lorca.

I believe everybody who went to school in a Spanish speaking country remembers Bécquer’s Rhymes and Legends for they were obligatory reading. But, at least in my case, a reading from an adult perspective, unveiled a magnificence in his use of words and a deeper meaning I had missed then.

Bécquer was also a good painter. Even as a writer, he uses words as a painter would ink and colors, leaving, with his descriptions a most complete picture in our minds.

Here is an example. A description of the Madrid he knew when, without money or support from family, he arrived in the Spanish capital looking for fortune. He does not only paint a picture in our minds with his words, but transmits a feeling of profound despair as well.

“Madrid wrapped in a light mist, through whose broken shreds chimneys, attics, bell towers and the naked branches of the trees raise their dark crests. Madrid dirty, black, ugly like a gaunt skeleton shivering under an immense shroud of snow.” G.A. Bécquer. Review of the La Soledad by Augusto Ferrán, El Contemporáneo, Madrid January 20, 1861.

As for the book Poet in New York, I only want to mention that Lorca wrote it after witnessing the collapse of the stock market, during his stay in New York in 1929. His reaction at seeing the consequences of the extreme greed of a capitalistic society at his worse could not be more current.

This book also include the poem Take this Waltz, that Leonard Cohen translated into English and sang as a beautiful ballad. (http://goo.gl/dcpGj)

To finish our interview, could you tell us about the best summer of your life?

As the inveterate romantic that I am, I believe the best summer of my life is still to come.

August 8, 2012

Mi entrevista este verano en El Progreso / My Interview in the Spanish Newspaper El Progreso

Pensé que a mis amigos de habla hispana les podría interesar esta entrevista que Olalla González Lama me hizo para el periódico de mi ciudad natal, Lugo.

Si están interesados pueden leer el texto completo debajo del artículo.

  • ¿Por qué Bécquer?

Gustavo Adolfo Bécquer es el más romántico de los escritores españoles, quizás el único que lo fue en el sentido real del término. La otra escritora romántica incluida en los libros de texto, Rosalía de Castro, nos ofrece un romanticismo distinto, un romanticismo basado en el amor a la tierra y la morriña que su ausencia nos causa.

Bécquer fue un soñador que vivió dos vidas la que creaba con su imaginación y la suya cotidiana.

Su vida real fue más bien triste. Se quedó huérfano de padres en la niñez, contrajo una enfermedad crónica en su juventud, fue rechazado por su gran amor, y luchó toda su vida por conseguir el éxito literario sin conseguirlo. Su libro de poemas se perdió en 1868 durante la Revolución que depuso a Isabel II y aunque lo reescribió de memoria no fue publicado hasta después de su muerte.

En todas las biografías que leí sobre Bécquer lo retrataban como una persona amable y sencilla, honrada y valiente, una persona a la que me hubiera gustado conocer y por ello lo elegí como protagonista de mi novela.

  • Además de la obra del eterno poeta y narrador, ¿en qué se inspiró para escribir ‘Bécquer eterno’?

La respuesta inmediata es Lorca dado que Federico García Lorca es otro de los personajes de mi historia. ¿Por qué lo elegí? Su muerte fue una tragedia que me hubiera gustado prevenir no solo para evitar su pérdida personal sino también por que murió en la etapa más productiva de su carrera.

Lorca, por lo que se deduce de las biografías y testimonios de los que lo conocieron, era una persona alegre y llena de vida que era el centro de atención doquiera que estaba. ¿Quién no querría haberlo conocido?

En cuanto al sitio en el que se desarrolla la novela, me inspiré en el condado de Bucks en Pensilvania donde vivo.

  • Tituló su obra ‘Bécquer eterno’, ¿le gustaría que fuera inmortal?

Absolutamente. Y no soy la única.

Cuando a finales de junio visité en Sevilla la exposición homenaje a Bécquer, Bécquer tan cerca… A través del arte (http://youtu.be/73wEJDhKONo), conocí a la coordinadora literaria, Pilar Alcalá y a algunos de los artistas que contribuyeron con sus obras a la exposición. Estoy segura de que todos ellos comparten mi deseo de que el Bécquer inmortal que creé en mi novela fuera real.

  • ¿Le resultó sencillo aunar estos dos tiempos tan dispares, el del autor decimonónico y el actual?

Bécquer eterno tiene lugar en la época actual. Aunque para entender el personaje de Bécquer imaginé también la historia de cómo se convirtió en un ser inmortal en el siglo XIX, solo la primera página de esa historia aparece en Bécquer eterno, como una entrada en un diario que Bécquer escribe a la protagonista. Algún día espero tener tiempo para completar ese diario.

