Golden Apple Author of the Year Caridad Pineiro on Virtual Book Tour

Our special guest author today is Caridad Pineiro, author of SOUTH BEACH CHICAS CATCH THEIR MAN (Downtown Press 2007)!

Caridad Pineiro is a multi-published and award-winning author whose love of writing began in the fifth grade when her teacher assigned a project – to write a novel to be placed in a class lending library. She has been hooked on writing ever since. Caridad’s seventeenth novel, SOUTH BEACH CHICAS CATCH THEIR MAN, is available in September 2007 from Simon & Schuster’s Downtown Press.

Caridad is also on a virtual book tour with Pump Up Your Book Promotion and it's a pleasure to have her here today!

Welcome to The Writer’s Life, Caridad! Can we begin by having you tell us how and why you got into this crazy business of writing books in the first place?

Your book, SOUTH BEACH CHICAS CATCH THEIR MAN is what you call “women’s fiction with smarts and spice.” I love that description. Why did you come up with this to describe your book? SOUTH BEACH CHICAS CATCH THEIR MAN is really a cross-genre book in so many ways, that I felt it needed a unique description. Many are calling it chick lit, but then they are quick to point out that there’s a mystery and more romance than a chick lit. I see this book as a story about friends, mothers and daughters and lovers. Because there is such an emphasis on the relationships aspect, I think of it as women’s fiction, but there is still the humor and sexiness factor that one might find in chick lit.

This is different kind of book for you, isn’t it? You were on tour with us last time with a vampire book and now you’ve got something that is so totally different. Why did you choose to write women’s fiction this go around?

I love my vampire books because they are dark and allow me to explore the tortured and complex backgrounds of the characters. The women’s fiction also lets me explore the characters, but in a much different way because of the setting and because the life problems they are facing are much more realistic than those involving vampires and humans. Because of that, readers will often tell me that they identify with the issues of the Chicas and also, form bonds with those Chicas who they feel are much like them.

I love Downtown Press books. How were you so fortunate to get a contract with them?

We had been shopping around the first Chicas book, SEX AND THE SOUTH BEACH CHICAS, and Simon & Schuster (the parent company of Downtown Press) was one of the publishers who expressed an interest in the book. After speaking to several houses and hearing their pitches, we decided to go with Simon & Schuster.

SOUTH BEACH CHICAS CATCH THEIR MAN can be classified as Latina chick lit, too, can’t it?

SOUTH BEACH CHICAS CATCH THEIR MAN does feature a number of Latina protagonists, but the issues that the friends face are universal and women everywhere keenly identify with the four friends. In CATCH THEIR MAN, there is also the added pleasure of seeing a forty-something heroine, Virginia Cook – Sylvia’s mom, who is sexy and vital and eventually gets her own happy ending as well.

Do you feel that chick lit is on the decline or are we disguising it with other names such as women’s fiction with attitude as one author dubs the genre? I know the market got flooded with chick lit when the genre came out. Do you still see chick lit on the decline or is there some kind of hope for authors who love to write the genre? What are you hearing from your end?

There is lots of talk about chick lit being on the decline, but I see many many books with all the elements of chick lit and I think there is still a place for humorous and edgy stories about modern women.

Latina books, no matter what genre, are hot right now. Do you feel that there is still room for more or do you feel the market is going to get flooded such as it did with chick lit?

As with any genre, putting too many offerings out there for readers may diminish sales. It’s the basic laws of supply and demand and not just limited to publishing. However, I think that Latino characters have been absent from the mainstream for a long time and that when compared to the number of Latinos in the United States, Latinos are probably still under-represented in the media in general.

Did you find the switch from vampire books to women’s fiction easy for you?

It wasn’t an easy switch because making the move to women’s fiction involved writing a longer book with more depth to the character’s backgrounds, mental motivations and also, secondary characters and plots which I must keep to a minimum in the vampire books because of the length of the line for which I write. I loved the challenge, however, and I feel that taking that time has improve my ability to really explore and expound on the personalities of all my characters.

I understand that SOUTH BEACH CHICAS CATCH THEIR MAN is your seventeenth book. How long does it generally take you to complete a first draft of your book and what kind of a year span are we talking from the first time you were published to now?

I was first published in 1999 and my 17th novel was released in September 2007. When I am writing one of my series books, I can generally finish a first draft in about 3 months. The women’s fiction books, because they are longer and require secondary plots and characters, generally take me about 6 to 7 months to write.

Let’s talk about your typical day. Do you have a set time for writing or do you let the muse hit you?

I write almost every day. I say almost because I do take an occasional break every now and then. But usually I write for at least an hour and a half every day during the week (usually during my train commute). On weekends, I do at least 3 to 4 hours of writing each day. If there’s a deadline and I’m behind, I’ll work for even longer as I’m a real stickler for meeting my deadlines.

Do you have special getaways where you go off and do nothing but writing? Can you tell us about it?

My getaways are usually to get away from everything! Actually, once a year I go to the shore so that I can write for several hours each day. I take that vacation to finish any deadlines, get started on new ones and sketch out ideas for new books. I wish I could do that more often, but I still have a full time job and can’t.

If you could live anywhere in the world and do nothing but write, where would that location be?

It would be somewhere along the beach in Southern California . I’ve been there several times and just absolutely love it.

Where would you like to be in ten years as far as your writing goals?

I would like to be writing full-time and be able to release 2 or 3 series books as well as one single title book a year. If I could make one of the bestseller lists, I’d love to do that as well and I’m always striving to improve my craft so that one day that might happen.

I thank you for coming, Caridad. Would you like to tell us how we can pick up a copy of your book, SOUTH BEACH CHICAS CATCH THEIR MAN?

SOUTH BEACH CHICAS CATCH THEIR MAN is available at a number of online bookstores and as an e-book as well. Also check your local B&N, Borders and local bookstores when it hits the shelves on September 11.

Thank you for coming, Caridad! If you would like a chance to win a copy of ONLY MOMENTS, leave a comment below. All winners will be announced at http://www.virtualbooktoursforauthors.blogspot.com/ on Sept. 30. Good luck!

Tags: the writer's life, book promotion, book publicity, author interviews, blogging authors, guest blog, guest bloggers, book blog, virtual book tour, online book promotion, Caridad Pineiro, chick lit
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