April lives in Northern VA with her husband and daughter. Together, they happily take up most of her time. During the day, she sits at a desk and works an administrative position for the Federal Government. She is also an author and her first book Coming Home will be released later this month.
How long have you been writing?
Honestly, for as long as I knew how to write. I remember being in elementary school and putting together little books by stapling pieces of paper together. My daughter does the same thing now.
Who/what in your life inspires your writing most, and why?
My mother may be surprised to hear this, but she has always been my inspiration. I got my love of books from her, and she always encouraged me to keep writing. She never once said I was crazy for wanting to be an author when I grew up.
What inspired you to write your first book?
My very first completed novel is something I hope no one ever reads. I may burn the copies I have. It’s awful, and it was inspired by my relationship with my first husband.
How do you manage your time – life with writing and marketing and publishing?
That is the million dollar question, isn’t it? Fortunately, my husband is very supportive and understands my need for time in the evenings and on the weekends. I squeeze what I can into every spare moment I have. The hardest part is balancing family with everything encompassed by self-publishing, and sometimes I have to consciously remind myself that family comes first. That sounds awful, but it’s easy to get wrapped up in the million and one things always on my to-do list.
If you could send a letter to yourself at the beginning of your writing journey, what advice would you give?
Oh, wow. Great question. I think I’d keep it simple: keep writing. There will be highs, there will be lows. But don’t be discouraged by the lows. Keep pushing through because in the end, it’s worth every effort.
What made you decide to self-publish?
I was frustrated with all the rejection letters, and I noticed that self-publishing was actually something I could do. I realized it would be a huge commitment on my part, that I’d be essentially agreeing to a second, full-time job. I took some time to think about it, talked it over with my husband who’d been telling me to take the leap for some time already, and, well, jumped!
What is the most difficult part of self-publishing? The easiest? The most rewarding?
I’d have to say keeping up with the social networking is probably the hardest thing so far, but it’s also very rewarding. I’ve made so many true friends and learned and will continue to learn from them.
I don’t think there’s really anything easy about self-publishing. Everything’s on me. Editing, formatting, editing again, cover art…but in the end, when I finally release my first book…that will be an incredible moment.
For years, eighteen-year old Isabela Fuentes worked two jobs to support her promiscuous, alcoholic mother.
After the latest boyfriend rapes her at knife point, Isabela throws her few possessions into her car and drives until she reaches Lakeside, Montana, twenty-five hundred miles from New York City’s suffocating smog.
As her bodily scars fade, she takes solace in the nature around her and records it in her sketch pad. It isn’t until she begins sketching scenes from her rape that she learns to cope with what happened.
But leaving her mother behind to fend for herself might have been a mistake; and when two strangers appear on her doorstep claiming to be her dead grandparents, they threaten the fragile childhood memories. Before she can rebuild her life, Isabela must decide to either let her past go or unite it with the woman she’s become.
What inspired you to write it?
It was inspired by some personal events in my own life. I think to some extent, at least in the beginning, all writers take personal events or thoughts or beliefs and form them into something pretend. It’s therapeutic and sometimes, at least for me, necessary.
How would you describe your main character, Isabela?
Isabela is a strong, intelligent, independent young woman who lost hope while caring for her mother. After the rape, she also loses trust and faith, but she maintains a spark that carries her through anyway.
What was the hardest part of writing your book?
There are some pretty intense scenes in the book, including the rape of the main character, Isabela Fuentes. It’s dark and scary, but raw and real. I had to pause several times while writing that scene. My hands shook, my heart raced, and when I was done, I was crying. That was the hardest scene I’ve ever written, but I think it was the most rewarding when I was finished.
Living in Montana, I’m curious why you chose Montana as the setting for your story?
I’ve actually never been there, but I saw a movie set there once, and it was so beautiful and wild and open. I thought it was the perfect place for Isabela to discover the strength she has inside her.
If Coming Home could only be marketed to readers using a single quote or line from the book, which one do you think would most pique their interest?
Oh, wow, good question. I’ve never thought about it, but let’s go with this:
Isabela decided that life wasn’t just one book. It was made up of many books. You didn’t just end a chapter and begin a new one. Sometimes, it was necessary to end the story entirely and start fresh.
What do you do in your free time?
Free time? What’s that? My hobbies and interests revolve around my family and my writing, and that’s just the way I like it.
And now a few get to know you questions:
- What’s your favorite TV show? Right now, I’d say Once Upon a Time
- Who is your favorite actor? I think either Leonardo DiCaprio or Tom Hanks. Both are extremely talented and versatile.
- What’s on your playlist right now? The Glee Soundtrack. Yes, I’m a Gleek. Also, anything country.
- What is your favorite dessert? I don’t normally eat dessert, but if I did, I’d go with the Warm White Chocolate Bread Pudding from Costal Flats. OMG, AMAZING. If there’s a Coastal Flats in your area, you must try it.
- Where do you like to vacation? Somewhere near the water so we can fish or with our friends who live in Canada.
- Pepsi or Coke? Coke, and diet.
- What are you reading right now? David Copperfield by Charles Dickens, First Family by David Baldacci, and Reason to Breathe by Rebecca Donovan
Thanks for being here today, April. It’s been a pleasure getting to know a bit about you and your writing.
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