Tell us a little about yourself? Perhaps something not many people know?
Since I was 6 years old I dreamt of being an actress and was once in a play at my city’s main theater. Living in Puerto Rico there is not a lot of opportunity for people who aspire to be actors and I decided to dedicate myself to writing. But the dream is still there and I would love to act again just to get that amazing feeling from when I was on stage once again.
What made you want to become a writer?
I decided to become an author because of the love and passion I have for creating characters and stories. I have been writing since age twelve and can’t imagine not being able to pour my imagination out this way.
Million dollar question, are you working on another book?
I am currently working on a Spanish language novel set called A la sombra del Aleli which is set in a 19th century Puerto Rican coffee plantation.
Pen or type writer or computer?
I used the computer.
Music or silence?
Silence, I can’t concentrate with music.
What is the toughest criticism given to you as an author?
One reviewer wrote a very hurtful review saying my novel was predictable, cliché, saccharine sweet and my characters one dimensional. Having spent two years putting my heart and soul into this book these words actually made me question if I should continue to write because it felt as if I had written the worst book ever. But in the end I decided I decided that’s it’s not what people like this say that matter’s, but what I myself feel. I have confidence in my ability to write, into the love I put into my stories and I will never again let a reviewer crush my hopes and ambitions.
What has been the best compliment?
That I shine at humanizing my characters. As someone who loves complex human relationships and stories whether it be in movies or books that comment makes me very happy.
What is something memorable you have heard from your readers/fans?
What a reviewer once wrote about my novel Windswept: “A simple story is made eternal by its depth and its ability to move the reader. There is both ecstasy and despondency in a memorable work of fiction.” That she called my book memorable is what I aspire for as a writer.
Who is your favorite author?
I have yet to find anyone who I could consider as my favorite author although I do have many I like.
What is/are your book(s) about?
My first novel called Windswept is an Edwardian era romance set in England about an enslaved girl and how forces and circumstances surrounding her threaten to separate her from the man she loves. And my second novel Crying, the Nightingale is a Noir inspired romance set in the 1950’s about the relationship between an ordinary man and a nightclub singer.
A tree grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith.
If you could write about anyone fiction/nonfiction who would you write about?
I would write about my favorite actress Florence La Badie who was active during the silent era and tragically died in a car accident at the height of her fame. I think that not only was she beautiful and talented but that she had a fascinating life story that would make a great book.
Of all the characters you have created, which is your favorite and why?
If I had to pick a favorite from all my characters it would be Magdalena Williams from my first novel Windswept. She’s a beautiful soul who has gone through great suffering during most of her life yet still manages to keep from being consumed by anger and hatred. Magdalena is the definition of a pure heart and that is why James Thomas, the male protagonist, loves her.
Could you tell us a bit about your most recent book and why it is a must-read?
Crying, the Nightingale which was inspired by film noir and set in 1950 tells the story of Warren Harlan, an ordinary banker who following the death of his father begins to have dreams of a faceless woman singing in a nightclub. Her name is Moira Lily and in meeting, they change each other’s live in ways they never could’ve predicted. It is a story that shows the era’s dark side but also its beauty and has a message of how not even the greatest evil can destroy the love two people have for each other. I believe it is a story that anyone who likes classic noir or a great romance will enjoy.
Tell us a little about your plans for the future. Where do you see yourself as a writer in five years?
I hope to be a bestselling author or on my way there and I dream of one day seeing my books as films. That would make me the happiest person in the world.