  • Murió el 22 de diciembre el mismo día de un eclipse de Sol total. ¿Cree en las coincidencias?

Aún más interesante es que Bécquer murió en Madrid y el eclipse de Sol fue en Sevilla, su ciudad natal.

Pero, contestando su pregunta, no, no creo en las coincidencias. Tampoco creo en las meigas, “mais haberlas haylas”.

  • Bécquer era un romántico, ¿y usted?

Totalmente. Como Bécquer, yo vivo en dos mundos, el de la realidad cotidiana y el de mis historias. Sin esta segunda vida de la imaginación, me sería imposible vivir.

  • Usted nació en Lugo, ¿cómo acabó en los EEUU?

Me casé con un americano que conocí en California durante mi estancia postdoctoral. Aunque volvimos a España pensando en quedarnos, regresamos a EEUU tres años después. El matrimonio no duró pero para entonces ya teníamos dos hijos y ellos forzaron el que me quedara a vivir allí.

  • ¿Qué es lo que más echa de menos de Galicia?

Mi familia, mis amigos, la comida, la tierra, la lengua, la lluvia incluso. En fin todo. Esta morriña intrínseca al gallego que tan bien describió Rosalía y que es aparente en las obras de Gonzalo Torrente Ballester, otro de mis escritores favoritos siempre está conmigo.

Quizás por ello mi historia medieval, Two Moon Princess, tienen lugar en una mundo medieval paralelo al nuestro cuya geografía tomé directamente de Galicia.

  • Acaba de estar en Lugo, pero y las vacaciones ¿dónde las va a pasar?

Mi estancia en España fueron mis vacaciones. Como mencioné antes, primero fui a Sevilla a ver la Exposición en homenaje a Bécquer: Bécquer tan cerca… A través del arte y después visité familia y amigos en Vigo y Lugo.

  • ¿Qué lectura nos recomienda este verano?

Las Rimas y leyendas de Gustavo Adolfo Bécquer y Poeta en Nueva York de Federico García Lorca.

Supongo que todos recordamos las Rimas y leyendas de Bécquer de cuando las leímos en la clase de Literatura. Pero, al menos en mi caso, una nueva lectura desde una perspectiva adulta, me descubrió una belleza en la lengua y un significado en los textos que se me había escapado entonces.

Bécquer era también un buen pintor y la forma en que describe con palabras es increíble. Es como si pintara en nuestra mente lo que está describiendo.

He aquí un ejemplo, una descripción del Madrid que Bécquer conoció cuando, sin dinero y sin apoyo familiar, llegó a la capital en busca de fortuna. No sólo nos transmite una imagen con sus palabras sino también un sentimiento de profunda desesperanza.

“Madrid envuelto en una ligera neblina, por entre cuyos rotos jirones levantaban sus crestas oscuras las chimeneas, las boardillas, los campanarios y las desnudas ramas de los árboles.

“Madrid sucio, negro, feo como un esqueleto descarnado tiritando bajo su inmenso sudario de nieve.” G.A. Bécquer. Reseña a La Soledad de Augusto Ferrán, El Contemporáneo, Madrid 20 de enero de 1861.

En cuanto al libro Poeta en Nueva York solo comentar que Lorca estaba en Nueva York en 1929 cuando la caída de la bolsa. Su descripción de las terribles consecuencias de la avaricia sin límites de un capitalismo extremo no podía ser más actual.

El libro también incluye el poema Pequeño vals vienés que Leonard Cohen canta en inglés en su inolvidable balada Take this Waltz.

  • Y por último, ¿cuál fue el mejor verano de su vida?

Como romántica empedernida que soy, creo que el mejor verano de mi vida no ha pasado todavía.

June 21, 2012

My Road to Publication: Becky Lower

Filed under: Author's Interview,My Road to Publicatin — carmenferreiroesteban @ 5:22 am
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by Carmen Ferreiro-Esteban

 

 

Today, I want to introduce you to another of my fellow writers at Crimson Romance.

I hope you find her story as interesting as I did.

My debut novel, The Reluctant Debutante, is an historical romance sent in America as it is poised on the brink of the Civil War. I consider it a cross between Edith Wharton and Julia Quinn. Julia’s Bridgerton series is my true inspiration for this series, which focuses on the Fitzpatrick family’s nine children, who are all named for an herb or spice, as they come of age in a new country. The Cotillion tradition was introduced to New York society in 1854, so The Reluctant Debutante introduces the first of the Fitzpatrick females–Ginger–who will participate in the Ball and season only to secure the right for her younger siblings, not because she wants to.

