QUICK, you have 50 words – pitch us your debut novel, HEARTS NEVER LIE, and make us want to race out and buy it!
Hearts Never Lie is a story about winning in life especially in love and in happiness. It’s a story about growing up after making bad choices then learning from them by deciding that life is too short. It’s about family and loyalty and everything else that makes us human.
Every story has a backstory, that event or experience that sparked a story to life…what is the backstory of HEARTS NEVER LIE?
I wanted to show how strong first crushes can be. I never stopped loving my first love, and I finally got him and that’s kind of what inspired this story.
What are three of your guilty pleasures?
Eating at Fatburger, having a pedicure, and always wearing cute shoes.
At the end of the day, what do you hope the reader will get from reading HEARTS NEVER LIE?
Hope. I think that everyone who reads my book should come out of the story believing there is hope.
HEARTS NEVER LIE is not your first foray into publishing. I learned that you published a book of poetry entitled GREEN EYES OPEN after a close call with death. Did any of the themes or feelings that were captured in your poetry collection reveal themselves again in your novel?
No, I was saving them for the book based on my story. lol
What is the ideal space for you to write?
I can write almost anywhere, but I tend to flow the best while I’m on my lunch at work. Shhhh, don’t tell no one.
I know that HEARTS NEVER LIE is published by Pilot Publishing; was PP your first move for the novel, or did you pursue other avenues with the book?
Hearts Never Lie was titled Life’s a Bitch originally and to be honest it needed a lot of work and Pilot was the one who took the time to believe in me and the story of Mariposa. I am very thankful for them.
Talk to us a bit about your journey to publication and how you ultimately became connected with Pilot Publishing.
After self publishing Green Eyes Open, I looked forward to the day that I could finally put out one of my stories but wasn’t sure what was next until me and the owner of Pilot began speaking (I was a fan of his work). He eventually approached me about my book, and the rest is history. hehe.
Do you have a standard process to your writing? Are you an outliner or a jump-right-in writer?
I am a jump right in writer. I have to just go from the first sentence and keep going although I do tend to find inspiration in going back to edit. I don’t know why but once a re-read, I end up getting more ideas.
Do you ever listen to music when you write? If so, what songs were on your HEARTS NEVER LIE “soundtrack”?
Oooh, there are so many. Coffee’s theme song was by Brotha Lynch, and yes, SVW “Weak in the Knees,” “Just Kickin’ It” by Escape, and I most definitely thought I heard Janet Jackson’s “Anytime, Anyplace” whenever Caesar and Mariposa were together. I usually write to Tupac. He brings out so much inspiration in me.
What’s your favorite thing about HEARTS NEVER LIE?
Abuelo’s character because he was so much like my real grandfather only my Grandpa was Dominican not Puerto Rican.
What three adjectives best describe HEARTS NEVER LIE?
Sexy, Emotional, Poetic.
How do you spend your time when you’re not writing?
I love reading and spending time with my kids. I also love cooking and am always looking for good recipes.
As a published author, what advice might you offer to writers hoping to get published?
Don’t give up. It’ll all be worth it when you are holding your novel in your hands. Also when you are blocked, make sure you write something whether it’s a blog, journal, short story, or a poem. If you keep writing, you can become more seasoned.
Dream-on: The movie adaptation of HEARTS NEVER LIE is greenlighted! Who would play the main characters, Mariposa Sota and Caesar Simpson?
I think maybe Christina Milian for Mariposa, but I’d have to scour the country to find the perfect Caesar though.
If there were a soundtrack to your life, what would be THREE MUST-HAVE TRACKS on that disc?
Mary J’s “My Life”, Tupac’s “Hail Mary”, and right now I’m really digging Shareefa, so I’ll say her song “They Don’t Know Me.”
What are you currently working on?
Right now, I am working on two different novels; one is based loosely on my life, and the other is a fictional love story entitled “Another Man’s Treasure.”