Renata F. Barcelos lives in Brazil with her teenager daughter, Maria, constantly complaining about the heat and dreaming of moving somewhere snowy.
She has a Law Degree, but promises never to use it. She prefers to study and teach languages and to write. Facing a three-hour daily commute, Renata uses this time to listen to audiobook after audiobook, plot, and write. Sometimes she hurts herself walking and writing at the same time–forgetting to look where she’s going.
Her characters usually don’t respect her wishes, taking the stories to places she never imagined they could go; she loves it when that happens.
Renata is always working on a new novel, and so far has published the books Mean, My Sore Hush-a-By, Merge, and the Myself in Blue series. For more information, log onto http://renatafbarcelos.wordpress.com/
1. What inspired you to become a writer?
Well, I’ve never felt like being anything else, my whole life. Ever since I learned how to write I had a notebook with me, and was writing some story there. It’s just an undeniable urge to tell stories, I suppose.
2. How did you come up with the story of MYSELF IN BLUE?
When I first heard about the Japanese Internment Camps in the United States during WWII, I knew it was a part of history that should be more explored. Then the name Sunday Morning came up to me one day, and it all started to build up. I love history and Psychedelic Rock, and I actually was a hippie for a while and traveled a lot, so it was a pleasure to write this novel and use things I’ve learned and places I’ve seen.
3. What attributes did you come up with when creating the character, Sunday Morning?
Sunday is a great character. She is a bad girl trying desperately to be good, but has seen and gone through so much that it’s not easy for her to become better. She is smart and independent, but has a lot of issues to deal with. I guess her best attribute is that she is ‘normal’, as in she’s not perfect, and wants to learn.
4. Can you please describe the relationship between Sunday and Scott?
Sunday and Scott meet almost by accident, but this will change both their lives forever. Without spoiling readers, I can say that Scott is a great guy. He’s a decent, respectful human being, and he certainly has a lot to teach Sunday. But she will make him see life under new lights too, showing him a new reality he had never thought possible.
5. How is your writing different than all the other books in this genre?
I put a lot of my soul in this novel, and I expect readers will see that and feel inspired by Sundays’s misadventures and her seek for redemption. Especially because she doesn’t believe she deserves it and Scott represents her only chance to find a way to mend things. I believe that everything happens for a reason, and that’s the message I wanted to transmit in this novel.
I don’t know what makes my writing different, except that each writer delivers their stories in their own peculiar way, leaving a bit of them in each word, in each page. All I can say is that I work like crazy to deliver the best story I can, in the finest form I find possible.
6. What is the best thing about writing?
As I said, I love telling stories. I’m not capable of telling the short version of a joke, for example; I have to add descriptions, colors, and a whole scenery before getting to the punch line. So, every time someone tells me my writing moved them, there’s no way to explain how content it makes me feel.
7. What is the worst thing about writing?
Editing. Man, that’s exhausting! Going back to the same thing over and over again, trying to make it as flawless as possible. By the time you and your editor(s) finish it, you want to take a long vacation. But then, of course, another story starts forming in your mind and when you realize it, you’re trapped again!
8. What is the one thing readers want to know about you?
Well, maybe the most interesting fact about me is that I have ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder), so I can’t do just one thing. I have to keep the part of my mind that wanders occupied, so the other part, the one that wants to tell stories can write them. I always write while watching TV, listening to music (with lyrics), walking, talking, etc.
9. Do you feel your book is an inspiration to Latinas? How so?
I believe it can be, given how Sunday spent 5 years in Brazil, and learned a lot about that culture. She tells some to Scott, and readers will have the opportunity to learn how things are in Brazil. People often forget Brazil is a Latin country too since we don’t speak Spanish, but we are. There’s a lot of Latin culture here.
10. Do you have plans for an upcoming book?
Yes! Actually, Myself in Blue is the first in the ‘Myself in Blue’ series. I’m working in the next 5 books of the series right now. The next one, ‘Many Kinds of Unforgettable’, will be a novella, and it’s half-written already. It should be published soon.
The next books in the series are: Wake Me Up Inside; Maybe You’re The One; Must Remember, Must Let it Go and More Than I Can take. They can all be read as standalones, but will focus in characters from the previous books, so it might be better if you read them in order.
Romance, redemption, and psychedelic rock in 1989.
Sunday Morning is nineteen and recently diagnosed with osteosarcoma. She finds it fair: a deathly cancer to pay for her sins.
The fourth of five daughters, Sunday could never overcome the jealousy she felt for her sisters, especially the youngest and her Rett Syndrome with all the attention she required. She knows her resentment and rebellion as a wayward teen brought tragedy to her family, but never learned exactly the extent. Self-exiled in Brazil living a hard life of penitence for five years, she finally feels it’s possible to come back and try to mend things.
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