Hope you are all well and happy?
It’s been a good news/bad news type of day here in Melbourne, with a pretty sun, blue skies yet hayfever-y wind. This makes Lockdown more tolerable at least and gives me the perfect excuse to stay indoors, drink more coffee and blog – I have stuff to share! Good and bad.
First up, don’t forget that if you wanna be in the running for my Jay Ryan Tee Shirt Giveaway, you need to enter before the 30th September. The way to do that is to make sure you’re signed up for email notifications….see my previous post about it….https://zellyjordan.com/2020/09/06/hey-jay-ryan-fans/?share=press-this&nb=1
Next – I need an Italian proofreader to verify my Italian version of Fractured…..if you’re fluent in English and Italian, please get in contact with me….I need your help!! Also the same with the French version…..desperately need that to be verified too so things can progress. Please 🙏🏼
The Portuguese translation is almost ready to be published – hooray!! The German one is being proofread as we speak but sadly the Spanish translation has been cancelled – I wasn’t happy with how that one was going. Sigh.
Honestly, if I had fully realised beforehand how tricky the whole process would be, I suspect I may not have even begun it. However, in the scheme of things (the global situation) that problem is but a blip and I will not complain. I will persevere and meditate and have faith that my angels will lead me to the solution/s. Bless their beautiful wings, they always have my greatest good in mind, constantly and infallibly leading me to the right people and circumstances.
A case in point: I have been really lucky lately to meet some fabulous new authors from around the world. Not only are they becoming friends but we’ve begun to collaborate and help each other in small ways and I feel really fortunate to have found them. It’s like a little writers club, of sorts, and I love that. They help me, I help them. Kindness and generosity begets the same, right? I certainly believe so.
So with that in mind, I would like to introduce you to one of those fabulous authors right here, in my very first Guest Blogger, the lovely S.A.Santos. Actually I don’t know if I should be calling them a Guest Blogger or a Guest Interviewee because I interviewed them, rather than them blogging on a topic…..what’s the correct term? 🤷🏻♀️ (See? Still much to learn.)
I’m hoping to do more of these in the future because, for one, it’s fun and I’d like to think I’m helping my readers discover new authors. For another – I believe in Pay It Forward and it’s certainly fascinating to meet new people. Karma is real, people!
So, please….one and all……enjoy the following……..
Welcome to my blog page, Ms Santos. Thank you so much for agreeing to this. Tell us a bit about yourself?
I worked as a business executive for the last twenty years, and now I’m retired. Because of my job, I had the opportunity to travel to different countries and learn different languages. I speak English, Portuguese, Spanish, and a bit of Italian. Besides writing, I love reading, cooking, and gardening.
At the beginning of the pandemic, I was finding it difficult to concentrate on writing and even reading. In a way of distracting my mind, I got my phone, started taking pictures of the flowers in my backyard, and edited them on a photo editor software. That’s how I developed a taste for photography and decided to explore it further as a form of art. I’ve bought a semi-professional camera and I’m taking photography online courses.
I also started to meditate once a day; it helps me ease my mind.
Thankfully, now after months have passed, I had the time to adjust to reality, and I am writing again.
How did you get into writing?
I’ve always been an avid reader. I have about 1000 eBooks on my Kindle, and I read them all. For me, reading is a way to escape from everyday problems, travel to other places, live other lives. Due to my former job I spent countless hours on airport lobbies and airplanes, and I always liked to observe people and wonder what their lives were like, their goals, frustrations, and created stories in my mind.
About five years ago I felt this urge to put the stories into paper. I had an idea in my mind and started writing my first manuscript. I didn’t finish it at the time because of my daily job. I’ve retired and started writing again.
I had no idea of what I was doing at the time. I didn’t know anything about writing, editing, and publishing.
How did you find the publishing process?
I can only tell you about my experience as a self-published author. I find the process of self-publishing through Amazon and Smashwords quite friendly. The platforms do a good job of guiding you step-by-step through the publishing process. You just follow them and voilà your eBook is online.
Publishing, however, is far more than that. I found out that writing a book is the easy part. If someone can say that. LOL. As an independent author, I must think about the cover design, editing, find beta-readers, edit, again and again, build a social media presence, create a mailing list, prepare the book launch and marketing campaign, and only then publish it on the platform. And maybe I’m still missing some steps.
So, to answer your question, I find it complex and time-consuming. I love some parts like writing, cover design, and marketing campaign. Editing, however, is an acquired taste.
What writing works have you got planned for the future?
I’m working on a paranormal romance trilogy: “Through another dimension”. I’m writing book 1 of the series and drafting books 2 and 3.
The main characters of the trilogy “Through another dimension” are strong heroines, and their fates are intertwined. They are all facing some difficulties in life and, throughout the story, they discover strengths and powers they didn’t know they have. The story is about finding your soulmate. Each heroine finds the soul mate that will challenge and complete her. But it is also a journey of self-discovering.
