Monday, December 10, 2012

Behind the Scenes of "Another Last Winter"


I finally finished my first backer story, promised to the three people who promoted my Vizcaya Kickstarter campaign the most.  I seriously can't thank the three of you enough, and I hope you enjoy your stories.  This is the first one.  It's called "Another Last Winter" and you can read it on my WritersCafe page.

Here's a little behind the scenes info on how the story came together!

While I was running the Kickstarter campaign for Vizcaya, I ran a contest for anyone who went above and beyond in getting the word out.  Three people won and the prize was a special story written just for them.  I finally finished the first one.

This story was for Laura who likes angsty type of stories with some romance thrown in.  I had each person fill out a questionnaire to try and tailor the story to their liking, and she mentioned in hers that she liked Radiohead and was a fan of Salinger, both of which I knew I could use as inspiration.

I started with the song.  My favorite Radiohead song of all time is "Let Down" so I chose some of the lyrics to try and give me a frame for what I wanted to write.  Then I came across a few pics on tumblr that I thought fit well with the song.  This is when I decided to come up with my own genre, "Pop Culture Inspired Fiction!"  Catchy right?  Okay, maybe it's not as catchy as "Fan Fiction" but sometimes you see some timely pop cultural images and it all comes together in your head and you don't want to write a story about that celebrity, but you want to write a story about the mood captured in the image.  So PCIF was born in my head.

The pics on tumblr that got the plot bunny forming in my head were the ones of Louis Tomlinson recently in New York City looking properly emo and angsty.  
Taking off and landing
The emptiest of feelings
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(Credit: stylinwinter.tumblr.com/)
Then I saw this pic of Selena Gomez and thought it'd be cool to bring her in as the protagonist's sister.  This is where I thought I'd channel a bit of Salinger's Franny & Zooey, creating a unique dynamic between brother and sister.
Don't get sentimental
It always ends up drivel
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(Credit: selenadaily.tumblr.com/)
Then I saw the pic of Louis and his adorable girlfriend from the same photo set and that’s when I decided that my main protagonist was going to fall in love with a fairy.  I have no idea why this picture made me think of that.  Inspiration is weird.
Let down and hanging around
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(Credit: fallenforpayne.tumblr.com)
And then someone reblogged a gorgeous winter photo set and I saw the following three images in a row.
And one day….I am going to grow wings
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(Credit: selenamg.tumblr.com)
And that’s when I knew she had to be a winter fairy.  So with the lyrics of Radiohead, and Salinger’s influence, "Another Last Winter" was born.

Check it out and let me know what you think!  In the meantime, I’ll be scrolling through tumblr seeing what hits me creatively for the remaining two stories.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

December Already?

Where did November go?! Somehow we're in December and it's that time of year to start reflecting, taking inventory, and making plans for 2013. That's if we survive the whole Mayan-end-of-the-world-prophecy thing...

First and foremost, did you guys check out my teaser for Winter Lakes? It's on my tumblr! I've been diligently writing the second book and it's all going rather smoothly. The characters have very strong voices and a lot of opinions that I suppose I should take into consideration. It's amazing how they know more about what I'm writing than I do! I'm going to keep working hard on the second novel so you guys can finally meet Sean, Hilarie, Nicole, Matthew, and all the other residents in Winter Lakes. I know it's taking a while, and you guys have been more than patient, so I can only hope it lives up to your expectations.

I've also been working on my first ever sci-fi novel. It's the story I've been submitting to my critique group and the group seems to think I have something to work with, so I'm going to keep at it and see where it takes me. I'm a huge fan of sci-fi, but I've always been too scared to try it out. I feel there's a real mastery involved in taking something so incredibly unbelievable and transforming it into a non-debatable reality. I want to be able to do that! So this story is my attempt. Keep your fingers crossed!

In the next coming weeks, I'll be working on three short stories that I owe three great backers of Vizcaya. I haven't forgotten! In celebration of the holidays, I will present one each week until Christmas, so keep an eye out for the first one sometime this weekend.

