Interview # 20 with A.R. Rivera

Good evening, bloggers!!

I’m a little late in my posting and for that, I apologize. BUT I do have a treat for you today. We have another interview, my 20th one actually. That’s kind of awesome, right? Well, so is this lady—A.R. Rivera!! Her first novel, Between Octobers, will be available in a few short months!! JUNE 17th, to be exact!!

Are you prepared to be entertained? Amused? Inspired? And made ever-so-anxious for June??? Well, then sit back, relax and enjoy this visit from A.R…

 

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1) How did you become an author?

This is an interesting story….

Picture it: December 31st, 2012. 11:55 p.m.

I had a backache from sitting at the computer all day—chopping, cutting and pasting, really hacking away at my book. The word count was at an out-of-control 214k. That’s like two very long books (or one Harry Potter).

My mind was set. I was going to be brave. I was going to send out my manuscript, my first and the book of my heart. (Three manuscripts later it’s still my favorite) I poured my heart into it. And I was terrified of letting anyone read it.

So, I just finished filling up the champagne flutes with bubbling Apple Cider. I was passing them around to my kids and husband when The Ball began its’ descent into 2013. We all started counting down along with Ryan Seacrest.

When the clock struck exactly midnight, I said a prayer and clicked send on the email I had cued up for the last hour.

Then, a very long wait.

In August, I got an email from the Indie Publisher. The sole recipient of my quasi-masterpiece. It was an apology for not responding along with a promise to read and get back to me about my query and synopsis in the next few days.

I was floored. I waited and waited and assumed I had been rejected because I heard nothing. In the months preceding the call, I drew the courage to give my critique partners a look at my magnum opus.

They, very sweetly, said it was TOO long. And I proceeded to chop away. And just a month before this call, I had an epiphany and completely changed a major plot line.  

So I scrambled to respond. “Please, please let me send you the revised version. It’s much better. And shorter.”

Take Two said yes. And my CP’s, who are totally worth their weight in gold, responded like champs. They took the new book and scrambled through it in one weekend, thus saving my literary career and by extension, (not to sound too dramatic) my life.

This Summer…BAM! I’m an author.

 
2) What inspires your writing?

People. I find myself watching how they respond to life situations and try to decipher their character traits.

 

3) What part of writing do you find most exhilarating?

Well, getting the news that I was going to be published was pretty awesome. But the feeling I think has to be the most fun is the sensation that a manuscript is truly finished. I don’t feel like I’ve experienced that yet. Not even with my novel, Between Octobers, being published this June. I’m past the point of editing, but every time I read through the manuscript, I think of a hundred little things I could change. But I know I can’t so I just have to walk away.

 

4) Please entice the readers with some details on what they will find in your novel, Between Octobers.

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It’s Women’s Fiction, with a splash of chick-lit. I recently asked my publisher about genre, because honestly, I had no idea what it might be. And as I suspected, it’s tough to categorize.

See, it’s romantic, suspenseful, thrilling, but it’s not only those things.

For me, the book is about a woman, Grace, who is learning how to live after losing her husband. As she moves forward, she struggles in every area of her life. And in this inspired search for happiness, Grace makes some decisions that get her into A LOT of trouble.

 

5) How do you create your characters?

 The process of character development has been different for each of my novels. Thus far, there are a total of three unpublished. That’s two of a planned trilogy and one that seemed to broadside me just recently.

For Octobers, I was inspired by Queen Esther. Yeah, the chick from the Bible. Her virtue got her into trouble. I thought it would make a nice story. And her love interest, her king, was drawn from several people. Evan has all the wit and devotion of my husband poured into the form of a Robert Pattinson-type level of fame and charm. I was also reading Russell Brands Booky Wook One and Two at the time and must admit that played a part in Evans appeal.

 

6) What do you hope readers experience from this debut novel?

I want the world to love my characters. I want them to feel what Grace feels. I want them to love Evan. And I hope, by the end, that they will be left with the same hope that she carries. For all her struggles, Grace is an eternal optimist.

 

7) Are you currently working on any projects?

Yes! Ooh! Angels Song.        

I’m really excited about this one. Can you tell?

The best way to describe it is: It’s about a disturbed young girl who stalks and destroys her favorite Indie rock band on the cusp of stardom. At the heart, it’s a story about friendship.

Sounds weird, I know, but it’s still being written and a lot can change in a page.

 

8) What advice would you give to an aspiring writer?

You have to read. Reading makes you a better writer.

Learn as much as you can from other authors and literary agents. The best way to do this is through their blogs. But connecting through social media isn’t bad either. Just don’t tweet agents to ask if they’ve seen your query letter. They don’t like that.

If you are submitting you query or manuscript to anyone—author or agent— you must follow the instructions. Some won’t even bother with your query, even if it took you six months to write properly, if it’s not to the specs they want.

And most importantly: Never, ever, under any circumstances, quit on your dream. You may hear no a million times, but all it takes is one yes.

 

9) Who are your favorite authors? Favorite books?

My go-to author, Bronte. Specifically Jane Eyre.

Right now, I’m in the middle of Fallen, by Lauren Kate. Before that, was Dangerous Girls, my first Abigail Haas. Loved it.

Stephanie Meyer was inspirational to me. I also love the Hunger Games books. I loved the craziness of Gone Girl and just finished The Silent Wife, by A.S.A. Harrison. It was peppered with crazy and the ending left me speechless.

On the days I can’t find time to read, I listen to lots of James Patterson audio books. The Private novels are awesome.

 

10) Aside from writing, what are your passions in life?

Faith is a big part of my life. Big. Huge. But I’m not religious. I just love Jesus.

 

11) Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

In five years, I imagine I’ll be coming off the high of my book being made into an award-winning, record-breaking film. I will have just entered into production on another creation of mine—this time in television. A speculative science fiction drama that piqued the interest of J.J. Abrams.  

 

12) Is there anything else you would like to add for our readers?

If anyone out there is interested in reading Between Octobers, it will be available on Amazon June 17, 2014.

My blog, which is filling up with flash fiction, re-blogged writing advice I come across and find helpful. I even toss some of my own on there from time to time. I’m also on Twitter (I follow back) @girlnxtdr2u, and Facebook—AR Rivera, and Google+, as Author AR Rivera. I’m on twitter way more than the others.

 

Want more info about this author? Check out her websites below!

Blog:  http://arriverabooks.com/my-book/

 Take Two Publishing:  http://www.taketwopublishing.com/

And here is the link for my books formal blurb: http://arriverabooks.com/my-book/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/authorarriverabooks

This was such an awesome interview!! I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did!! I will DEFINITELY be checking out this talented lady’s book when it comes out in June. Maybe she’ll even come back for another visit!!

Until next time………………………………Happy Reading & Reviewing!!!

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