I had the chance to chat with Caridad Pineiro, a multi-published and award-winning author who is also a mom, wife and attorney. She wears lots of hats in her life and says she "juggles them all with the occasional bobble!"
Welcome to the WOW! Blog, Caridad. How did you get started writing?
I wrote my first book in the fifth grade when a teacher assigned a project - to write a book for a class lending library. I went home and started writing and ended up with 120 typed pages. I kept on writing through high school, college and law school, but didn't turn my attention to getting published until a few years after my daughter was born. Something about that momentous event made me realize that there was one thing I had always wanted to do, but hadn't done - get one of my books published. Nearly five years later, I sold my first book which was released in 1999.
WOW: Do you take most of your ideas from life? Or your imagination? A mix? (Do you hate when people ask this?)
No, I don't hate when people ask this, but it is awkward when someone comes up to me at a book signing and wants me to write their life story. The stories are a mix of real life and my imagination. I think the real life things that make it into the books are my life experiences, travels and stories that I may see in the news. The imagination part is taking those real life things and giving them a unique twist with something from my imagination.
WOW: Do you have days when the words won't flow? What do you do?
I think everyone has days when they just can't get anything to flow nicely in a story. I will usually set aside the story at that point and pick up a book to read or watch a movie. Sometimes the book/movie is in the same genre, but a lot of times it isn't. I find that going beyond your genre at such a time sometimes helps you think of something different that you can apply in that other genre.
WOW: Those kinds of days can really be frustrating. What's the most frustrating thing for you? Most rewarding?
The most frustrating thing about writing is that I don't have enough time to research and write as often as I would like since I still have a rather demanding full-time job. The greatest reward in writing is hearing from a fan that they loved your book or that it helped them escape to another world that made them happy.
WOW: As a writer, I often get well-meaning advice from others. What's the best piece of advice you've been given as a writer? What's the worst?
The best piece of advice is that you have to treat your writing as a career. Much like you would if you were looking for a job, you need to give your writing the time it needs, act professional when meeting editors and agents, and always have plan for what you will do once you finish the book you are working on.
The worst advice I ever got as someone telling me I should try to be the Latina Terry McMillan. The most important thing to do is to write what's in your heart and have your own unique voice.
WOW: That's such great advice! Do you have a golden rule of writing?
My "golden rule" is to either write every day or think about the story every day. If you do this, you will find that your book will be done before you know it.
WOW: You mentioned you sometimes read when you have days when your own writing isn't going as well as it should. What do you read and do you have any favorite authors?
I used to read a lot more since I had more free time when I wasn't writing on a daily basis. I still manage to read dozens of books a year, but only when I am taking breaks or the battery on my laptop dies! A well-written book in any genre always makes me want to push the limits of what I am doing and strive to do better. My favorite authors are J.D. Robb (aka Nora Roberts), Kim Harrison and Kelley Armstrong because I love urban fantasy. I also love the Kushiel series by Jacqueline Carrey.
WOW: You've given us some great advice. Do you have any upcoming publications or links for our readers? Current projects we should watch for?
I'd like to add that I love to hear from readers and other writers. I can be reached at www.caridad.com or at www.thecallingvampirenovels.com . My current release is SOUTH BEACH CHICAS CATCH THEIR MAN from Simon & Schuster's Downtown Press. In October and December, my paranormal fans can check out the MOON FEVER anthology from Pocket Books and HOLIDAY WITH A VAMPIRE, another anthology from Silhouette Nocturne.
Thanks so much for letting me chat with you!