This is our second interview with Annette and we are happy to welcome her back.
Was getting published difficult?
Heck yeah! My last book, SPITFIRE, was rejected by all of the big six publishing houses. They claimed it had "No mass-market appeal." That perplexed me. I could not believe that a novel about a Latina office drone who suspects her Dockers-wearing, Hootie and the Blowfish loving boss of being a serial killer, wasn't worth a read. Why wouldn't a female protagonist with an acid wit not have mass market appeal? When Amazon started a mystery imprint called Thomas & Mercer, I submitted to them. I was pretty discouraged by that point. Fortunately, they found my book refreshing. SPITFIRE did so well it was translated into German, of all languages.
Q: How did you get into publishing? Why self-publish?
My partner of 20 years passed away last year. Since he died without a will, his estate reverted back to his blood relatives. Not able to cover the rent I had to move, but could not afford an apartment that allowed my dog, so we moved into an office space; the kind with a key for the restroom.
For me, creativity is about 2% inspiration and 98% desperation. I was finishing a novel but could not afford the years of waiting for a publisher to release it so I went ahead and self-published. During the process, I decided to start my own publishing house, Purple Patch Press. When I was done with WOMEN ARE LIKE CHICKENS, I uploaded the content, cover design, etc, to Kindle Direct. I pressed "Publish" before I went to sleep. In the morning, my novel had been published and was taking its first scratchy steps in the literary world.
I was on a roll. I wanted to get my out-of-print books back in distribution, so I sent letters to my publishing houses requesting that the rights revert back to me, which they did. This summer I'll be publishing HOMEGROWN HEALING: TRADITIONAL HOME REMEDIES FROM MEXICO. In the fall I plan to release THE DIRECTORY OF SAINTS: A CONCISE GUIDE TO PATRON SAINTS. Both books will be in hardcover.
Q: Tell us about your latest novel, WOMEN ARE LIKE CHICKENS. Where did such strong characters come from?
I set out to write a novel about women not expected to succeed—yet do. A book with an intelligent storyline, disturbing beauty and a little controversy. A book that reflects the modern Latina experience. In a sense, I wrote the novel I wanted to read.
WOMEN ARE LIKE CHICKENS is the story of four Mexican American friends raised in San Francisco during the 1980’s. Although subject to some strict cultural expectations and limitations, each examines and defines her own unique identity.
Q: When did you realize you were a writer? Do you have a "writing" routine?
I think people have a proclivity toward being creative. Writers take in the world through all of their senses and either process that sensory overload by jotting something down, or finding another creative outlet. If I don't have a healthy outlet I go a little crazy. I write in the morning because I'm still operating below the level of conscious thought. I never work at night. The days' reality kills the creative buzz.
Q: Tell us about Annette. Background? What other writing projects you are working on?
My parents are from Jalisco, Mexico. When they speak English, they sound like Ricky Ricardo. I'm from Santa Ana and am the youngest of five kids. I thought I was a boy until I got boobies—that was a pretty sucky day. I moved to San Francisco when I turned 21. I am seriously dyslexic and cannot spell "dyslexic" without spell check. I'm working on two books: FURIOUS GEORGE, the sequel to SPITFIRE, and OLIVER TWIST: JUNIOR DETECTIVE.
For more information about Annette Sandoval and her novels, please visit http://www.purplepatchpress.com/
To read our first interview with Annette and a review of her novel SPITFIRE, click here.