Hi Ana. It's a pleasure to have you on today. Please tell us about your latest book, "Silent Signs"
It's a story that explores the feelings of loss after the breakup of a marriage, the fears and thrills of finding love again, and the challenge of allowing others to look deep inside one’s soul. You'll find some drama, everyday struggles, emotional bits, tender and sweet moments, and you may also crack a good laugh too.
What should readers expect from you titles?
I'm fascinated by people’s behaviour, by what’s underneath the surface, their inner workings, views, quirks, weirdnesses and just about everything else that is part of our human nature. Realistic settings and situations, characters with features and conflicts readers will relate to, and plots that keep you all warm and fuzzy inside and wondering what will happen next are some of the most significant traits of my books.
What books have you analyzed to help grow yourself as an author?
None in particular. I studied literature in college, I even hold a PhD in culture and literature. Part of my day job now is to read, analyse and write about other people's books. So I believe I know a bit about narrative techniques, voices and styles, and now I'm trying to apply some of the things I personally most identify with.
What's next for you as an author?
After the publication of my debut novel, Sign Signs, I'll start working on the release of my second book, Free Falling, a contemporary romance written from a male POV. It explores the inner workings of men and sheds some light on the things men think about women but never say, by combining wry humor and passionate moments with more serious passages that tackle challenging life situations. I like to think of it as the male version of Bridget Jones, but with a graver tone and the necessary depth to make it truer to life.
What is your favorite way to procrastinate?
Well, I don't consider myself a procrastinator. (Yet.) I have a day job that keeps me very busy, so the few moments that I have to write, I really must focus and try to create something.
Getting a book to market often takes a village. Who has helped you on the way?
Let's make this clear: I'm a writer by accident! I'm on an academic career and up until recently I had never considered this possibility. But then one day, last year, someone suggested I could actually try it out; I told that person he was crazy, of course, because I write academic papers, not fiction! Turns out that a few days later I found myself outlining a plot, thinking about the characters, about the places where I could make it happen… Then I stumbled upon one of the biggest online communities for readers & writers and that's where I found all the support and encouragement to keep going. A lot of fellow authors there have published already and they're all incredibly kind people who share their knowledge and experience with the rest of us.
Do you have a favorite or interesting reader meet moment?
I don't really have a favourite moment, I appreciate and value all kind of feedback and reactions I get from readers. But there was one that was particularly sweet: Last May, a very nice young man contacted me, wanting to know if there was a paperback version of my book Free Falling (due out in 2017). He had read it on that online platform, related to the story and the characters in a such a way, he wanted to give it as a present to a girl he was no longer with, but wanted to win back. As that book wasn't yet published, I accepted to post his message before the first chapter. Who said men don't do romance? Apparently, some still do. There's hope.
If you could have dinner with an author, who would it be?
Helen Fielding. I'm a huge fan of Bridget Jones's Diary. It'd be nice to meet Sophie Kinsella, Emma Chase, Melanie Gideon and Catherine Bybee too.
If you could travel to another time, would you choose past or future or would you stick where you are at? And Why?
I'd stick where I am at. Definitely. The world we're living in -- despite all its less positive aspects -- is full of possibilities.
What's a writing day like for you?
I either write at night, or sometimes I get up very early in the morning to have some writing done.
Do you feel music has inspired your writing?
Quiet often. I usually listen to music when I write, it helps me create certain moods, the necessary tension, if that's the case. Sometimes it's a certain song I listen on my way to work that triggers an idea for the next scene.
What's your day job like?
It depends, as I don't have a fixed schedule. I'm a college teacher and with it comes research. So, some days I have classes, others I have to dedicate myself to my research projects.
Are you an introvert or extrovert?
Something in between?
What is your favorite or most fun place to shop online?
Hmm. I don't really like to shop online, only if I really have to. I like to see things, touch them...
What's your best vacation experience?
As long as my kids are with me, every vacation is a wonderful experience. We visited Paris last March and it was great!
What technological advancement could you not live without?
My laptop, essentially.
Thanks Ana for sharing with us.
Readers: Thank you so much for joining us and for your interest in finding out a bit more about me and my books.
NOR: Thanks for having me here. It's been a pleasure.