An Interview with R. Rodriguez, Author of Chastity: An Eternal Beloved Novel

An Interview with R. Rodriguez, author of Chastity: An Eternal Beloved Novel

http://smashwords.com/books/view/205410

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B008MJT2IC

Join me on my second interview with author of the Eternal Beloved Novel Series, R. Rodriguez! In this interview, she presents her new novel in the series, Chastity.

 

1.  How long does it take you to write a book?

It takes me from a year and half to two years to write a book because of my busy schedule.

2.  Can you tell us about your challenges in getting your first book published?

I tried to get my first book published the traditional way and it was a challenging process. First I sent out queries to about fifty agents. Each agent has very specific requirements. Then I had to deal with rejection, which I knew would happen. I finally found an agent. After having representation, I had to make the pertinent changes to my book. Writing the book proposal for the publishing houses, which was exhausting in itself, was next. I got positive responses to my book, but the powers that be didn’t think it was the right time. This whole process took over a year and frankly, I got tired of all the waiting. There’s a lot of waiting involved. I just wanted to get my message out there, so I researched independent publishing and did it all myself. Self publishing is grueling, but worth it. I have my books out there and I get to interact directly with my readers on a daily basis.

3.  What do you like to do when you’re not writing?

I like to read of course! I also enjoy traveling, going out with friends and family, and sightseeing. I live in a tropical island so there are lots of places to visit throughout the year.

4.  What does your family think of your writing?

My family is very supportive of my writing. They have always supported me and given me encouragement. My mom thinks my books will be best sellers someday. Of course, she’s my mom. My kids think it’s cool.

5.  How do you market your work? What avenues have you found to work best in your genre?

I market my books personally in local universities and schools through the use of flyers or postcards. I post articles about the releases in local newspapers as well. Social media is an important part of marketing. I have good communication with book bloggers who are nice enough to review, feature and host giveaways or interviews in their blogs. I also have an author facebook page that gives me insights on the amount of exposure I’m getting on a daily basis. I always include links to where my books can be purchased.  I also have a YouTube channel where I post trailers or other videos related to my books. I’m in the process of building a website for my books, as well, where people can find more information about me and my books. Print copies are usually supplied by me to people who request them or local stores who have agreed to sell them. People don’t seem to want to go through the trouble of ordering the print copy from lulu.com. For my eBooks it works best to interact with readers through social media where we can post trivia challenges that spark interest in the book and the like. For the print format, it works best to provide the books myself.

6.  What do you think makes a good story?

I think a good story is one that appeals to the audience you’re trying to target. I think this is subjective since what appeals to someone may not appeal to someone else. Overall, a good story should have strong characters, a strong plot with no loose ends. It should also flow easily. Finally, it should be memorable, making the reader think about it after they’re done reading it.

7.  Can you tell us about this book?

Chastity is the second book in the Eternal Beloved Novel Series. This series is not a trilogy or saga. Each book has a young female protagonist that tackles important life dilemmas. In this installment, the themes of promiscuity and neglect are explored. Chastity Ann Chadwick is a self proclaimed teenage femme fatale who lives in the small sailing town of Seaport Harbor. She’s a boy eater who uses pleasure to numb the pain of her unfortunate circumstances.  Little does she know, she’s on a certain path to self destruction when one of her romantic escapades gets out of hand. Life as she knows it will never be the same. Her only solace comes from an unanticipated liaison with the new mysterious guy in school. Her hopes are shattered when she realizes her newfound life is not what it seems. She will only find redemption by searching for her own truth.

8.  What’s your next project?

My next project is Destiny, the Third book in the Eternal Beloved Series. I’m in the brainstorming stage right now so I don’t know yet what the main topics are going to be in this one. I’m also going to finish an adventure book geared towards the middle age group of 9 to 12 years olds, that I meant to publish by August but wasn’t able to. I’ve decided I’m going to try to publish this one the traditional way as I would love some help with all the process that surrounds publishing a book.

