Yesterday, at a fantastic birthday party with glorious cheese and yummy wine, I was talking to a number of the guests about my next collection coming out in September. (Hey, they asked!) I was explaining to another Chicana about the premises of my stories. Would you believe she has never heard folktales about duendes or The Devil? I was like, "How is that possible?" So, I told her a couple of the folk stories. I also gave her a summary of the first two stories, and then, got stumped on the third. Why? I haven't written it yet, but I have a hankering for writing a ghost story. Perhaps. Or an angel story. In any case, it will be PG-13.
I also got a chance to talk to my friend Brett. Sadly, he will be out of town on his honeymoon in a few weeks (okay, that is not remotely sad because he is going to Europe on a fantastic adventure with his gorgeous wife, where Trump is not president), and won't get to work on the cover for that piece. However, he did say he wanted to help design the interior of the book for future pubs. I was like, "What? What's wrong with my books?" He had definite opinions on the layout that I hadn't thought about, so when he was time, we are going to review the last book La Bruja del Barrio Loco. Now, I am pretty proud of my interior book designs, but I'm not going to say no to making them prettier. I would love for the chapter titles to pop.
I also told him that I am going to simplify the design of my e-books. I want them to look good on the Kindle and computer viewers. All the fancy graphics and caps at the beginning of chapters can be off-putting. They do look great on Kindle Readers, but I want some consistency.
Finally, let me tell about the next phase of my marketing scheme. I am going to put the foundation for an October reading. I have been a little hesitant with this move. Why? I am not used to reading my fiction. I read poetry just fine. I am not afraid of public speaking, but reading fiction takes a different skill set. Therefore, I am going to reach out to my good friends who are actors or speech teachers to give me some pointers. I am also going to videotape 30-minute readings and review them. You see, I am actually pretty nervous about this next step, but I don't want to be like those boring authors that can't captivate their audience. You know what I'm talking about.
Whatever you do with your writing today, do it with love and some courage.
Push the envelope and go to the next level in your writing career. #barrioblues
Dr. Jesú Estrada,