The Latina Book Club's mission is to promote Latina / Latino authors. We do this through book reviews, author interviews, publicity announcements, book of the month selections, etc. A popular feature of our site is "Writers Wednesdays." The first Wednesday of each month, we feature a writer talking about ...writing. Happy reading!--mcf
IF YOU CAN KEEP YOUR HEAD
by Theresa Varela
When I was about fourteen years old my mom gave me a laminated version of Rudyard Kipling’s celebrated poem, If. “If you can keep your head when all about you are losing theirs…” I only understand it now.
On the arduous journey to the publishing of my debut novel, Covering the Sun with My Hand, I often thought I would “lose it.” “It” changed all the time. Sometimes “it” was opportunity that I believed was slipping through my fingers when yet another new author was published. Sometimes “it” was waiting for responses from agents and editors who said they were interested in my submitted manuscript and ultimately never contacted me. “It” happened when a friend sent me an email in the middle of the night with the link to her essay that was published. The essay was a thinly disguised varnished infringement of my story. The same story she had critiqued and looked up at me blankly saying, “I don’t get it.”
But as my mom suggested so many years ago, I kept my head and wrote and revised and wrote and revised. The rejections came along with suggestions and opinions. I listened to them all, reflected and revised yet again. Persistence, perseverance and openness to what others thought helped me to create Covering the Sun with My Hand. My publisher, Aignos Publishing, thinks it’s a wonderful creation, just as I do and many readers are telling me they love it too.
I’ve learned a lot as a newly published author and I’m still learning. In the meantime I’ve just finished my second novel. It’s a cozy mystery, DO NO HARM, whose Latina protagonist, Daisy Muñiz, is learning about Spiritism, Santeria and manages to find herself immersed in murder and mayhem. The series will be light reading, fun, and although adult, reminds me of Nancy Drew mysteries. That’s the type of book I want to read myself!###
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: NuyoRican author, Theresa Varela, holds a doctoral degree in Nursing Research and Theory Development from New York University and is the author of scholarly articles on the impact of culture and spirituality on urban health. She works as a psychiatric nurse practitioner and incorporates her knowledge of mental health into magical realist writings. Covering the Sun with My Hand is her debut novel. Visit Theresa at http://theresavarela.com.