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Q&A WITH AUTHOR….CARIDAD PIÑEIRO (with book trailer)

I usually try to visualize the scene in my head before I write it. This way I play it over and over,  or rewind and move it in a new direction before I actually sit down to write the seen.
                   ---Caridad on writing

Q:   You are a lawyer, mother, wife, writer, lecturer, speaker, organizer. How do you find time to do everything? What are your secrets on time management?

A:   My family teases me that I plan spontaneity, but the truth is, I do keep to a loose schedule of what I do every day. That means that I try to write every day, but also leave time for relaxing and hanging out with my family. I also tend to multi-task, so I may watch television while writing or working on projects.

Q:   You helped Harlequin launch their Nocturne line with your first book in the Calling series, DEATH CALLS. Is the series over? What more should we expected from the series?

A:   I’m happy to say THE CALLING series is not over. Two other novels, tentatively titled ARDOR CALLS and VENGEANCE CALLS will be out in January and February 2012. In addition, I’ve just accepted an offer for three Nocturne Bites novellas and one of them features fan favorites Diana Reyes and Ryder Latimer. Readers can expect a big surprise for this couple!

Q:   Now you have a new paranormal romantic suspense series from Grand Central Publishing. Where did you get the idea about gene manipulation and “medical black ops”? How many books should we expect in this series?

A:   I’m a science major and have always loved genetics. I also love romantic suspense and thought it would be great to mix the two to develop a new kind of paranormal suspense. I’m also happy to say that there will be more books in the series. THE LOST will be released in August 2011 and THE CLAIMED will follow in Spring 2012. Readers can expect the series to get darker as a unique race of energy gatherers involved in a civil war descend on the Jersey Shore. You will see more of the Carreras, this time Marine Sargent Bobbie Carrera.

Q:   You are also known for your Chica novels. Will there be more Chicas in the future?

A:   So far there are no plans for future novels in the Chicas series, although I do hope to one day do Juliana and Adriana’s stories. I really miss their camaraderie and sexy South Beach (although readers will be able to visit me with there again in ARDOR CALLS from THE CALLING!)

Q:   Kensington's Encanto line folded, and I haven't heard of any other specific Latino romance or fiction lines. Does it matter that there is not a "niche" any more for Latina writers? Maybe NOT having a specific line for Latina books is a good thing. What is your opinion? Is it harder to be a Latina author in the romance industry or is that not even a factor?

A:   We had a fascinating discussion about this recently at a panel of Latina writers at the Newark Public Library. Over all, the general impression of all of the panelists was that it was not a good thing for writers to be segregated on the basis of their race or ethnicity. In my opinion, being placed in such a niche market can hurt sales and alienate readers with covers or titles that may say “I’m not for you.” I’ve found that readers are very receptive to books with Latino characters that are not marketed to a niche. As for being a Latina author in the romance industry, I have not found that it is factor. Readers enjoy all kinds of stories and are quite open to trying new things.

Q:   What is your writing routine? Where do you write? Do you have any rituals that you do before you sit down to write?

A:   I write every day on the train on the way to and from work. I also write for three or four hours on Saturday and Sunday mornings. I don’t usually write at night because I’m usually tired after a long day of work, but sometimes deadlines will demand that I do that. As for rituals, I usually try to visualize the scene in my head before I write it. This way I play it over and over, or rewind and move it in a new direction before I actually sit down to write the seen.

Q:   You produced a great book trailer for STRONGER THAN SIN. What advice do you have for new authors on how to promote their books? what social networks should they use?

A:   Thank you! I’m glad you liked the trailer. It was produced by my wonderful team at More Than Publicity. As for how to promote, by and large the Internet is the single most effective way to promote. Besides having a website and social network pages, writers can take advantage of the Internet to send press releases, get their name out by writing articles, social bookmarking and dozens of other ways to allow people to find out about them.

Q:   What writing tips do you recommend for new authors? what writing organizations do you recommend?

A:   The most important thing for new writers is to improve their craft and find out about the business of writing. The best way to do that is by participating in local writing organizations. Most of these organizations will have workshops that will help you understand the publishing business and improve your writing. They will also allow you to network with other writers and make the connections and friendships that will sustain you during your writing career. As for organizations I would recommend, the Romance Writers of America on a national level. On a local level, the NYC Romance Writers and Liberty States Fiction Writers are two wonderful organizations.