9.  Is there anything you’d like to say to your readers and fans?

I’d like to thank my readers for their support and their affection. It means a lot to me that I’m able to get my writing out there. I have an amazing group of readers in England that are especially supportive and I thank them all! I hope to come up with more stories you enjoy in the coming years.

10.  Social media you’d like to share:

You can find out more about me at:

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/rrodriguezeternalbeloved

Twitter: https://twitter.com/RRodz1

Email: roserodriguez826@gmail.com

You can find other books by me at:

http://smashwords.com/books/view/94810

http://amzn.to/xCyPLM

Thanks Yawatta!

Advertisements

Book Review: The Last Echo-A Body Finder Novel By Kimberly Derting

In the end, all that’s left is an Echo.

Before, Violet’s morbid ability to sense the dead led her to uncover dark murders and long-buried secrets in her small town. Now that she’s working with a special investigative team, Violet hopes she can help even more people–whether by saving a life or catching a killer.

Although she’s relieved to finally be honest about what she can do, her instant connection with her mysterious partner, Rafe, is both confusing and unsettling, and their unique bond creates tension with her boyfriend, Jay. When she discovers the body of a college student murdered by “the collector,” Violet refuses to give up on the case. With her own relationship on the line, Violet doesn’t realize that the serial killer is looking to add to his collection and that she may have caught his eye. Will the life Violet has to save be her own?

I loved this 26 chapter book. I have to admit it took me by surprise at first because I didn’t know the majority of the characters would be teenagers. I thought Violet would be a grown woman, but this didn’t ruin the story for me at all. Maybe I enjoy the young adult genre (never really had been my cup of tea) after all.

I’m all about love triangles so my favorite scenes were whenever Violet interacted with Rafe and Jay. I could relate to Rafe because he’s a loner (he reminded me of Dean Winchester or Alex Karev), and Violet because she hates secrets. The sections with Caine, the killer, were also interesting. He was so creepy that he gave me the chills. I always say the scariest fiction is reading about something that can happen in real life. And, unfortunately, women can be the object of  affection for an obsessed psycho.

My favorite line was: “Didn’t they say that most victims were attacked by people they knew?” That statement took me a moment to reflect. And, I’ll never look at coffee shops the same way again. I enjoyed the friendship between Violet and Krystal.  The twist at the end shocked me in a good way! Dr. Lee was a shrink she had to see to keep her feelings in check after going through her supernatural powers; Dr. Lee, I didn’t know you had that in you at the end.

The author did a fabulous job with plot. From beginning to end, the story was a page turner for me. I couldn’t put the book down, sitting at the edge of my seat. The characters were three-dimensional and well thought out. Plus, I got a kick out of all the tension and conflict in the story. Gemma–a member on the team–disliked Violet and didn’t hide it from her.
The book is definitely a fast read.

The only thing I was confused about was why all of Caine’s sections were italicized. Is that a new trend for novels? The story was told through Violet’s third person point-of-view perspective except when it was Caine’s turn.

I RECOMMEND this book to read.

Keep smiling,

Yawatta Hosby

Book Review: Under Heaven By Guy Gavriel Kay

Back in December 2011, I wrote ‘Tis The Season To Be Jolly –a post introducing the concept of my reading challenge and inviting authors/readers to suggest a book for me to read. I explained that I would buy the book, post a review whether I liked it or not, etc. Did this sound too good to be true? No one responded except WithLoveWeOvercome. He suggested i try a fantasy novel (out of my typical reading genre, but the whole point of the challenge was to get out of my comfort zone).

  • It’s terrible that I waited this long (I stalled as long as possible once I saw the price tag); however, it’s better to be late than to never do it at all.

Under Heaven is the eighteenth book of my reading challenge. Here’s my thoughts:

An innovative story of honor and power from the award-winning author of Ysabel. In Under Heaven, Kay tells a story of honor and power this time in a setting that evokes the dazzling Tang Dynasty of eight-century China. In recognition of his service to the Emperor of Kitai, Shen Tai has been sent a mysterious and dangerous gift: 250 Sardian Horses. Wisely the gift comes with the stipulation that the horses must be claimed in person. Otherwise, he would probably be dead already.