Speaking of the holidays, you know what would be a great gift for the YA lover in your life? VIZCAYA! So add it to your amazon.com cart and send it to whoever you think may enjoy it. The Kindle version is only 2.99!

And don't forget that while you're on the site, leave a review! People won't know if they should invest their time in the book unless they know it's worth the read. If you're on goodreads.com, leave a review there as well or at least rate it. It's quick and painless and puts a smile on my face. :)

Saturday, September 29, 2012

My "Perks of Being a Wallflower" Review

Last night, I finally saw Perks of Being a Wallflower.  I felt I had been waiting all year for it to come out, so even though I had tissues with me, I actually spent the entire film with a huge smile on my face just because I was so happy to finally be watching it.

As I mentioned in my blog before, this movie is based on a book by the same name.  When I read the book oh-so-many years ago, I was mostly enchanted by the English teacher who kept giving Charlie all these great books to read.  I related to that, having had a great English teacher who assigned books that went on to become an integral part of who I am as a reader, writer, and person.  Why he couldn't look like Paul Rudd is beyond me.  Life, you are not fair.  But I digress...

The film lived up to my expectations.  I loved the look, the feel, the sound of it.  The soundtrack wasn't just fantastic and filled with great songs, it also made sense.  The music told just as much of each character's story as the scenes themselves did.  Life changes the moment you get some Bowie in your life.  There's never a reason to not belt out a monster rock ballad.  We all have "living room routines" that we're just waiting to show off when the right song plays.  These musical moments of the film were real and part of what made the entire film feel like I was watching these kids as they lived their lives, instead of watching a film about kids living their lives.

The performances themselves were "revelations."  I just wanted to say that since every other reviewer seems to be using that word as the new way of saying "awesome."  Well, I'm pretty sure they mean "awesome" by it...    They're not lying though.  Logan Lerman, Ezra Miller, and Emma Watson do an incredible job carrying this film.  Emma's American accent wasn't perfect, but it occurred to me that it didn't have to be.  Some people just talk weird.  In my head, Sam just talked a little weird.  Maybe she was trying to be ironically pretentious, okay?  Would you put it past Sam?  I wouldn't.

Ezra Miller broke my heart toward the end.  This was my first time seeing his talent and I can now say that I understand the hype.  He played Patrick with a subtlety that I'm sure anyone else wouldn't have thought to use for this character.  On the flip side, Logan Lerman played Charlie with a self-awareness that I'm sure anyone else would've left out of their portrayal.  It would be so easy to make Patrick and Charlie high school stereotypes, one-layered caricatures of what the audience expects that person to be like, but neither Ezra or Logan took the easy way out, and they both ended up shining.

Going into the film, I was a little worried about the chemistry between Hermione Granger and Percy Jackson.  Let's be real, she only has eyes for Ron, and he has a thing for Annabeth.  This was not going to end well.  Okay, that wasn't the real reason why I was worried.  Just like everything else in the book, the relationship between Sam and Charlie is based on subtlety, so I was worried that if I blinked, I'd miss it.  Luckily it was very much there.  You could tell that Sam cared so incredibly much for Charlie, and you could see the hearts in Charlie's eyes.  They didn't even need dialogue.  The looks were there, as were the quiet moments, the thoughtful stares, the stolen glances...  It was a revelation!

However, I will give props to the dialogue anyway.  Being a writer, the idea of taking one of my own books and directing it myself is a pipe dream.  Unless some weird stroke of incredible luck suddenly befalls my existence (for the record, I'm not adverse to this happening), chances are that Stephen Chbosky is the luckiest writer ever.  EVER.  And I can't even hate on the guy because he took that opportunity, ran with it, and created a work of art.  I have nothing but respect.  I understand what it's like to know how your book feels and sounds.  To be able to bring that to life has to be up there in the scheme of great life moments.  Probably somewhere between hitting the lotto and eating french fries on a daily basis with no negative health effects.  (Again, for the record, I'm not adverse to any of these things happening.)  My point is that Chbosky had a vision, and I'm grateful to him for sharing it with us.

