Meet the Author: Interview with Sandra Lopez
Hi Everyone, and Happy Friday!
This week has been something of a whirlwind, and I’m super excited to introduce another new segment on my blog. Periodically, I’ll be engaging other writers, authors, and bloggers for interviews.
I want to keep things light and fun like my other posts, so this segment will be something of a work-in-progress as I get better at interviewing others.
All right, drum roll please!
My first interview is with fellow author, Sandra Lopez!
Sandra Lopez is an influential Latina author in Young Adult literature. She has published several books thus far, Single Chicas, Beyond the Gardens, and Esperanza, A Latina Story.
I originally reached out to her for a review of my debut novella Reaper, but after that was done I wanted a chance to talk with her more about her work.
Thanks so much for stopping by, Sandra. For starters, can you tell us a little bit about your writing and what inspires you?
I am a YA author and short story writer. I write stories with strong and independent female characters that I, myself, would like to read about. When I’m not writing, I get my fill on reading for the enjoyment as well as to improve my craft. I am also a freelance artist, a traveler, and a student.
Wow, sounds like you have a lot on your plate! Are you working on any projects at the moment?
I am currently working on Book 2 of the Single Chicas series, which is a series of short stories focusing on funny, zany, and wildly entertaining chicas.
I love a good sequel. Could you tell us a little more about your new book?
Single Chicas is a collection of short stories centering on women being in, out, and around the hurdles of relationships. One woman seeks dating advice from a campus group. Another wakes up in a daze to a man she’s never met. And another gets distracted on the plane by the good-looking hottie sitting right next to her.
What inspired you to write this book?
I wanted to laugh about the trials and hurdles of today’s modern woman.
I totally get where you’re coming from. Sometimes you just have to have a good laugh at the world and circumstance. How much of your book is based on your own experiences or those of someone you know?
Most of my books are based on my own experiences. My novels are based on my own growing experience and my college life. The stories in Single Chicas are based on my own life, my observations, and what-if scenarios.
Was there a message in your book that you were trying to convey?
Mostly I just wanted readers to enjoy them, but, ultimately, my message was to love yourself and your life. Just be happy with who you are.
I really like that. So I’ve been curious, when did you start writing and why?
I first started writing in college, when I began outlining Esperanza, the story of a 14-year old girl growing up in the barrio. I never anticipated getting it published, but I thought I’d send out query letters to some publishers anyway. After many rejections, I almost decided to give up until I got a direct call from Floricanto Press, asking to see the full manuscript. Two months later, they sent me a publishing contract. I was still going to college at that time. So that’s how my writing journey started.
Getting published can be difficult for sure. Speaking of trials, what do you think is the hardest lesson you had to learn as a writer so far?
That not everybody will love your work as much as you do. It was hard to read some of the negative views, but, as a reader and book reviewer, I can understand that not everyone can like what you write. Readers have many rights –the right to not finish a book, the right to not like a book, and the right not to be questioned on their choices. As a reader myself, I get those same privileges, and, as a writer, I have to respect the reader.
Yeah, that’s definitely tough, especially when you hope that others see your work the same way you do. So if you had any advice for new writers, what would that be?
Write what you like, not what you think might sell, otherwise, you take the fun out of it. Read as much as you write. Every now and then, pay it forward by reviewing another author’s work. But, most importantly, keep at it, even if you’re not where you want to be in the book world (i.e. millionaire, world famous author, etc.).
Before you go, let’s throw in some fun ones. What are you reading now?
Currently I’m reading a rom-com book about a woman who
wins the lottery, which is a concept that I’ve often thought about writing myself.
What are your favorite TV shows and Movies?
I mostly watch stuff that makes me laugh, which is probably comedy tends to be a common theme in my writing. I like I Love Lucy, The Simpsons, Seinfeld, Monk.
Nice! Okay, last one. If you could take a vacation, where would you go?
Ooh, that’s kind of a long list, but my top ones would include: Australia, Greece, Galapagos Islands, Salem, New Mexico, and South America. My bucket-list goal is to visit each continent at least once. So far, I’ve been to Italy and London.
Great bucket list goal! I’ve been dreaming of Hawaii myself lately. Thanks again for stopping by to chat with me, Sandra!
All right everyone, this concludes my first interview. I really had fun getting to know Sandra more, and I hope you did too! If you’d like to learn more about Sandra or check out her work, she can be reached at the following social media links below. Thank you all for stopping by!
PS: Did you enjoy my first interview? Was there room for improvement in my execution? Feel free to share your opinion in the comments, and have a great day!