This 4 part, 29 chapter fantasy novel was the first one I’ve ever read. I’ve never been excited for this genre in novels or movies, so take my opinion with a grain of salt.

This book opened up with a list of characters and a map, which scared me at first. I thought it’d be hard to keep track of everything. However, it was fairly easy. The author did an amazing job with characterization and setting. The female characters (especially Wei Song and Shen Tai’s sister) were my favorite. I liked how they were rebels in their own right. Everyone in the story had their personalities fleshed out, and I could imagine the time period, the way they dressed, where they lived, etc. vividly. I was able to get lost in the world created.

  • This is the first book I’ve ever read that had the omniscience (non-person) point-of-view thrown in. So, I’d get intrigued by the action and plot, then I’d have to read through pages and pages of the different roles in the community, the rules of the land, etc. Sometimes it took me out of the story because those parts read like an essay. Normally, I finish a book in a day. This one took me seven days to finish; take that however you want.

From the moment Shen Tai met Wei Song, I knew there was a connection even though he was still pining over Spring Rain. Their scenes were always full of tension. My favorite line: “He wondered if this Kanlin woman knew this. He wondered why he cared.” I loved his interactions with the two women, and I’m happy that my couple won in the end. I also enjoyed the sister’s interactions with the man who was half man/half wolf. My favorite scenes were Wei Song in attack mode whenever someone tried to kill Shen Tai (she was feisty for a lady), whenever the poets were mentioned (they were treated like celebrities), the first time Shen Tai met Spring Rain again, and when the guy kidnapped Shen Tai’s sister from the tents.

I RECOMMEND this book to read.

Keep smiling,

Yawatta Hosby

Day 7 of 90 Day Novel Challenge

This challenge has started off somewhat confusing to me already. I’m supposed to think of my imaginary world within my novel and brainstorm about my hero and villain (or protagonist and antagonist). However, it’s all supposed to be considered thinking very loosely. Don’t commit to anything regarding plot.  Then how come some of the questions asked for character sketches get specific with plot LOL?

I had an idea in my head where I wanted this novel to go before NaNo even ended. I wanted it to be suspenseful–a love triangle gone wrong. For seven days straight, I’ve been keeping that in mind answering these specific questions for each day.

Day seven. I completely changed my mind. Now, I want it to be a drama, still involving a love triangle. I was excited to jot down notes all this morning about my new concept than what I’ve written for the past seven days. This new plot (or imaginary world) will give me more options to play with. I don’t want this to be under romance genre, so I’ll have more leeway. It’s based off a celebrity’s experience at the moment. Please don’t sue hee hee!

  • The first thing I teach my students is you can find inspiration for story ideas through other people’s experiences, whether you know them or not. You weren’t there to personally go through it, so the details you include will be made up–therefore, fiction.

I’m not discouraged that I have to start all over. It’s quite the opposite actually. I’m relieved. Now, I can make the female main character the villain instead of the hero. Bad girls are always fun to write about. Instead of re-answering all those questions since day one, I’ll just leave it alone. It’s not even worth going back and changing anything. To be honest, I kind of hate the questions. I don’t think it’s really helping me understand my characters at all.

Maybe I should stick with outlining and doing my own version of character sketches to get on a more intimate level with them. I usually have my own set of questions, play around with character’s relationships, make mock journal entries, fake facebook accounts (drawn on paper, not created on internet), etc. Everything I can think of to roleplay. My favorite part of the writing process.

For this ninety day novel challenge, I don’t officially begin my rough draft until like day twenty-nine or twenty-eight, so I have plenty of time to experiment getting to know my characters better.

Wish me luck!

Keep smiling,

Yawatta Hosby

Book Review: Red Hawk–A Civil War Journal By Kenneth Postalwait

I have mad respect for the author Kenneth Postalwait for making his dreams come true. He’s from Texas and travels the country to get his set of Civil War poems published into different newspapers. I appreciate his creativity geared throughout Red Hawk–A Civil War Journal. He took the time to create several poems (sounding authentic like a Civil War soldier) based off of different famous battles during the war:

  • Battle at Bull Run
  • Second Battle at Manassas
  • The Battle of Antietam
  • The Hills of Shenandoah
  • Fall on Rappahannock
  • Battle of Fredericksburg
  • Etc, Etc

I love that this 140 page, 13 part book had everything written as a rhyme. That was the coolest part for me because it gave it a smooth flow while reading it. If you’re a history buff, you should definitely take a look at the book. I also enjoyed the illustrations.