In closing, sometimes you leave a movie theater satisfied, entertained, and in the mood for a late night snack.  After watching Perks of Being a Wallflower, I left feeling all these things along with this innate sense of knowing I had just watched a personal and honest piece by an artist with a vision.  It put me in a creative mood and I woke up this morning with a new scene in my head for my novel.  Thanks, Perks!  Now I'm going to put on my playlist, listen to some Bowie, and go write.  Oh my God ... I'm Charlie!

5/5

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

I admit it. I'm obsessed.

If any of you have been keeping up with my twitter, tumblr or pinterest, you've probably noticed that I reblog a lot of things pertaining to the upcoming film, The Perks of Being a Wallflower.  For those of you who don't know, it's a film based upon the book of the same name written by Stephen Chbosky.  I first read this book back in early 2000 when it was all the buzz and people swore you had to read it.  I think I was a little too old at the time to really be moved by it as so many young people have, but at the time I appreciated the music and literary references more than the actual story.  Fast forward to a little more than a decade later when the author himself decided to direct his own film (what a concept!), and he put together a flawless cross-fandom cast consisting of Hermione Granger, Percy Jackson, and Katara, and suddenly all these years later, not only am I interested, but I'm flat out obsessed with the whole thing.  Nothing pulls me in quicker than six degrees of fandom.  Seriously.  Oh and did I mention Paul Rudd?  Paul freaking Rudd plays the English teacher that gives Charlie all these amazing books to read.  I might need an intervention.

If you didn't catch the MTV First interview last night with the cast, you should.  I really love Emma Watson, and I adore Logan Lerman, and I don't know much about Ezra Miller, but if all the reviews are to be believed, he's about to rock everyone's world.  Check out the interview!
I'm so excited.  I don't think I've been this excited for a film since Deathly Hallows Part 2.  I'll probably do a review of it after I see it next weekend when it comes out here in DC.  I can't promise my review will consist of anything outside of "OMG" and "Dead," but I'll try and write something coherent.  If you haven't seen the trailer yet, then check it out.



In other literary news, the National Book Festival is happening this weekend!  I can't wait to go and listen to great authors speak about their work, do readings, and essentially inspire.  Unfortunately I won't be able to make it to both days, but I'll be there Sunday having a great time and hopefully tweeting live from the event.  I can't wait!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Here, There, and Everywhere

These past few months have been quite a journey for me.  Sometimes you have to take that moment in time to live life instead of writing about it, so as person after person came to visit, my writing had to take a backseat and my life had to be lived.  There were some great journeys along the way, a lot of great conversations and catching up with the people I love the most, and new inspiration picked up in the oddest of places.  Now, however, the focus is back on writing.  In the meantime, I'll leave you with my top 10 wackiest and most memorable moments of the past few months.
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#10: I attended my first ever rain delayed baseball game. 
It was the Giants vs. Nationals, and it was also my first time at Nationals Park.  It's pretty, but I like the feel of Camden Yards more.

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#9: I discovered Chesapeake City. 
My friend and I went driving up the Chesapeake Bay and discovered this tiny little town built along the canal.  It has a tall bridge, unique shops, and a little dock where we met a man trying to catch crabs.  He caught a really nice blue crab and we watched it skitter away from the trap while the guy talked to us.

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#8: I randomly ended up at a One Direction concert. 
YOLO?  My friends and I were visiting our friend in NYC when we stumbled upon a ton of screaming girls and a long line for a matinee concert.  (What's a matinee concert?  And why don't more exist?  This idea was genius.)   So we waited to see if we could get tickets, and we did.  This is the last thing I thought I'd be doing this day, but it was fun.  I support the return of boy bands.

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#7: I went cruising through the Thousand Islands. 
My mom and I went up to Canada to visit my great aunt who lives in the Thousand Islands region.  This is where Thousand Island dressing was invented!

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#6: I went to Montreal. 
It was my first time ever there and it was pretty neat.  They have a ton of churches so my mom and I spent most of our time checking each one out (including the one in the picture where Celine Dion got married).  We also stumbled upon the Montreal Jazz Festival while we were there.  

