Thursday, March 20, 2014

Interview with author RosaLinda Diaz

Book Blurb:

The decisions we make create and destroy us.  Fourth grade teacher Poppy Rodriguez thinks she has all the answers, and realizes, perhaps too late, that she needs schooling in just about every area, especially love--oh, and baking.

A novice in the kitchen and the bedroom Poppy samples both, while surrendering to Michael Borchard’s irresistible charm, when she joins his baking class. There are a couple hiccups––it’s a kids’ class, and he’s married. Poppy and Michael improvise a recipe for passion that hits all the right spots. Their honeyed entanglement becomes increasingly sticky as his wife and her past muddy their budding romance. Is love stronger than circumstances, or will Poppy succumb to the sweetest temptation?

Buy a copy of the book:

While parking one-handed, I finish the edible parts of the burrito and toss the remains into a plastic shopping bag. Licking the excess filling off my fingers, I open the door to Happy Nails, and I’m shocked to find it packed. Rows of women are relaxing in what look like recliners with foot baths. Others are sitting at little tables, reading tabloid magazines, and talking on cell phones pressed uncomfortably to their ears with their shoulders, while hunched manicurists work furiously sloughing, sculpting, and lacquering their nails.
“Can help you?” a petite woman asks.
“Yes, I have an appointment at one o’clock for a mani-pedi?” “Okay, pick color,” she says, motioning to a wall filled with any nail polish color imaginable. My eyes drink in the rainbow of shades; it makes me dizzy trying to decide between the brilliant jewel tones, feminine pastels, and creamy whites.
“Ready?” another woman asks, clearly eager to begin.
“Sure.” I palm the closest red and follow her to one of the recliner contraptions.
I flip the bottle over to read the name: Racy Red. It sure is. “Oh, this is fantastic,” I purr, sliding my feet into the hot bubbling water. She looks at me like I’m from Mars.
“First time?” she guesses; I nod yes.
“Red on toes, and for hands?” the manicurist asks, looking around for a second bottle of polish.
“Shouldn’t finger and toe nails match?”
She takes hold of my hand, tsk-tsks, and, in her native language, calls to someone across the salon. Several women swarm around me, making me feel like a side show attraction. They pass my hand to one another as if I were show and tell. One finally speaks up. “Nails ugly,” she informs me. I pull my arms in close to my body, out of examination range. “Tips. Manicure not fix. You need tips. Make pretty.” I still don’t get it. She holds up the hand of the woman next to me, pointing to one square, white-tipped nail. “Tips,” she says, rolling her eyes in disgust at my ignorance.

“Fake nails? I don’t know,” I say, not wanting to offend anyone. Gradually, I uncurl my fists and look objectively at my nails. They are so ugly. She sees my resignation and pounces.

Interview with RosaLinda Diaz:

1)    Would you tell the readers a little bit about yourself?
I’m a bit of a gypsy, as my twitter name GitanaRosa (gypsy rose) suggests. I’ve spent my life as three things a writer, an actor and an artist. I love expressing my creativity through many mediums. Writing is an especially cherished form of expression for me. It allows me to work through complicated emotions in a beautiful way. I grew up in Los Angeles, but moved and traveled all around the world. I’m currently living in California’s Central Coast and loving the slower paced lifestyle.

2)    Which project are you currently promoting?
Bee Stings, a chick lit coming-of-age romance.

3)     Can you tell us what the book is about?
Fourth grade teacher Poppy Rodriguez thinks she has life all figured out, but learns, through a relationship with married baker Michael Borchard, that she doesn’t have all the answers. It’s a complex, highly charged issue told in a relaxed and humorous style.

4)    How did you come up with the title for this book?
Bee Stings is a metaphor for Poppy and Michael’s relationship. Love is sweet, but it can sting. It just fit the story perfectly.
5)    What inspired you to write this book?
I wanted to tell a different kind of love story. In the classic love triangle one person is always the villain. Bee Stings demonstrates that sometimes there isn’t a witch driving two people apart, sometimes there are unforeseeable circumstances.
6)    What made you decide to become a writer?
I’ve always loved writing. In middle school my poem won a county wide contest and was displayed at the Natural History Museum. That moment gave me the confidence to continue writing poetry. At Pepperdine I earned a B.A. in Creative Writing, but I had no intention of writing novels. I thought I’d write screenplays. Then the writing muse gave me Bee Stings. Now I’ve written three novels!

7)    What genre do you generally write?
I’m all over the map! I write what I find interesting at the moment. The Bee Stings trilogy is chick lit, but I have a Middle Grade Historical Fantasy novel I’ll be shopping later this year, plus a YA novel, and a children’s book waiting to be written.

8)    What character out of your most recent work do you admire the most and why?
That’s a tough one! If I had to pick one character that I admire the most it would be Bee Stings main character, Poppy. She’s faced with a tough issue, but stays true to herself and unselfish at the same time. What she does is an act of true love. For me, that’s admirable.

9)    What other projects are you currently working on?
I just finished the sequel to Bee Stings. It’s a dual narrative that follows Poppy and Michael’s continuing journey. You really get inside Michael’s head, which we missed in Bee Stings. I loved writing from his point of view. It was a lot of fun to see Michael and Popp’s different perspectives about the same conundrum. Hopefully, it will be out later this year.

10)  When you begin a new MS, does it start with an idea, concept, or both?
It starts with an idea and a title. I can’t seem to begin until I get a title I love. I guess that’s an odd way to start writing a book, but the title gives me the heart of the story. If the title isn’t set, I can’t get into the story.

11)  What is your least favorite part about getting published?
The waiting! I’m the most patient impatient person ever. I also like to know everything that’s going on, which isn’t always possible during the publication process. The not knowing can be so frustrating.

12)  Was the road to publication a long one for you?
Bee Stings took seven years to be published. It was a struggle to keep believing in this story. I knew it was unique, and could find its niche if given the chance. I’m so happy that Stephanie Taylor, Editor-In-Chief, at Astraea Press saw what I saw in Bee Stings.

13)  Do you use a pen name? If so, why?
Nope. I use my own name.

14)  Where do you see yourself in five years?
Hmm… in five years I’d like to be writing and acting full time. Living a life supported by creative expression has always been my goal. The details can fall into place as God desires. Though, there is a house I adore that overlooks Pacific Coast Highway. It’s one of those old Hollywood mansions built in the twenties. In five years, I’d love to be living there. I better stop now. I can come up with some pretty elaborate fantasies.

15)  What is the best advice you can give to a new author?
Don’t let others discourage you because they can’t see or understand your vision. Don’t take critiques to heart. If the advice doesn’t feel right, listen to your gut. Keep writing!

16)  Where can the readers find more information about you?
Readers can visit my website to learn more about me. 

About the Author: 

RosaLinda Diaz, was raised in a particularly magical section of Los Angeles; between the original Disney Hyperion Studios and Snow White’s Cottages. The magic in the air and soil gave her already active imagination roots and wings. Wings that took her gypsying around Europe, Australia, and Africa, and roots that brought her back to California to earn her B.A. at Pepperdine University. She makes her home in California’s Central Coast igniting the fire of creativity and sparking imaginations with her endeavors. 

Facebook Fanpage for the book:
Facebook Fanpage for the author:

Twitter: @GitanaRosa