Thank you for the interview! Can you tell us a little something about yourself?
I’m a mother, educator, wife, and author. My mind wanders with curiosity. My loyalties lie with a time when my life was "so called", I was full of "Teen Spirit", and the best love in the world came from a "Champion Lover". I'm obsessed with the minds of men and women who have made a major difference for humanity. From Jesus to Jared Leto. :) Words are my playground. In them lies my passion. I live in Puerto Rico with my husband and two kids. You can get in touch with me at facebook.com/rrodriguezternalbeloved twitter.com/RRodz1
My eBooks are sold at smashwords.com, B&N, Kindle, iBooks, Kobo, Sony, Diesel. Print copies can be purchased at lulu.com.
What inspired you to write Grace and Chastity? And the idea of using death?
When I pondered about the message I wanted to put out through my writing, the issues that young women face today came to mind. After high school and during the college years, women are faced with different dilemmas that can affect the rest of their lives for better or for worse. My concern for this audience sparked my ideas.
I came up with the concept for a series of four books. In each book a female protagonist tackles a central theme. This series is not a saga or a trilogy. I didn’t want the books to be so serious, so I combined my message with my love of paranormal romances, to create a book with a message in a paranormal romance setting. I’ve always wondered about what we really experience in the process of death, which is the only experience anyone has yet to recount, for if you talk are able to talk about a near death experience, you are most certainly alive. That’s why it’s in the mix of this series. It’s a natural process that can be explored in so many ways.
In Grace, the main themes are suicide and abuse. In the next book, Chastity, the themes of promiscuity and neglect are explored. I won’t discuss the death in this one because than I’ll be giving it away.
Do you plan on other books for the Eternal Beloved series?
The Eternal Beloved Series will have a total of four books. Each book has a female protagonist that battles an existential dilemma in a paranormal romance setting. I’m currently writing the third installment, Destiny. Destiny will deal with poverty, betrayal and fate.
Would you say you like any of your characters more than others? Who would that be?
I’ve written two books for this series and I guess my favorite characters are the male protagonists. Perhaps I believe them to be ideal guys. Although, I feel akin to the female protagonists and they’re who the books revolve around, they are flawed by design. They are meant to be flawed, so sometimes they don’t act like I would or would expect any other girl to. A lot of their actions are exasperating, actually. They do grow throughout the story and that’s the whole point.
When did you first start writing?
I’ve always wanted to be an author. I’ve had a love affair with books since the age of nine. Shortly after that, I began to write stories. During my teenage years, I wrote in notebooks. I haven’t stopped writing since. After having a freelance writing business for two years, I decided to pursue creative writing, which is my true passion.
Do you use your own life experience (or of those close to you) when writing?
Every author is influenced somewhat by their life experience when they write, yet my books are not based on specific real events that have happened to me, or those close to me. If this were so, they would be memoirs or non-fiction and I write fiction. I like to create characters based on central themes and then develop what happens to them or how they act, according to those themes.
What's your favorite author? Favorite book?
I am an avid reader so I have many favorite books. I would say that I have favorite books for every one of my life stages so far. As a kid, it was the Ramona Quimby Series, anything by Judy Blume, and V.C Andrews. As a teenager, my favorite books were The Catcher in the Rye and The Outsiders. As an adult, I enjoy many genres. My favorite books include Memoirs of a Geisha, Anna Karenina, The House of Spirits, The Twilight Series, and especially Paulo Coelho’s books. If I were to recommend a book that everyone should read, it would be The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho.
What is something random others might not know about you?
This was a hard one. For the people who know me, I guess they didn’t know I wrote. It was a surprise to them. For my readers, it would be that I’m also a full time English teacher in Puerto Rico. For both my readers and the people who know me, I must reveal that I can also sing, dance, and draw pretty well. You can call me a “Jack of all Trades” in the arts and languages, I guess. I speak English, Spanish, and I’m pretty good in Italian, although I need to practice it a bit more to become truly fluent. I’m terrible at Math.
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