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#5: I walked across a wooden suspension bridge. 
My friend and I took a road trip to the mountains in Western Maryland, and we stumbled upon this little river called the Savage River.  It was really pretty and there was this wooden suspension bridge that we had fun crossing, although admittedly, I didn't realize until I was on it that it actually moved.  But once I came to terms with that, I had fun walking on it and taking pictures of the beautiful scenery.

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#4: I found true love in the form of food. 
While in Montreal I discovered that they have a signature dish called "poutine."  I wasn't sure what it was until my mom's cousin explained it to us and took us to get some.  Essentially, it's french fries, topped with gravy and curdled cheese.  You can also get any other topping on it that you want, and I went with bacon.  In case you guys didn't know, I have an addiction to french fries.  They're my favorite food ever in the history of foods.  This was amazing.

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#3: I discovered an old abandoned iron furnace. 
I love ruins.  Whenever I stumble upon a ruin, I just have to take pictures and explore it to its fullest.  On our jaunt through the Maryland mountains, we came across a small town called Lonaconing which has this massive old iron furnace just sitting there in one of their town parks.  It's so cool looking!

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#2: I celebrated my birthday. 
Go me!  I spent my birthday eating.  First there was my birthday lunch with my work crew, then it was my birthday dinner with my friends.  For my birthday dinner I chose Cuban food.  What better way to celebrate a birthday than by eating tostones and drinking JupiƱa?

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#1: I survived my first Derecho!
I can't even begin to explain how scary that was.  We were left without power for two days which was unbearable because it was 104 degrees.  I'd rather not go through this again.

So there you have it.  And now, it is time to live in my head instead.  At least for a little while. :)

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Free Vizcaya download for Kindle!

For the next 5 days, the Kindle version of Vizcaya will be available for download for FREE!  Don't miss your chance to download this great YA summer read.  It's the perfect book for August!

Download Vizcaya to your Kindle!

I've been so busy this past month.  I can't wait to upload some of my pictures from my adventures.  I've been to new places, learned new things, and have a lot more ideas that I can use for stories.  July was great!  But now it's August, which aside from being my birth month, is also the month that we completed successfully the Kickstarter forVizcaya!  The journey has been more amazing than I could've imagined, and I'm thankful every day for all the support you guys have given me.

We've had some great reviews start coming in for Vizcaya, so I'm creating a Press page on the site.  There I will put links to all the great interviews and reviews that are now on the web.  Keep an eye out for it!

Now I'm off to watch the women's gymnastics all around finals.   Love the Olympics!

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Vizcaya is now on Kindle!

Just in time to add to your summer reading list, Vizcaya is now available on the Kindle format.  Check it out!

Vizcaya the Kindle Edition

This is such an exciting milestone in the journey of Vizcaya!  Now you can have it on your e-reader as part of your digital library!

So yesterday I and Team Vizcaya headed over to the Gaithersburg Book Festival.  It was a lot of fun, and the perfect day for it since it was so sunny and warm out.  I got to see Pam Bachorz talk about the importance of setting in her stories, which if you've read her books, you know she does a great job with.  I also was able to pick up some FREE books from a booth set up by an organization called Bookcrossing.  Apparently they're a book tracking website that lends out books for free and tracks everywhere around the world they've been.  What a neat idea!  Check out their site!

bookcrossing.com

I'm not sure when I'll find the time to read the free books I picked up since I'm deep into Winter Lakes writing mode.  It's coming along well and the ideas are definitely bombarding me now.  I'm writing tons of notes and keep anticipating getting to  a part that I know is coming up.  I can't wait to share it with everyone!  Just keep holding tight and keep sending the good support vibes in my direction.

Speaking of which, I'm off to write now, so I'll leave you guys with a reminder that if you're not following me on Twitter, then you're missing out on #VQF!  What's #VQF you ask?  Every Friday I tweet a quote from Vizcaya!  It's Vizcaya Quote Friday!  Follow me on Twitter @TheLinaRivera and get your #VQF fix.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Happy May!

It's been an exciting few weeks for me.  So much to share!

