April 1, 2016

REVIEW: LATINA AUTHORS & THEIR MUSES, EDITED BY MAYRA CALVANI

  
  
The artist must possess the courageous soul…The brave soul. The soul that dares and defies. – from THE AWAKENING by Kate Chopin

LATINA AUTHORS & THEIR MUSES is a celebration of creativity, the writer’s life, the passionate quest for spiritual and artistic freedom. – Mayra Calvani 


Twilight Times Books 
I admit it.  I like to write in my books.  I add notes on the margins.  I underline, and if the quote is too long I fold the page for future reference.  Some of my family and friends cringe when I do, but I love it.  It’s a very definite way of knowing which books are “keepers” and LATINA AUTHORS & THEIR MUSES is a Keeper!

This book is a treasure trove of information.  It’s like a literary marketplace and who’s who rolled into one.  Mayra Calvani is to be commended for her hard work and vision in bringing 40 of everyone’s favorite Latina authors together for this marvelous collection; see list of participating authors at the end.  You have established authors and debut authors; some that write in English while others write in English and Spanish; some that only write fiction and others who write romances, vampires and thrillers.  

The best part is that this book will be loved by writers and readers alike.  

Writers will love the “candor and insight” into these authors’ backgrounds, routines and writing style.  They’ll have more how-to books to add to their TBR piles, and most importantly, will realize that writers are never truly alone.  There are other writers just like them.

Readers will love the wealth of information on their favorite Latina authors from where they were born to their past books to “their” favorite authors to how to connect with them on the web. Plus, they will be able to discover new authors.

Another good thing about this book is that you can start anywhere.  Pick any chapter. Start at the end and work forward or jump around as you choose your favorites or just start at the beginning.  You will meet an amazing woman and writer in each chapter.

I won’t name names – you’ll have to read the book to learn who I mean! – but did you know some authors have unusual quirks?  For example, some can only write their books in longhand; others write in windowless rooms; others can only write in busy hotspots; others only write at a specific time and place; and some cast their characters and make photo collages from photos taken from magazines.

Here are some of my favorite quotes from the book:

On writers block:  There is no such thing as writer’s block… Writers who succeed, slog (through it); they don’t think they’re precious. They know better.  – Alisa Lynn Valdes

On playing God:  I had the lives of my characters at the tip of my fingers.  I knew some of them had to go for the sake of the story. – Zoraida Cordova

On obsession:  Novels demand so much from writers that you’d have to be crazy to give that much of your time and life to something you’re not obsessed with.  – Carolina de Robertis

On writing: The story makes its own rules. Disappear and let the characters live. – Sandra Ramos O’Briant

On writing mottos:  Author Toni Margarita Plummer’s favorite is:  Write what should not be forgotten from Isabel Allende.

On doing something different:  Writers write. Never be afraid to spread your wings and try something different. – Caridad Piñeiro.

On writing in solitude:  Solitude forces you to confront yourself.  This can be terrifying. –Esmeralda Santiago


LATINA AUTHORS & AND THEIR MUSES is a Keeper!  I encourage all readers to let Mayra know which next group of 40 Latina authors she should look at for her new collection.  Happy Reading and Happy Writing! ---mcf


For an excerpt from the book, click here.

Participating Authors:
Marta Acosta
Lisa Alvarado
Julia Amante
Margo Candela
Kathy Cano-Murillo
Mary Castillo
Jennifer Cervantes
Leila Cobo
Zoraida Córdova
Lucha Corpi
Sarah Cortez
Angie Cruz
Liz DeJesus
Anjanette Delgado
Carolina De Robertis
Lyn Di Iorio
Teresa Dovalpage
Carolina Garcia-Aguilera
Iris Gomez
Reyna Grande
Rose Guilbault
Graciela Limón
Dahlma Llanos-Figueroa
Diana López
Josefina López
Dora Machado
Maria Gabriela Madrid
Michele Martinez
Sandra Ramos O'Briant
Melinda Palacio
Caridad Piñeiro
Berta Platas
Toni Margarita Plummer
Thelma T. Reyna
Lupe Ruiz-Flores
Esmeralda Santiago
Eleanor Parker Sapia
Alisa Lynn Valdes
Diana Rodriguez Wallach
Gwendolyn Zepeda


ABOUT THE EDITOR:  Award-winning author Mayra Calvani has penned over ten books for children and adults in genres ranging from picture books to nonfiction to paranormal fantasy novels. She’s had over 300 articles, short stories, interviews and reviews published in magazines such as The Writer, Writer's Journal and Bloomsbury Review, among others. A native of San Juan, Puerto Rico, she now resides in Brussels, Belgium. Connect with Mayra on the Web:


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