Q:   Do you own an e-reader? If so, which one? If not, why not? do you think e-books will replace "real" books?

A:   I do not own an e-reader yet because I’ve really had to cut back on my reading due to work and writing schedules. I get most of my reading done on the beach in the summer and enjoy the feel of a book in my hand. As for whether e-books will ever replace paper books, I think that in time it may be possible that most books will be available predominantly in e-book with the possibility of doing print-on-demand for those who want to hold a paper book. The emergence of the e-book has many pros, but for a lot of others it will also necessitate changing how they reach readers. For now, with the industry in flux, it’s a tough time to be a published author.

Q:   You have a daughter in college. How does she feel about her mother the romance author? Is she interested in writing?

A:   She loves what I do and is an aspiring writer as well. She is very proud that I have continued to reach for my dreams and I hope that I have inspired her to do the same and to also recognize that with hard work anything is possible.

Q:   Who are your favorite authors? And what books are in your to-be-read pile?

A:   My absolute favorite is J.D. Robb (aka Nora Roberts). I have a lot of her IN DEATH books in my pile of TBRs. I also love Jacqueline Carrey and her KUSHIEL series. Likewise Kelley Armstrong and Kim Harrison. As for Latina writers, Julia Amante and Berta Platas never fail to deliver wonderful stories.

Q:   With Christmas around the corner, what are you plans for the holiday? Any holiday tradition to be observed? Any free holiday reads on your website?

A:   My sister does Thanksgiving and I do Noche Buena at my house. That means I have to get ready to roast some pork on Christmas Eve, but since my husband is Italian, we also have stuffed calamari, bacalao and other goodies that night. I have about 15 to 20 friends and family over for the meal and then we all get together to open some gifts before settling back to have some wonderful flan or cheesecake.♦

For Caridad's website, click here.
For her blog, click here.
For the book trailer for her new book, STRONGER THAN SIN, click here.
DO LEAVE A COMMENT.   Let us know which is your favorite of Caridad's books.  And, do visit her website to enter Carida's new contest.  You may win an e-reader!  Good luck.


Lois Winston said…
Caridad, I still suspect you've found a way to clone yourself with all you accomplish in a day! Great article!
Vikki Bakus said…
Great interview Maria and Caridad! You touched on every topic in one page~~now that's tight writing!
I agree, nothing replaces the feel and smell of a bound book. And reading on the beach is divine!
Best wishes for all your releases, Caridad!
C.S. Maxwell said…
I have read Sins of the was a great read. The science part was a wee bit over my head (LOL), but I am looking forward to reading the next in the many are you planning on writing in the "Sins" series?
Bonnie S. Mata said…
Enjoyed the interview!! But you forgot to mention how many hours of sleep you get with your busy schedule!! LOL
Bonnie S. Mata said…
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Bonnie S. Mata said…
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Bonnie S. Mata said…
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J Hali Steele said…
Enjoyed learning more about you, Caridad! How do you do it? Oh, I lost my invitation for Christmas...*smile*
Caridad Pineiro said…
I've learned not to sleep so much! LOL!

As for the SINS series, there will be two more starting in August 2011 (THE LOST) and then in Spring 2012 (THE CLAIMED). I'm really excited about these new ones which are a little darker and edgier thanks to a race of energy gatherers that descend on the Jersey Shore and the Carreras.
Kathy Kulig said…
Great interview, Caridad. I'm amazed by how much you accomplish with your work schedule. I've enjoyed both your Nocturne books and the Sins of the Flesh.
dovalpage said…
Caridad, you are such an example for all of us. Gracias for sharing your writing and publicity tips,, por favor, the ones about finding time to do all that. Te admiro mucho! Enjoy that bacalao…feliz navidad para ti y Maria y todas las mujeres y chicas out there!
Caridad Pineiro said…
Thank you all for dropping by to visit with me! I appreciate your support and friendship.
Thelma T. Reyna said…
It's fun to learn even more things about Caridad. I'm continually amazed at all she does! I love what she says about not putting ourselves into an ethnic niche. I've always felt that way, so it's reassuring to hear that many other writers feel likewise. I think we all care about universal issues, and that humanity has universal core qualities. So let's not pigeonhole ourselves. Maria, good probing questions! Thanks to both of you for enriching us!