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Q&A WITH KATHY CANO-MURILLO (and Book Giveaway!)

The Latina Book Club is honored to be part of Kathy’s blog tour for her second Crafty Chica novel, MISS SCARLET’S SCHOOL OF PATTERNLESS SEWING.  We found the book to be passionate, electrifying and fun, which could also be said of the author! 
          Kathy Cano-Murillo is better known as the Crafty Chica. She began as a journalist, but soon turned her passion for art into a business empire, which includes books, her own product line, crafty cruise, TV appearances and a nationally syndicated newspaper column.
           FREE BOOK:   Join us for an intimate chat with Kathy and your chance to win a free book.  Leave a comment (and your email address) and you will be entered to win the first book in her series, WAKING UP IN THE LAND OF GLITTER.  

Feet, what do I need you for when I have wings to fly? --- Frida Kahlo

My mission for my novels is to showcase contemporary, educated and
creative Latina characters. ---Kathy Cano-Murillo

Q:  Tell us how you went from secretary to Crafty Chica to Author.
A:   Actually, I was never a secretary! I've always been a writer and journalist. I gave that up to become a full-time artist in 1990. In 1995, I decided to go back to writing, so I joined The Arizona Republic and was an entertainment journalist. But I still kept my artist job, I did both because I loved both! My editor knew that I was an artist and asked me to write a weekly craft column for the newspaper. I did and within months it became syndicated all over the country by Gannett News Service. I knew I was on to something. I loved the idea of inspiring other people to get creative and make things. I established in 2001 to reach beyond newspaper readers. I've always kept a personal diary and moved it online in 2003 when I started my "Diary of a Crafty Chica" blog. I wrote essays about my family and juggling a writing and art career. I also interviewed many movie stars for the newspaper and posted those articles as well. The next year I was asked by two different book editors about writing novels. I had already started my craft book series, and had always dreamed of becoming a novelist, but I was unsure of myself. Finally in 2004, I joined National Novel Writing Month and wrote the first draft of what would later become WAKING UP IN THE LAND OF GLITTER. To date I have seven craft titles and now two novels!

Q:   You do so much--craft, write, attend trade shows, festivals, cruises, etc--, what is your secret to time management?
A:   I skip a lot of TV (not all of it!), and I make sure to only accept gigs that I know I'll love and are beneficial in some way. Everything I do moves me, my dream, my happiness, and my brand forward. If it doesn't, I have to let it go.

Q:   Why and when did the writing bug strike you? You already had a creative outlet.
A:   The writing bug bit me in fifth grade, long before crafting! I used to write funny essays about my family life and my teacher would have me read my stories out loud to the entire class! I knew then I would grow up to be a writer. I went on to join yearbook and newspaper in junior high and in high school as well. I worked as a features reporter at the newspaper for13 years, but I wanted to write fiction. I love to write so much, I wanted to challenge myself! To this day, I still thank my fifth grade language arts teacher, Miss Montgomery! Her assignments changed my life!

Q:   Tell us about your new book and what we should expect from your Crafty Chica book series.
A:   My mission for my novels is to showcase contemporary, educated and creative Latina characters. In my first novel, WAKING UP IN THE LAND OF GLITTER, my main character didn't know what she wanted to do with her life. She was bright and educated, but a bit spoiled by her parents; she didn't have that "hunger." However, in MISS SCARLET'S SCHOOL OF PATTERNLESS SEWING, my main character knows exactly what she wants and goes at it with full force. So much that she begins to neglect the people who love her most. She needs to learn the balance between going after a dream and giving the universe time to make it happen.

Q:   Who are your favorite authors? Latino authors?
A:   I love Sarah Addison-Allen, she always has a touch of magical realism, and her books are so heartfelt. I also gobble up Sophie Kinsella; she is hysterical and I adore the way she presents her happy endings. I wish all of her books could be made into movies! I also devour anything by Sandra Rodriguez Barron, Anjanette Delgado, Maria Amparo Escandon, Reyna Grande and Alberto Ferreras. Oh, there are too many!

Q:   What advice would you give to new crafters, new writers?
A:   Not to think about agents or book covers, but just to WRITE! The more you do it, the better you will become!

Q:   We know you love Frida. What is your favorite quote of hers?
A:   Feet, what do I need you for when I have wings to fly?

Q:   Can you share with us a quickie craft project?
A:   Sure! Try the DIY Painted Leather Rings.  

A Crafty Chica Novel
by Kathy Cano-Murillo
Grand Central Publishing

In the second Crafty Chica novel, we have a passional heroine who knows what she wants and goes out and gets it. Scarlet Santana, a chemical engineer with two degrees, chucks a six-figure salary to follow her dream of fashion design. Her fiance dumps her, her parents lay on the guilt, and her boss at the fashion studio undervalues her, but Scarlet will not give up her dream.

Click here for the book trailer for MISS SCARLET.

Click here for all things by the Crafty Chica.

P.S. Do take a look at the Latina Book Club badge. It's a Kathy Cano-Murillo original.

P.S.S.  Leave a comment and you will be entered to win a free copy of WAKING UP IN THE LAND OF GLITTER.  Winner announced on March 16.


Marjorie/cenya2 said…
I think this book would be a super read and would love to win it.

cenya2 at hotmail dot com
Chiquis Barrón said…
Definitely sounds electrifying and fun. Count me in! Would love to begin reading the series.

chiquisb at live dot com
traveler said…
I would enjoy this fascinating book and think that this author is extremely talented. rojosho(at)hotmail(dot)com
traveler said…
Thanks for featuring this lovely series which interests me greatly. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com
Toni said…
Kathy rocks! I still have the little shrine to writing she helped me make. She is truly inspiring.
Unknown said…
Kathy is awesome! Great interview.
Unknown said…
kathy is absolutely a craftspiring chica. i love her craft books!!! y me muero por leer su libro!! thank you kathy for being such a positive role models for latinas world wide... young and old.
Unknown said…
This book sounds like a perfect candidate for a review at How did you get in touch with Kathy visit you on her blog book tour?

Thelma T. Reyna said…
Great interview, Maria! Your questions are on target for eliciting what we should know about Kathy and her wonderful talent. More power to you both!
Native NYer said…

Congratulations to Marjorie, who wins a copy of WAKING UP IN THE LAND OF GLITTER.

Happy Reading!--- LBC