Welcome y bienvenidos!
My special thanks to Claudia Long for tagging me in this blog relay! You can connect with Claudia and her amazing books at http://www.claudiahlong.com
I’ve enjoyed reading the blog relay posts by the authors before me, so make sure you check them out! If you’re looking for something different than what you usually read, then this blog relay is for you.
WHAT ARE YOU WORKING ON?
Currently, I’m waiting for the edits of the last ten chapters of my debut historical novel, A Decent Woman and trying hard to resist the temptation to touch Chapter One yet again! My book will be published Summer 2014 with Booktrope and I’m excited!
While waiting for the edits, I’m writing my second novel, Finding Gracia, set in Spain onthe medieval pilgrimage route of El Camino de Santiago. This book will be women’s fiction…if my characters don’t change their minds and take a detour.
WHY DO YOU WRITE WHAT YOU DO?
I love introducing readers to Latina(o) and Hispanic characters because it’s in my blood. I was born in Puerto Rico and spoke Spanish before I spoke English. My beautiful mother and my maternal grandparents, now deceased, were all born in Ponce, Puerto Rico, the setting of A Decent Woman. As an Army brat, I grew up in Europe and the United States, and spent summer vacations with my family in Ponce and San Juan. By the age of 18, I had lived in four countries.
My jobs as a Spanish language Family Support Worker for immigrant families in Northern Virginia and a Spanish language case worker at a refugee center in Brussels, Belgium have influenced my writing. Favorite books are those set in exotic places, especially stories about people who are often overlooked or ignored by our society which is how the protagonist of A Decent Woman, the Afro-Cuban midwife, Ana Belen, came about. I am passionate about women’s issues and I believe my life experiences have influenced my writing in a unique way.
HOW DOES YOUR WRITING PROCESS WORK?
For A Decent Woman, I worked with an outline, did the bulk of the research and then, wrote the novel in six months, editing as I went along. I still manage to find sentences that can and should be tweaked, so it’s a tough phase. For this book, I interviewed Caribbean friends and a Professor of Latin American Studies. The second version of the manuscript turned out richer and far more interesting as I delved deeper into the complex lives of women in turn of the century Puerto Rico. What surprised me about the writing process was how my secondary character, the midwife Ana Belen, pushed her way to first chair. I soon realized that my tribute to my Puerto Rican family was in fact, Ana’s story to tell. I followed where she led, remained open and I believe the book is richer for the experience.
With my second novel, Finding Gracia, I’ve followed the same path–outline, research, write like crazy and write some more, editing as I go along. I walked El Camino with my children in 2006 and kept a journal of my walk, so I don’t need as much research as the historical novel. What I love most about writing is allowing my story and characters to lead me to places I might not have considered at the beginning. Although I have an idea of how this story ends, I remain open to surprises, twists and new challenges for my characters.
Thank you! You can find me at: http://www.elliesbookz.wordpress.com
Thanks again, Claudia and the best of luck with The Duel for Consuelo!
Next week, be sure to visit the next two bloggers I’ve tagged for the blog relay, Mayra Calvani and Lorraine Ladish. You will enjoy reading about these talented women!
Mayra Calvani, bilingual award-winning author, has penned over ten books for children and adults in genres ranging from picture books to nonfiction to paranormal fantasy novels. Her latest book, YA fantasy, The Luthier’s Apprentice, has just been released! http://www.mayrassecretbookcase.blogspot.com/
Lorraine Ladish, bilingual author of 17 books, writer, editor, speaker & social media maven. Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Viva Fifty! a bilingual community that celebrates being 50+. http://www.lorrainecladish.com