One of the goals I have set for myself and for my blog going forward is to make more connections with authors and publishers. Initially I only watched them from a distance, mostly on Twitter. Following their conversations and learning about their projects was very exciting, and even this tenuous connection allowed me to see them as people more than ever before. Miraculously, some of the amazing authors I admired started noticing me and to my utter astonishment, several started following me as well! Narrowing this barrier between author and reader, even if just a little, has given me the confidence to reach out to them and to make connections.
In the coming weeks and months, expect to see several author interviews and features. Generally, they will be coupled with a book review or giveaway that week. My last interview with Zetta Elliott was a wonderfully positive experience, so I want to keep doing more of that!
This week, in anticipation of my review for Santa Muerte on Friday, I interviewed Lucina Stone because she wrote a book that immediately appealed to my interests as a reader. I simply had to know the person behind the story a little better. This book has witches/brujas, strong Latinas, time travel, mysterious realms and magic, as well as positive representation of same-sex parent households. Everything about this book screamed “READ ME.” So I did!
Stay tuned for my in-depth review later this week. In the meantime, read my Q&A with the author.
Q&A With Lucina Stone, Author of Santa Muerte
RDB: Santa Muerte is book 1 of your series, The Daniela Story. How many entries will the series have? Is the entire story already plotted in your head or is it constantly evolving?
LS: Currently, Santa Muerte is plotted in my mind to be a 3 book series. The final book of the series I wrote out about 2 years ago. At the time, I didn’t know how it would all fit together and am delighted with how the series starts. I joke that it “downloaded” into my mind backwards and piecing it all together has been so much fun.
RDB: I’m a big fan of the book cover! Tell us a bit about how it came to be. Also, is the woman featured in the cover someone we meet in the story?
LS: The book cover is meant to represent Daniela with white face paint that is customary on the Day of the Dead when her journey begins. I wanted a fun twist on a sugar skull.
RDB: What was the most challenging aspect of writing Santa Muerte?
LS: The multiple time lines are a challenge and having so many great female characters. It’s hard choosing between them. I think they could each have their own books with their backstories.
RDB: Have you finished writing book 2 or are you writing it now? Has the writing process been any different the second time around?
LS: I’m knee-deep into book 2 and it’s so much fun. The writing process is different in that I am much more aware of the reader. When writing book 1, I truly felt I’d only have 10 readers and that would be it. So I am taking more time to consider my reader and tie up loose ends as well as build plot to tie into book 3.
RDB: Have you always wanted to be writer or is this a recent development in your life?
LS: Never! I never wanted to write, I am a psychotherapist by profession. I listen to stories, not write them. This came about from being unable to sleep because of this story in my head. Finally, I had enough and one day started writing and never stopped.
RDB: What does your writing space look like? Either describe it, or even better, provide a picture!
LS: I write at my dining room table. It is adjacent to my small galley kitchen. This spot lets me multitask since I’m usually cooking. There’s great natural lighting and little distractions. My mini black poodle, Sophie sleeps by my feet. I know it’s going to be a good writing day for me if she scratches out a spot and gets really comfortable. If Sophie is snoring, it means I’m going to be late picking up the kids. Usually, I write while the kids are in school 1-2 times a week.
RDB: What writers have been influential to your growth as a reader and writer? Can you elaborate on why they were so influential?
LS: I really enjoyed the Outlander Series, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway, and Charlene Harris. I also enjoy some fantasy/romance books like Kresley Cole, JR Ward, and Larissa Ione. My favorite book has to be The House of The Spirits. Isabel Allende writes beautifully and her character Clara always haunted me. The Outlander series was fun for me especially when I learned that the author is of Mexican decent and then I wondered why she wrote about Scottish people when Mexican culture and folklore was so much fun. It motivated me for my story. Diana Gabaldon is a master and an amazing storyteller. I learn so much every time I open one of her books.
RDB: Finally: Santa Muerte is led by a cast of powerful, awe-inspiring Latinas and presents same-sex parents as positive role models. Why are stories with positive representation of marginalized people so important?
LS: Coming from a same-sex parents household (circa 1976), growing up there was nothing that I ever read that related to my experience. There were clinical books in psychology, there were judgments from family who did not understand, and there was a lot of feeling we were outcast. My mother came out at a time when it was much harder being a single, divorced, gay, working parent. My mom has been a positive role model for me my whole life. Positive representation matters, personally to me for my daughters who also love their grandma so much and being able to read about same-sex parents, life, kids, and understanding the importance of being able to relate in books is comforting, validating, and powerful. It creates positive feelings of self worth, connection, and hope.
Author bio (from the back of the book cover):
Lucina Stone has a Master of Arts Degree in Clinical Counseling and is a Licensed Professional Counselor specializing in depression, family conflict, LGBT affirmative therapy, and life coaching. She lives in New Jersey with her family. This is her debut novel.
Follow on Twitter: Follow @LucinaStone9123
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