What is a blog hop? Basically, it’s a way for readers to discover authors new to them. I hope you’ll find new-to-you authors whose works you enjoy. On this stop on the blog hop, you’ll find a bit of information on me, and one of my books.
My gratitude to fellow author T. L. Smith for inviting me to participate in this event. You can click the following link to learn more about her work. Website: http://tlsmith-sfauthor.blogspot.com
In this blog hop, I have answered ten questions about a book or work-in-progress (giving you a sneak peek). I’ve also included some behind-the-scenes information about how and why I write what I write—the characters, inspirations, plotting and other choices I make. I hope you enjoy it!
Please feel free to comment and share your thoughts and questions. Here is my Next Big Thing!
1: What is the working title of your book?
2: Where did the idea come from for the book?
My late mother-in-law, Felicidad Samoranos, when cleaning out one of her bedrooms in her Sunnyvale home, rediscovered a photograph taken in 1959 shortly after she and her four children emigrated from the Philippines to San Francisco by ship, to meet up with my father-in-law, Domingo. Dad had traveled to California approximately eighteen months in advance of his family’s journey. An educated man, and trained in the Philippine to be a teacher, Dad was limited by his race to work in the fields. He tells the story of working in the Salinas Valley with the Braceros, the Mexican fields workers, and how the older Filipinos helped Dad because he was so slow, as fieldwork is back breaking, and requires physical endurance. Dad eventually found a job at a Japanese-American owned flower nursery in Mountain View, California, and was given a place to house his family on-site in a converted garage. The photo, shown at the top of this page, speaks volumes about immigration, and family cohesion. Notice one of the children, my brother-in-law, Frederick, is seated at the table on a tricycle, because of a lack of chairs. This is the photo that, along with the lives of Felicidad and Domingo, and their generous heritage, that inspired Blood Fruit.
3: What genre does your book come under?
4: Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
The main character, Madeline, who is half-Filipino, part Lakota, and Scotch-Irish, would be played by Kristin Kreuk, who is a gorgeous and talented actress, with the exotic looks to pull off being Maddie.
5: What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
The elders sowed the seeds, so that I could reap the sweet harvest of their blood fruit.
6: Is your book self-published, published by an independent publisher, or represented by an agency?
I’ll be offering it Musa, who published the sequel to Blood Fruit, under the title, Road Apples, in December of 2011.
7: How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
Approximately three months. I was very inspired.
8: What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
That’s a difficult question—because I don’t know of any books along the lines of the family saga in Blood Fruit. I’ve created a multi-ethnic woman, whose career as a general contractor is unusual. She’s a fireball, and yet adheres to the wisdom of her elders, including the Filipino custom of sibling hierarchy, which complicates issues when her eldest sister is charged with first-degree murder in the death of a man.
9: Who or what inspired you to write this book?
My experiences with the Samoranos family, my husband’s side, directly influenced this book.
10: What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?
Madeline Benités is a feminist—that’s right, she owns power tools, and knows how to use them. In contrast, though her best friend is a man, and she occasionally engages in mild bar brawls, she loves men, though tends to be standoffish about relationships, yet direct and to the point with her words. I very much enjoyed writing about Maddie. Additionally, Blood Fruit, like Road Apples, is written in the first person, e.g., with Maddie narrating. She ties her grandfather’s legacy of experiences with the Japanese occupation of the Philippines in World War II, to her sister’s crime of murder: As I’ve learned, when my eldest sister killed a man, we all eventually drift into a war zone.
Do you have anything to add about you as an author to what you’ve already told the reader above?
Although I don’t write what is considered to be “mainstream” fiction, I feel my work has merit in a world that is steadily becoming more progressive, and less inclusive about the definition of “Americana.” To me, “Americana” describes the new melting pot of ethnicities, cultures and ideals, and I believe the definition of “mainstream” will be reset to reflect this change.