Mayra Calvani (Blogger News) interviews Eleanor Parker Sapia, author of the new novel A Decent Woman [see previous post New Book: Eleanor Parker Sapia’s “A Decent Woman”]. Here are excerpts of the interview *see full interview in the link below):
Why don’t you begin by telling us a little about yourself? Thanks for having me at Blogger News. I’m a Puerto Rican-born, full time writer, and the author of the debut historical novel, A Decent Woman. I write stories that introduce readers to Latin American and Caribbean characters with stories set in the Caribbean and in Spain. I’m represented and published by Booktrope Publishing. [. . .] I was an exhibiting painter for twenty five years before discovering my passion for writing books, and I paint and exhibit my pieces between books. I love reading, traveling, photography, writing with a fountain pen, and being near the ocean.
Tell us a bit about your latest book, and what inspired you to write such a story. A Decent Woman is set in turn of the century Ponce, Puerto Rico, which is my hometown and where I spent many happy years as a child and young adult. It’s the story of Ana Belén, an Afro-Cuban midwife born into slavery, who struggles to survive in male-dominated Puerto Rico as male doctors enter the birthing room for the first time. A Decent Woman is the provocative story of women as they battle for their dignity and for love against the pain of betrayal and social change.
I was inspired to write this book by my Puerto Rican grandmother’s stories of her Afro-Caribbean midwife, Ana, who caught my mother, two aunts, and my uncle. I hadn’t read any novels about Afro-Caribbean midwives, so I wrote one! The complex lives of women in colonial Puerto Rico fascinated me, and I was inspired by my interviews with daughters of Puerto Rican women born in that era.
What type of writer are you—the one who experiences before writing, like Hemingway, or the one who mostly daydreams and fantasizes? How long it took to write and edit. I’m most definitely a writer who experiences before writing, as I came to writing in my late forties. I’ve had a lifetime of wonderful experiences as an Army brat, ex-Army/NATO wife, and because of my Puerto Rican, Russian, and Polish heritage. I tap into many years of working in social services in the US and in Belgium, which is why I prefer writing about women who live on the fringes of society, and those who’ve met challenges head on with little money, education, and few opportunities. I leave the writing of royals and daughters of rich land owners to other historical authors who write wonderful books I enjoy reading.
I wrote the first draft of A Decent Woman in six months. The words came quickly, however the editing and research took nearly four years. Six months before the book was published, I met my current editor, Ally Bishop, and my proofreader, Audrey Maddox. I was incredibly fortunate to meet these talented women when I did. They helped turn my draft manuscript into a proper novel.
[. . .] I love connecting with my readers, so I encourage them to visit my website to learn more about me and my books. http://www.eleanorparkersapia.com
For full interview, see http://www.bloggernews.net/136018