It wasn’t just one long poem. It had several one page poems that revealed certain aspects of the soldiers’ emotions–how they were bored and cold when no battles were going on, how they were scared to die ( a lot of battles had confusion where they were accidentally firing off at their own men), how they missed their loved ones. It was a nice surprise to find a love story in the mix–a General fell in love with Clara (woman wasn’t afraid to get her hands dirty and help out) but he was too shy to tell her. So sweet.

You can’t go wrong with mentioning John Brown and Harpers Ferry. Those were my favorite moments. I also loved the Battle of Antietam section because it seemed to have the most tension. After each poem, there’s cliff-notes (which I thought was pretty cool) giving details about fun facts. So, readers get a glimpse of events in sequenced order with the same recurring characters. Readers get to see their lives and journey evolve during the war. My favorite aspect was also the fact that Cherokee role in the Civil War was mentioned. I liked looking at a different angle, instead of always the Union and Confederate. Fun fact: Cherokees fought for both sides in this story.

My favorite section of poems in no particular order (to give you a glimpse of what I’m talking about):

Trial at Harper’s Ferry

You stood amid the mess on a tidy form

A man you just had saved, shot in your arms

I grabbed a shovel, not to turn’n till…

Raised ‘gainst my Southern soul pressed now to kill

The Battle at Antietam

Well the Major might a made it but to call, she turned and stopped

Strait thru hell she yelled to save us spared! the instant he dropped

Caught ‘tween cannon, our own colors! canister’d cut ‘n low

Then raked of our own New Yorkers frantic fire on friend and foe!

Fall on Rappahannock

Just a glance at the correspondence the penmanship caught my eye

This is personal I ain’t nosey (strange quality for a spy)

And I closer examined the dispatch and I stare ’til I can’t even blink

Somethin about that staff orderly and the way I was given the wink

I RECOMMEND this book to read.

For more information on Red Hawk–A Civil War Journal and/or the author Kenneth Postalwait:

  • RHawk61@gmail.com (Email)
  • 830-660-6790 (His phone number, so brave wanting to include it)
  • Website

Keep smiling,

Yawatta Hosby

Book Review: Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter By Seth Grahame-Smith

Have you seen the movie Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter? Was it good? My ears perked up when Robin told me it was made into a novel. I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to read it once she said I could borrow her copy.

Normally, I read books and don’t post reviews unless I’m supporting another writer I met through blogging or any other social media. So, I didn’t have pen and paper by my side to jot down memorable plot points or my reaction throughout scenes. I was simply going to return the book after I finished, keeping my feelings to myself or sharing my thoughts with friends.

However, this story concept was awesome–it felt wrong to not do a book review. I ended up changing my mind at the last second. Here’s my thoughts on the book:

Indiana, 1818. In a one-room cabin, nine-year-old Abraham Lincoln kneels at his mother’s bedside. “My baby boy…” she whispers before dying. Only later will the grieving Abe learn that his mother’s fatal affliction was actually the work of a vampire. Gifted with his legendary height, strength, and skill with an ax, young Lincoln sets out on a path of vengeance that will lead him all the way to the White House.

While Abraham Lincoln is widely lauded for saving the Union and freeing millions of slaves, his valiant fight against the forces of the undead has remained in the shadows for almost two hundred years-until Seth Grahame-Smith stumbled upon The Secret Journal of Abraham Lincoln. Now, using the journal as a guide, Seth reconstructs the true life story of America’s greatest president. For the first time ever, he reveals the hidden history behind the Civil War-and uncovers the role vampires played in the birth, growth, and near-death of the nation.

