Thursday, August 28, 2014

Q&A with Desiree Zamorano

Désirée Zamorano's  newest novel is about four women linked by birth, separated by secrets of sex, money and death. Look for The Amado Women from Cinco Puntos Press.
She  delights in the exploration of contemporary issues of injustice and inequity, via her mystery series featuring private investigator, Inez Leon. Human Cargo was Latinidad's mystery pick.
Modern Cons is a story of psychological suspense where she explores the reverberations of being raised by a con artist.
A Pushcart prize nominee and award-winning short story writer, Desiree is also proud of having co-authored with her sister two plays commissioned by southern California's Bilingual Foundation for the Arts. "Reina" and "Bell Gardens 90201" received Equity productions and toured for a total of eight years.
Welcome, Desiree!
1.        What inspired you to become a writer?
When I had all the sophistication of a third grader who read anything in front of her, I knew way back then that I wanted to be a writer—it just seemed like fun! As I grew older I realized that I wanted to do was to be able to captivate a reader, to hold her interest, to provide a place apart from the din of real life.
2.       How did you come up with the story of THE AMADO WOMEN?
I wanted to write about women like me who I call invisible Latinas-Latinas who are professionals or struggling to be successful. I also wanted to write about a group of women who were deeply different from each other, and the best place to find that is a family.  Like many writers, I hope to take seeds of truth and transmute them into a story with a plot and resolution.  That’s what I have attempted in The Amado Women. 
3.       Which character did you relate to the most?
All of my characters have bits and pieces of me, even the men! Fortunately the challenges the women face are very different from my own—I am unsure, or perhaps unwilling to out myself here with which character I most identify ;)
4.      How is your writing different than all the other books in this genre?
The majority of published novels, including family dramas, skew heavily white.  The obvious difference in my novel is that this is a Mexican-American family, which I hope I have cast against expectations.  In terms of the story itself I believe it is the depth of characterization and relationships that set this novel apart from others in its genre.  My stories are all about displacement: how we long to belong.  In our lives we may wonder are we in the right family?  Will they accept the shameful parts of us? Can we survive with or without each other?  I hope, gentle reader, you will recognize yourself, your struggles, your successes, in at least one of these Amado Women
5.       What is the best thing about writing?
The most wonderful thing about writing is its capacity for creative self-expression, no matter the form!  My greatest challenge in writing is shaping what I want to say into an engaging story, making it palatably entertaining without being didactic. 
6.       What is the most challenging thing about writing?
Being sure that no one sees the sweat.
7.       What is the one thing readers want to know about you?
Readers love knowing which of the secrets in this novel are my own.  That’s all I’m going to say about that.
8.       Do you feel your book is an inspiration to Latinas? How so?
It is up to the reader to tell me if they find this novel inspiring; I just hope I have shared a facet of ourselves in a way of changing the mental landscape of so many people who have an exceptionally limited perception of who we are, of our roles and our language abilities.
9.       Do you have plans for an upcoming book?
I am always at work on the next novel! I love my private investigator, Inez Leon, and am puzzling out another adventure for her.  I also have another domestic drama in the works, fingers crossed that my publisher will like it.
10.    What books are on your book shelf?
On my bookshelf: Cristina Henriquez’s The Unknown Americans, Roxane Gay’s An Untamed State, Wendy C Ortiz’s Excavation.
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Friday, August 22, 2014

Review: NO NEED TO ASK by Margo Candela

When it comes to making sure a room looks effortlessly perfect, Jillian Winters is the one to call. She loves her job as the set decorator for a hit TV show, she and her ex have come to mutually beneficial arrangement and her dream of launching her own decorating business is closer to becoming a reality.

And just when things couldn’t get any more perfect, everything goes in the opposite direction. Her ex proves to be just as untrustworthy as always, her boss makes it clear as to who will be taking credit for her work and unexpected expenses shrink her nest egg to hummingbird proportions.

When recently divorced Ethan Marshall gives her carte blanche as well has his credit card to turn his new and very empty loft into a home, she finds herself falling in love with it and the man she’s creating it for.

Reviewed by: Celia
Rating: 4 stars

Review: As always, hilarious! I simply can’t get enough of Candela’s snarky, smart-ass humor.

Jillian is someone most of us can relate to—she’s broke, she gets sick of her job sometimes, and love couldn’t be further away for this strung-up divorcee. What’s even more interesting is that she’s also in this twisted love affair with her ex—a pompous, pig of a man. What’s even more twisted is that she claims this is something she’s just doing for “fun.”

Sparks rapidly fly as soon as she meets Ethan Marshall, and then, suddenly, it seems that she’s never been happier….until the ex shows up and (of course) ruins it all.