First, I have to thank and give a shout out to the Vizcaya Museum and Gardens in Miami, Florida.  Yes, the actual museum!  They sent me a nice note on my facebook page letting me know that the staff was currently reading Vizcaya!  I'm so excited!  I really hope they enjoy it.  What a lucky group of people to get to work in such an enchanting place each day!

Speaking of Vizcaya, Team Vizcaya came up with another fun idea!  How about a Vizcaya Pinterest?  A place where YOU can have the opportunity to pin things that you think relate to Nikki, Nelli, Diego, and even Elvis!  All you have to do is log in to your pinterest account, follow vizcayabook, and we'll follow you back so you can start pinning!  Check it out -

http://pinterest.com/vizcayabook/

And saving the last best Vizcaya news for last .... Vizcaya on the Kindle is in process!!!  It will be available by the end of the month, if not sooner.  Start spreading the word!

So I just recently got back from a fun trip to London.  Our goal was to see McFly for my roommate's birthday, which we did.  It was such a great show and well worth the six hour flight.  While in London I took some fun photos so I'll share some with you guys here, but before I leave you with that, I have one piece of Winter Lakes info.

I created a separate Winter Lakes board on my Pinterest, so check it out and keep up with what's inspiring me as I write Book 2!

http://pinterest.com/thelinarivera/winter-lakes/

I leave you all with London...
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The Olympic countdown clock in Trafalgar Square.
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A parting shot of Big Ben and a lion statue from the top of our double decker sightseeing bus.
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The chocolate cupcake at the Godiva Cafe at Harrods.
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Me posing with the Rosetta Stone replica at The British Museum since the real one was enclosed in glass. I was gonna translate it for you guys but it was tl;dr. Ha!
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McFly! This concert was perfection.
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Strolling through Camden.
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Checking out JLS at the O2 Arena.
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Back too soon. :( It was such a fun trip!

Friday, April 6, 2012

Dream Casting!

First, I want to let everyone know that an article that I wrote about my Kickstarter experience has been posted on my friend's blog, Eye Feathers.  So check it out when you get the chance!

Kickstarter Success

So awhile back my friend challenged me to do dream casting for Vizcaya.  If I could be the casting director for the film, who do I see being the perfect Nikki, Nelli, and Diego?  I gave this a lot of thought and I came up with the three following young actors:

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Bella Thorne as Nikki
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Jake T. Austin as Diego
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Seychelle Gabriel as Nelli

So what do you guys think?  Do they fit the images of the characters in your head?  It's tough to find the right fits with the limited amount of young Latino actors in Hollywood, but I think these three are pretty close.  If you were casting Vizcaya who would you have picked?  Let me know!

This week I reached two very important milestones online.  First our Vizcaya facebook page finally reached 30 likes!  The second is that today I got my 50th follower on Twitter!  Thanks so much you guys!  This is a long journey we're on, and I hope all of you enjoy the ride!

Also, if you didn't catch it, the link for the excerpt from Winter Lakes was posted on my author facebook page!  Check it out if you want a sneak peek into Book 1 of the Winter Lakes epic tale.

Friday, March 30, 2012

My first interview!

Check out my first interview over at VII Magazine where I discuss Vizcaya and my self-publishing journey! 

VII Magazine Interview

So The Hunger Games movie is finally out!  The roomies and I went to see it on Saturday night.  Being a huge fan of dystopian novels, I really liked the book and knew that there wouldn't be much to make me dislike the movie.  I was right!

First, I have to say that I thought Jennifer Lawrence did a great job as Katniss.  She nailed those subtle moments where you could just see the fear and trepidation in her face.  The quiet scene with Cinna right before she goes into the games is one of my favorites!  You can show so much with so little.

I loved the little girl that played Rue!  She was absolutely adorable.  I actually thought all the kids did a great job in the film, and especially loved all the Foxface scenes.  It made me laugh every time she leaped through Katniss' field of vision.

If I have one complaint about the film, it's that I wasn't crazy about all the hand held camera shots.  I'm prone to motion sickness so the first part of the film was a little tough for me, but once I got used to it, I was good to go. 

