Q: How do books get published?
A: The criteria are very different a lot from country to country, but in general the commercial interest weighs a lot. In my country, when I tried, people published books if they were famous or if they had someone famous to back them up. This is what I learned and what I had to deal with. There, publishing a book was virtually impossible, unless these criteria were fulfilled. You could publish a book, if you paid the full publishing costs. You could publish if you were a militant of a political party. I knew excellent writers there, but some never had the chance of seeing their books in the press. Many new writers, just like me, just found closed doors and insurmountable barriers. I don’t know how it is now.
Britain is much more open-minded and here the quality matters. It is much different from what Portugal was—there is a concern about language and about the content, specially in children’s books, which is excellent. It wasn’t easy to publish here either, though. My husband spent nights and nights searching in the Internet, establishing contacts, dealing with rejections. When we were almost quitting, there was a gentleman, a true gentleman who answered us from a self-publishing company, saying “Don’t recur to our services yet! I’m sure you’ll find another way.” That gave me another breath. We kept trying, and got a positive reply from Pegasus.
Q: Where do you get your information or ideas for your books?
A: Now? … In real life, the things I go through, the stories I read in the newspapers, the things I find in the Internet. It doesn’t mean that I put Fantasy aside, but I have a much more realistic vision.
Q: When did you write your first book and how old were you?
A: I was twelve years old when I wrote this story. Of course, the book grew with me and improved with new information and features as I evolved in literary terms.
Q: What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
A: I like to study and I like to be with my family, play and read with my children. I have twin girls of four years old and a boy of fourteen.
Q: What does your family think of your writing?
A: My husband is passionate and strongly believes in my writing. My son takes my book with him to school and reads it in his free time.
Q: What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books?
A: I learned that a book is like an entity, with its own life and personality. I learned about other worlds and other lives. At last, I learned from my readers, especially the young ones, that whoever writes a book should be respected.
Q: How many books have you written? Which is your favorite?
A: I’ve written four, so far. The favorite is one I’ll never publish, because it was destroyed. It was written in the time of the Cold War and its name was The Age of Destruction. It was a very accurate analysis of the consequences of the Nuclear War—so accurate that my father, who worked in the Information services of the Army, told me to delete it, because he was afraid of retaliations. I must say that he didn’t provide any information for this book.
Q: Do you hear from your readers much? What kinds of things do they say?
A: I didn’t hear much from my readers yet. I just hear from the people who visit my Blogs. My favorite poetry writer, Shadow, wrote: “You ARE a poet, or writer, or whatever. Those words are perfect, meaningful, a delight to read.” Coming from someone as talented as she is, it was a “larger than life” comment.
I have one critic to my book, which said “It’s a good reading!” coming from a very demanding person, and I have another one, for obvious reasons very important to me: “A very good command of the English Language …” My son, one of my strongest and most influent critics, who only likes scientific writing, was truly thrilled about my book—and he is someone who simply doesn’t read when he doesn’t like.
(Part 1) | (Part 2) | Part 3