Saturday, July 28, 2012

Author Interview - R. Rodriguez

Do you find teaching to be a rewarding experience?

I do. Teaching allows me to express my creativity and knowledge. Every day is different. The interaction with students allows for the teaching/ learning process to be dynamic. I love creating new ways for my students to learn.

Tell us your latest news?

I’ve enjoyed the process of publishing and marketing my first book, Grace. Working with book bloggers and interacting with my readers has been great. My last book was released on the same day of my birthday, which made the day an extra special one. On a personal level, I’m going through important life changes since my kids are entering the teenage years which is an interesting period in their lives. I’m enjoying it quite a bit.

What books have influenced your life the most?

I am an avid reader so I have many favorite books. I would say that I have favorite books for every one of my life stages so far. As a kid, it was the Ramona Quimby Series, anything by Judy Blume, and V.C Andrews. As a teenager, my favorite books were The Catcher in the Rye and The Outsiders. As an adult, I enjoy many genres. My favorite books include Memoirs of a Geisha, Anna Karenina, The House of Spirits, The Twilight Series, and especially Paulo Coelho’s books. If I were to recommend a book that everyone should read, it would be The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho.

If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in Chastity?

I would add more intrigue regarding Jared’s role in the story and his bond to Chastity. I had something in mind for that, but didn’t carry it through.

Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?

The fact that I am a career woman, wife, and mother is the most challenging thing about writing because I have many distractions and lack of time to do what I like most. The marketing process, after it’s published, is especially grueling.

What was the hardest part of writing Chastity?

Finding time to sit and write.

How long does it take you to write a book?

It takes me anywhere from a year to two years to write a book due to my busy schedule.

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.

What do you like to do when you're not writing?

I like to read of course! I also enjoy traveling and going out with family and friends. I live in a tropical island so we go the beach and sightseeing a lot.

What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books?

The most surprising thing was that writing is a pretty technical craft. You don’t only exert your creativity and write whatever you’re inspired to write. You have to keep a lot of aspects in mind like word count, how a chapter should begin and end, keeping a tight plot, and revising, proofreading, editing and rewriting a story.

Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?

No. I’ve been asked this question before. Although stories are influenced by an author’s experience in life in general, ideas just pop into my head according to things I’ve heard, read or I imagine can happen a certain way. I plan meticulously how a character should act or the circumstances to put them in, according to what I want to say about them. Everything revolves around the central themes I want for a book. In truth, it amazes me what my mind comes up with.

What has been the toughest criticism given to you as an author? What has been the best compliment?

The toughest criticism was that my first book was a Twilight rip off, but my book had nothing to do with Twilight so I guess the reader was expecting something similar. The best compliment was that it was brilliant.

You tackle some serious issues in your Eternal Beloved series, first suicide and abuse in Grace and now promiscuity and neglect in Chastity, what message do you hope to give to your readers by involving such bold circumstances in this series?

I’ve expressed that I have a special concern for young women and their choices. The choices you make as a young woman can affect you for the rest of your life so I hope to give my readers a message of empowerment and responsibility for their actions, encased in a paranormal romance setting.

At our last interview you had mentioned plans to release a book titled Renaissance Quest, is that still on track for an August release? Can you give us a little teaser as to what it is about?

Renaissance Quest is a book geared towards the middle age group, which entails 9 to 12 yr. olds. It is an adventure story about foster kids that live in a special neighborhood. Although, I had announced its release for August, it won’t be released then. I’ve made the decision to try to publish it through conventional publishing so that I can get help with the other processes that involve publishing a book.

     For my review of R.Rodriguez's latest book Chastity, the second book in The Eternal Beloved Novel series, please visit A Goddess of Frugality.

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