Overall, if you haven't seen it, go do so.  They stayed quite true to the book, which I'm not a stickler for, but just the same.  I imagine it's always nice when films have strong source material to work with.  Also, yes, it still is a lot like Battle Royale, but there's no reason not to like both.  Although, really, I do want to see BR again.  I haven't seen it in ages!

Now I'm just looking forward to Snow White and the Huntsman, The Dark Knight Rises, Perks of Being a Wallflower, and of course, The Hobbit!

Although, there are two movie trailers that caught my attention.  One because it's a creepy movie about a subject I find uber interesting, and the second because it looks like the most ridiculous thing I have ever seen. 

The first one is Chernobyl Diaries, which takes place on an extreme vacation trip to Chernobyl, the site of the worst nuclear disaster in history.  Nuclear history has always been interesting to me (and the basis of my script that I will finish one day), plus, this is by the guy that gave us Paranormal Activity (which I wanted to like more than I did), so that combination totally makes me want to see this movie.



Then I saw this trailer for a movie called Iron Sky and thought that it had to be a joke, but apparently this is a legit B movie that's coming out.  The premise is that after World War II, Nazi's escaped to the moon and have been regrouping while they wait for the perfect time to invade Earth and take over.  Being a fan of revisionist history stories, I have to say that this was pretty creative, even if completely absurd.  What do you guys think?


I'm amused.

It's Friday!  So this weekend will be spent writing and playing around with inspiration.

For those of you who've started reading Vizcaya, what do you guys think so far?  Remember to keep spreading the word!!!

Monday, March 5, 2012

Happy March!

February was an exciting and fun month, but it also ended up being trying due to the early onset of seasonal allergies.  Can it be summer already?

Hopefully by now, Vizcaya is in your hands!  If you've read it, please head over to amazon.com and goodreads.com and give your honest review!  We have to get the word out so more people pick it up!

Also, I'm now on pinterest!  Here's the link to my boards:

http://pinterest.com/thelinarivera/

I don't have too much there yet, but I'm sure that will all change as I go madly around the Internet pinning things.

Also, on my author facebook page, I put up a poll as to what kind of Winter Lakes sneak peek you guys would want for March.  Head over there and vote when you get a chance!

So as I mentioned, February was a lot of fun.  One of my BFF's from college came out to visit me.  Unfortunately, I was miserable and sick the whole time due to allergies, and I ended up even getting pink eye!  So here we are, not having seen each other in years, and in our pictures together I have this big pink eye just taking over.  It figures.  She was a good sport about it though, and I hope she had a good time.  I took her to Georgetown and Bethesda, and we went to see her favorite hockey team the San Jose Sharks play against the Washington Capitals.  The Sharks won, so if nothing else, I know she enjoyed that part of the trip!

Also in February, the roomies and I finally lit our first fire in our fireplace.  We managed to do this without burning the place down or killing ourselves.  Success!  We enjoyed a warm evening by the fire, reading books, talking, and making smores.  The cats also loved the fire, and Zack Attack decided to strike his sexiest pose in front of the fireplace, almost as if he was an ad for those late night Time Life romantic music collections.  Observe.

All that's missing is some Marvin playing in the background.
 And on that note, I hope everyone had an allergy free February.  Let's see what March will bring!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Vizcaya is now published!

Vizcaya is finally published!  It’s unbelievable.  I’ve dreamt of holding my own book in my own hands for a long time so to finally be able to do it is really quite surreal.

Vizcaya is a special book for a number of reasons, but mostly because it was a book that was created out of the perfect conditions that every writer dreams about, but rarely ever finds in order to write a book.  Every writer dreams about an imaginary world where three things exist for them so they can sit and write.  Those three things are time, security, and inspiration.

Time and inspiration might be self-explanatory, but security is just as important.  It’s tough to write when you’re worried about bills getting paid, losing your home, losing your job, or worrying about your health.  Sure there’s the stereotype of the “tortured artist” writer, but even they find their perfect moments away from the drama in order to sit and write.  Vizcaya was a story born from this perfect combination of things.