The cover of my book was designed by the killer graphics team at Crimson Romance. They gave me two choices, and judging from the early comments I’ve received, I picked the right one. It has the right historical feel, the debutante is there, but vague enough so the reader can make her look the way the reader envisions her. The band of Indian print along the bottom gives a hint of things to come inside the book. The book is available for pre-orders on Amazon until July 2, at which time it will become available on most digital publishing sites. Plans are underway to make it available in print later in the year.

My road to publication was a long and winding one. I entered a lot of contests, and received valuable feedback from them. I sent it out to several publishers, who told me it was an odd time period since most people writing historicals set in America either focus on the Golden Age after the Civil War or they write Westerns. No one cares about New York in the 1850s, according to them. Also, it was advised that I change the name of my characters, since the name Ginger wasn’t common during this time period. I stuck to my guns about certain elements of the story and kept revising and tightening the rest of it. Crimson Romance is a new publishing house who is willing to take a chance on the not-so-traditional books, and I’m glad to have found a home with them. They’ve already signed me for the second book in the series, which will be out in December. My marketing plan is being formulated as I go. I have a new website, www.beckylowerauthor.com, and a blog attached to it, so I’m going to see about doing a blog tour. I’m being reviewed in my local paper, and an arts publication in Northern Virginia, where I used to work. I may also do some advertising.

My advice to anyone who has ever wanted to write a book is twofold. First, if you think you’re too old to start the process, I’ll quote George Eliot: “It’s never too late to be what you might have been.” To those who are younger and busy getting married, launching careers and nurturing children, I’d say, don’t let life get in the way of your dreams.

Ever since submitting my first screenplay to Bonanza at age twelve, I have had a love affair with the American west. Perhaps it has something to do with an old family legend that I have a Cherokee Indian great-great grandfather. That might explain why I tend to plunk my characters into the middle of momentous historical events that helped shape the United States. I pursue my passion for history by watching The History Channel, visiting old graveyards and civil war battle sites and by writing about it. I am a graduate of Bowling Green State University and currently live in Oberlin, OH with my puppy-mill rescue dog, Mary.

 

June 14, 2012

My Road to Publication: Rionna Morgan

Filed under: Author's Interview — carmenferreiroesteban @ 6:16 am
Tags: , ,

 

 

Interview by Carmen Ferreiro-Esteban

 

 

 

Today I am thrilled to introduce Rionna Morgan to my followers. Rionna is not only a talented writer but also my fellow author at Crimson Romance. Her novel, The Wanting Heart will be available on July 9th.

As one reviewer writes, The Wanting Heart has “drama, suspense and romance.” Who needs more?

This is what Rionna has to say about her book and her road to publication.

Hi Rionna, welcome to Dare to Read and congratulations on your upcoming book.

Q. First of all, could you tell us where did you get the idea for The Wanting Heart?

A. I think that, like is the case with all stories, this one was inside me, just needing to be told.

Q. What genre is it?

A. Romantic Suspense

Q. Who is the expected audience?

A. Readers who enjoy the sweet surrender of romance laced with the terror of suspense!

Q. Who designed your cover?

A. Crimson Romance art department.

Q. How does the cover reflect your story?

A. The book is about a barrel racer who gets swept off her feet by a serial killer.  On the cover there is a barrel racer holding a single red rose…the rose is an important element in the story.

Q. In which formats is your book available?

A. e-book, hardcover, paperback?  E-book and paperback.

Q. What could you tell us about your road to publication?

A. After about 200 rejections, I put the book away.  Decided the market wasn’t ready, that was a few years ago.  A few months ago, I saw a Call for Submission from Crimson Romance, and I immediately thought of The Wanting Heart.

Q. What is your marketing plan?

A. Besides blog tours and author interviews, I plan to market to rodeo sites and rodeo retail sites.  The Wanting Heart is a novel with a broad audience, but because of the main character being a barrel racer, I thought marketing to those locations would be a good idea as well.

Q. Any advice you want to share with our readers who have a manuscript ready?

A. I would send a query to Jennifer at Crimson Romance.  She is an amazing editor.  She works with writers who she feels has a knack or talent.  Feel free to visit Crimson Romance at the following site.  Submission Guidelines are available there.

http://www.crimsonromance.com/

Rionna Morgan

Growing up out West, Rionna Morgan followed her love of horses to the rodeo arena and her love of English to the classroom and to writing.  She has been looking forward to sharing her stories with you her whole life.  Rionna is a founding member of Montana Romance Writers; she reads as much as she can possibly hold, and she loves most of all combing the chilling edge of a knife with the sweet surrender of romance. Rionna shares her home in Missoula, Montana with her husband, her four children and the mountains outside her window. Please be invited to stop by at http://rionnamorgan.com –she loves the company.

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