I also have a pet project if you will. I lost both of my grandmothers five years ago. I’m spending the quarantine at my mother’s house to help her, so she doesn’t have to leave the house to go shopping, etc. We both love to cook and seeing all the recipes we have, most of them since I was a kid, I had an idea to compile them in an eBook to honor the memory of my grandmothers.
We are preparing one recipe a week; I photograph the step-by-step process and the finished dishes. It’s been fun and emotional to travel back in time. It’s amazing how the taste of certain foods can elicit fond memories.
Besides writing, are you creative in any other ways?
It’s funny because I’ve never considered myself a creative person in an artistic way. One of my professional strengths was to find innovative solutions for customer’s problems or another sales challenge. I had and still have this internal urge to solve problems. It bothers me so much, that my mind won’t rest until I find an acceptable solution.
But I’ve never explored creativity in an abstract sense. Writing’s opened doors in my mind to explore other forms of art and creativity, such as photography.
Do you enjoy the social media aspects of getting your name out into the field?
The internet and social media pulverized borders and shortened distances. And the speed that anything you post on social media reaches the audience is head spinning. If it weren’t for the internet and social media, I wouldn’t be able to publish my books. Then, yes, I do enjoy and appreciate the opportunity and freedom to express myself and show my work.
Do you have any favourite creators of any kind and who are they?
I have many people I admire. My grandfather is the one that I admire the most, though.
He was creative and inventive. He attended school for only three months during his whole life. He lived and worked at his father’s coffee farm as a kid back in the ‘20s.
He was a self-taught person. He learned to read and write and taught me math. He learned to play guitar and accordion just by watching other people playing.
He’d cultivated about five or six coffee plants in our backyard and taught me the whole process of collecting the coffee beans, drying them in the sun, taking off the skin of the beans, roasting, and finally grinding them. He invented tools and built them from scratch. For example, he turned an old pressure cooker into a coffee roaster by cutting and adding pieces to it.
He was a very special guy.
What inspires you to create?
Life and Nature are the sources of my inspiration, but what drives me to create is this deep desire to express my feelings and thoughts.
If your books could send you travelling anywhere in the world, where would you go?
Everywhere! I can’t pinpoint just one location. Since I was a kid, I dreamed about visiting other countries and learning about other cultures. My favorite topic in school was History. I’m fortunate to have had the opportunity to visit many of the places I’ve always dreamed about, but there is plenty I want to visit still.
Writing about those places is a way to visit them. I do a lot of research about the places I’m writing about and visit them through Google Earth.
In my trilogy, “Through another dimension”, I’ve researched about Mount Shasta and Sacramento city, in California. I plan to travel to Mount Shasta as soon as it’s safe to travel again. I think it’s a magical place.
Tell us about your home town and country….what do you love the most about it?
I live in Sao Paulo, Brazil. It’s the largest city in Latin America with more than 12 million souls.
The city is a cauldron of cultures. We’ve had and still have waves of immigrants from all over the world. It’s in Sao Paulo the biggest Japanese community outside Japan, for example. My grandparents immigrated from Spain, Italy, and Portugal to Brazil. I have aunts and uncles from Syria and Lebanon that immigrated to Brazil in the ’50s.
So, what I love the most is this mixture of cultures and the possibility of finding the best of each culture in my city, not to mention the delicious food from every corner of the world within a 20 km radius.
What do you hate about it, if anything?
I hate the social inequality in my city and country. It’s brutal, unfair, and perverse. It’s a structural, cultural, and historical problem that has worsened and became even more exposed during the pandemic.
There are more and more discussions about social inequality taking place in our society and perhaps that will help increase awareness and provoke change.
What genres do you enjoy the most?
I like to read non-fiction: history, mythology, and technical books about writing and editing, and fiction: Contemporary Romance, Science-Fiction, Fantasy, and Paranormal Romance.
If you could have anyone, alive or dead, as your personal mentor and trainer, who would it be?
In life, I’d like to have an enlightened person like Gandhi or Dalai Lama to help me evolve and learn to be a better person and an elevated spirit.
Now, if we are talking about writing, then I would ask for the help of Mr. Shakespeare to teach me a trick or two.
Where can people find your work?
My romance novel “SACRIFICE” is available on Amazon https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07MDXYRWT
and Smashwords https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/1035430
My author website is www.sasantosauthor.com
To find out about my photographic ventures, please visit: sasantosauthor.wixsite.com/photography
And you can follow me on:
Doesn’t her Grandpa sound like he was an wonderful man? And I must admit the recipe book sounds amazing! What a lovely and delicious idea. Thank you so much Ms Santos for letting us peek into your life. 😁 I personally find it so impressive that you have written and published in something that is essentially your Second Language.
I hope you all enjoyed this interview as much I did and I’m looking forward to doing this again.
For now, as always,