I am pleased to announce my guest author, Mayra Calvani, to my blog today. Mayra is a multi-genre author and reviewer and hails from San Juan, Puerto Rico. She also has a blog, and newsletters and is a regular contributor to Blogcritics Magazine, American Chronicle, and most recently Suite101.com. She is also a member of SCBWI and Broad Universe. Mayra’s latest book is “Sunstruck.”
Mayra, please tell us a bit about your book, “Sunstruck.”
Mayra: The funny thing about this book is that, even though it is my last published, I wrote it about twenty years ago. Since then it has gone through many edits, but still, when I read it, it feels weird. It has the quirky style I used when I was in my early twenties. Sunstruck is a parody/satire and it’s full of crazy characters and situations. It is set in San Juan, Puerto Rico and it pretty much portrays the artistic scene there. My mom is an artist and when I was younger, she used to take me to all her art gatherings and exhibits. I observed and I absorbed… and the result is Sunstruck. Readers can find all about it at www.sunstruckthenovel.blogspot.com.
Katie: Your character is an architecture student. Do you have a background in architecture, or did you have to do a lot of research for this book?
Mayra: My best friend is an architect! Whatever questions I had I asked her.
Katie: How did you find experts in the field about which you are writing?
Mayra: There’s very little reference to architecture in the story, so I really didn’t have to do a lot of research. The protagonist is an architecture student and there are just a few segments where she talks about her projects. As I said, having an architect best friend helps!
Katie: I see that you also do book reviews. Tell us a little about that, if you would.
Mayra: I have been reviewing for more than a decade now. I also co-authored a book on how to write book reviews, The Slippery Art of Book Reviewing. I’m happy to say that it recently won a ForeWord Best Book of the Year Award and that it’s been used at three US universities for book reviewing courses. The book is primarily for beginners but reviewers at all levels can benefit. Readers can find all about it from my website, www.MayraCalvani.com or www.slipperybookreview.wordpress.com.
Katie: You are traditionally published with a small press. Why did you decide to go with a smaller publisher, and are you pleased with your experience?
Mayra: I did submit Sunstruck to larger publishers, but after several rejections I moved to small publishers. I like the personal touch of small presses but my dream is still a contract with a big NY publisher. Zumaya Publications, however, is a great press to work with.
Katie: What three pieces of advice would you give to aspiring authors?
Mayra: To read a lot, but with a critical eye. To write everyday, even if just a little. And to join a good critique group. There’s one more point I’d like to mention, and that is to stay faithful to your goals and to persist no matter what.
Katie: Mayra, thanks for being my guest today. You may visit www.sunstruckthenovel.blogspot.com for more information.