In December of 2008, I was laid off from my job of 8 years.  This meant I had plenty of time to write while I looked for a new job.  Since I had worked there for a while I was given a severance package that would give me at least a few months of financial peace of mind until I found new employment.  That was enough security to allow me to devote the next three months to sitting down and writing a book, so all that was left was inspiration.

A few months prior to being laid off, I had started imagining scenes that would randomly pop into my head as I drove to and from work.  I wasn’t sure how it all connected, but I knew that the scenes were taking place in Miami and I knew that they involved three teens.  One day while I was driving, Vanessa Carlton’s cover of U2’s “Where the Streets Have No Name” came on my radio.  The song starts with a symphonic introduction that is suddenly accompanied by a rather playful piano.  In my head, my three teens were frolicking to this whimsical song while they played on the ocean, visited Vizcaya, and hung around the city of Miami.   It was my own mental music video.  (This method is actually the genesis of most of my stories.  I can’t help it.  I always wanted to be a music video director as a kid!)  Then I started paying attention to the words:  We’re still building then burning down love.  And when I go there, I go there with you.  It’s all I can do.

Inspiration came pretty quick at that point as I sat down and started pouring all these scenes into my Word document.  Curious about Bono’s own inspiration for writing the song, I came across this quote he gave in an interview.

“I was just trying to sketch a location, maybe a spiritual location, maybe a romantic location.  I was trying to sketch a feeling.”  -Bono

And I realized that that’s exactly what I was doing as I wrote Vizcaya.  Everything about it was centered around this almost mythical location where Nikki, Nelli, and Diego loved, lost, and matured.  And like Diego, I was trying to sketch a location with words, and ultimately a feeling.  In one scene, the three teens go to an island, a place where not only do the streets have no name, but there are no streets to begin with.  In that way, I feel Vizcaya is almost a modern day fairy tale, and yet it was important for me to make sure that it was as realistic as could be.  Teens wouldn’t be teens without issues with school or their parents.  They have insecurities, dreams, and major disappointments, but in this story, they also have the Vizcaya Museum and Gardens, and somehow that makes everything else in their lives a little bit more bearable.

And maybe that’s ultimately why all of the perfect writing factors came together so that I could sit down and write this book.  Maybe we all need our own little piece of Vizcaya to make the tough things in life a little bit more manageable.  Or maybe we just need that perfect escape.  Whatever the case, Nikki, Nelli, and Diego are on a journey, and I want everyone who reads this book to go on that journey with them.  After all, as Bono sang, it’s all I can do.

Here’s the link to the CreateSpace page for Vizcaya!  Order it and tell your friends about it!

Order Vizcaya on CreateSpace!

I also put up a video thanking all of you for your support!  Check out linarivera.com to watch it, or click the YouTube link below.

Thank you for believing in Vizcaya!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Journey of the awesome cover.

The artist is almost done with the book cover for Vizcaya!  He posted an update on his blog and everyone should go check it out so you can see the progress he's made.  I really love the coloring of the cover.

Franklin's Illustration: Vizcaya book cover

Also, there's a facebook page now set up for me, so if you want my writing updates to come straight to your facebook friends page, then check it out and like it!

The official Lina Rivera facebook page

Since Vizcaya's almost out there for everyone to read, I'm going to try and work on compiling a list of blogs that will do book reviews for self-published novels.  If anyone has any favorites they check out, or know of any good ones, please comment!  We want to get Vizcaya into the reviewers hands.  If you run a blog and are interested in reviewing Vizcaya, please send me a message using the form on the Contact page.

In reading news, I'm happy to report that I've completed one book already for 2012!  This is much more promising than last year.  I'm currently reading Animal Farm by George Orwell.  Dystopian novels for the win!  As always, you can keep up with my reading adventures on my Reading page.

Three Kings Day came and went.  I know that was our release date for Vizcaya, but in an effort to make sure that what ends up in your hands or on your Kindle is worthy of your time, it's had to be pushed back just a little.  Trust me when I say that no one wants this book to be out more than I do.  I feel like I've been waiting forever!  But the perfectionist in me just can't take putting out a sub-par product.  So I guess I can say that a book that I feel confident about and can be proud of, will be my belated Three Kings Day present for all of you!