Kev’s Author Interviews, Presents…
Mary A. Pérez
A Short Bio
Mary A. Pérez is a noted writer, author and blogger born in the Bronx to Puerto Rican parents. She grew up running the streets of Miami until her late teens. Her award-winning essays have been featured in The Latino Author, La Respuesta Magazine and Sofrito for Your Soul. Her debut memoir, Running in Heels: A Memoir of Grit and Grace (Chart House Press, 2015) has received rave reviews and her fans keep growing. She now resides in Houston, Texas where she is blessed to be the mother of four grown children, “Mimi” to a couple of gorgeous grandchildren, and happily married (the second time around) to a phenomenal man for twenty-one years.
Kev: What is your latest book about and what is its genre, Mary?
Running in Heels is a memoir of the grit and grace that carried a young girl through the shadows of her mother’s choices and on through an abusive marriage. Mary A. Pérez narrates an incredible story of survival in the face of hopelessness and learning to forgive against all odds.
Kev: Who or what influenced you to write it?
When I started writing my story was intended only for my children. I wanted them to know and understand some of the hardship and struggles that their momma went through. I soon realized that my story was universal and that others needed to hear it to receive hope and inspiration.
Kev: Did you do any specialised research for your story?
I wrote what I remembered and from the stories told by family members. I also held unto supporting documents such as saved letters and family photos. If needed, I gathered specific historical dates from online.
Kev: What challenges did you face while writing the story?
The biggest challenge for me was reliving certain events that triggered some raw emotions. Not all the memories took me to a happy place; I had to dig deep for those. I honestly feel that if I hadn’t been healed from the pain of some of those memories, I could not have written the book.
Kev: Who is the protagonist?
The protagonist is Mary, a lonely girl trying to find her place in life while seeking love and acceptance.
Kev: What would you say is the protagonist’s greatest weakness or obstacle and why?
Mary’s quest for love and acceptance has her following in her mother’s footsteps, something she vowed she’d never do. She becomes co-dependent as she falls hopelessly in love with a ruthless man twice her age.
Kev: What would you say is the main antagonist’s greatest strength?
Donny’s take-charge personality was his greatest strength. When not drinking, he was charming and likable by all. He wouldn’t hesitate to give others the shirt off his back.
Kev: Could you provide a short passage from your book to give us a taster?
Soft, velvety cheeks. A round rosy nose. Dark hair like mine, but curly. Eyes, blue, that sparkled like the ocean. I kissed her sweet-smelling face. Her soft, pudgy hand with tiny fingers, curled inside mine. Anna melted my heart. I won’t be alone anymore. I caressed her face and whispered, “I’ll stay by your side for always.”
I became her substitute mother. I loved her and took care of her as best as a seven-year-old could.
Kev: Do you use some kind of formula when you write?
I don’t have a special formula to write other than just jotting down memories or snap-shot images that come to mind. I always go back to add fillers later.
Kev: Preference for writing: Day or Night?
Since I have a full-time job, I have no choice but to do most of my writing in the evening time. But if I can’t sleep, I’ve been found clicking away on the computer until the wee hours of the morning.
Kev: What is your editing process?
I read over my work and my husband reads over my manuscript with his fine-tooth comb. I have a couple of beta-readers, and finally, take my work to have it professionally edited.
Kev: Who creates your book covers?
After much searching online, my publisher hired a photographer who painstakingly captured my vision in taking the perfect shot of a staff member’s daughter modelling for my book cover.
Kev: How do you promote your work?
This is an ongoing process. I reach out to other writers and readers via social media to market and promote my work. I’ve done blog tours, radio interviews, live chats, speaking engagements and book signings.
Kev: What advice would you offer to new authors?
Write and keep on writing! There’s a time to “tell” and a time to “show”. Add imagery to sentences and paragraphs when possible. Include the five senses. Add dialogues to make the pages come alive. Let the reader get lost in the story that they’ll forget they’re reading. Find like-minded writers and join a writers group or critique group. Be prepared to have thick skin and able to take constructive criticism, but don’t lose your voice along the way. Finally, have your work professionally edited.
Kev: Which two social media platforms do you use the most and why?
FaceBook https://www.facebook.com/WriterMaryAPerez and (thanks to my eldest daughter) Twitter https://twitter.com/MarysReflection . Both give authors great visibility in their craft in helping to build a platform and to engage followers and fans.
Kev: Do you have a website?
I am also a weekly blogger, writing about current and past events. My website is http://maryaperez.com/ you can also follow me there and receive notifications each time I post something new. (To register find the Sign Me Up button. But don’t forget to Confirm for it to go through.)
I am on Pinterest as well and can be found here:
I enjoy writing essays and entering contest. My works have been published in http://www.sofritoforyoursoul.com/short-story-papi-spic-inglish/
Amazon – B & N – Book Depository – BAM – Indie Bound – Powels – Kobo
Mary A PÉrez, Everyone!