If someone would’ve told me I’d be reading historical fiction, I would’ve told them to “shut the front door.” History was my least favorite subject in school. That’s why it was a nice surprise when I enjoyed this 3 part, 14 chapter novel. I loved that it didn’t read like fiction at all. The author was so dedicated in Abraham Lincoln’s journal entries (to make them sound authentic) and stuck strictly to the facts that happened (instead of dabbling into the emotional aspect) that this novel read like a textbook or a research book at the library.

  • The photos added in the story with the circles, emphasizing the president on his vampire hunter escapades, were awesome! For a second, my mind started playing tricks on me LOL. I knew this didn’t happen. But what if it did?

The scene were settlers are tricked by the evil vampire doctor caught my attention. It reminded me of Mindhunters (starring Johnny Lee Miller and LL Cool J)–a guy told the group about an old myth where an entire village was wiped clean. Croatoan had been carved on the tree, leaving people to believe either a body of water or an American Indian tribe killed everyone.

  • In the book, the evil doctor carved “Croatoan” into the tree to put the blame on the Indians. He thought it’d be funny to have settlers going after the innocent. Man, none of my ancestors could get a break. Between American Indians being blamed for victims’ deaths (no one could believe it was vampires) and slaves being treated like property, this novel made me sad during those parts (not because of getting lost in the story, but because I knew that’s a terrible part of United States history that truly happened). Made me take a moment to reflect how awful it was back in the olden days. The story wasn’t written in the slaves point-of-view but Lincoln wrote powerful images in his journal.

Like I said before, it was strictly an account of what happened. So, if I was supposed to feel bad in certain scenes, I didn’t. The emotion wasn’t there for me–like when Lincoln lost his first love, his mom, his two sons. It was kind of like “wham, bam thank you ma’am.” There was no time to process what happened because the next action scene was already taking place.

I loved hearing about people in history–like Edgar Allan Poe, Martin Luther King, etc. It was cool that Seth Grahame-Smith managed to create this fake world with real people. The ending was perfect!

I RECOMMEND this book to read.

Keep smiling,

Yawatta Hosby

The Procrastinators Goals

Since NaNo was a success (we finished critiquing each others’ story around the same time), we decided not to wait to try the 90 day challenge of writing a novel. When I say “we”, I mean Melissa (my writing buddy) and I. Tomorrow starts the big day; I’m really excited! Our goal is to keep producing novels, to keep each other motivated. So after 90 day challenge, we’ll have a little bit of time before the official NaNo starts. Might as well do that too; if we post on the website, we have a chance to win. To get our name out there.

  • I can handle it. We’ll be pursuing these projects while editing our NaNo novels. I would hope by three months I’d be finished. I won’t be naive as my first novel when I assumed it only took a couple of weeks. Boy was I wrong. Anyway, we also want to write a screenplay somewhere in the middle of all of this. Or maybe after NaNo is over. Robin was nice enough to give us tips. Movies that are cheap to film (stay in one location, shoot in daytime for majority of it) are more likely to be brought. Something useful to keep in mind.

Wish us luck!

For the 90 day challenge, there’s certain steps that need to be followed. The first month–absolutely no writing the draft is allowed. You can only focus on structure and stream-of-consciousness questions, basically in-depth character sketches. At the end of this month, you begin outlining.

For the second and third month, you create your first draft into three different acts (the same concept as a screenplay):

  • Act I–opening, dilemma, inciting incident, opposing argument
  • Act II–false victory, midpoint, hero suffers, end of Act II
  • Act III–hero accepts reality of situation, action, battle scene, equilibrium

Cool beans–this 90 day novel challenge will give us practice on the structures of screenplay writing. I’m used to it, but it’ll be my first time with a partner :). I’m a team player, so I should be alright hee hee. This will also help me get back into the mood of writing, instead of just editing. I should have time to go back to writing creative prompts again; keeping my fingers crossed.

It feels good to work with people who are on the same page as you. Who want the same goals as you. Who has the same passion and can help keep you motivated.

We call ourselves The Procrastinators, but as you can probably tell, we’re far from it :).

For all the writers out there, do you have any future projects you’re working on?

Keep smiling,

Yawatta Hosby