I’m so excited to be interviewing the beautiful Coral Rivera today. If you haven’t read her novel, A Deathly Compromise, you need to run out and buy it right now. It is AMAZING. And now, here’s Coral!
Q: To begin with, can you tell me a little bit about your background before you became a published author?
A: I actually grew up in Orlando, FL and when you live in the Land of the Mouse, it’s hard to keep away from Disney. I flourished in it – I am a complete and utter Disnerd. From a young age, I just always connected with the magic it brought; the stories and endless array of different characters was a constant inspiration.
My childhood wasn’t an easy one by any means. It was riddled in family struggle, disability and depression, but between my brothers, my mom and my family back in Puerto Rico, we always had something to look forward to and smile about. I’m a firm believer of your struggles shaping you into the person that you are and when you’re any kind of artist, that shapes what you put out in the world as well.
Before I finished my book and went back and forth on submitting it to any publishers, my husband and I moved to Oklahoma for an educational opportunity. I took a job at a local university where I still work with students and I love it. Any chance to motivate the younger generation to continue in their passions is a great one. On the side, I continued on with my writing and came across Endever Publishing last year. It’s been a great ride since then!
Q: Have you always known you wanted to be an author? If not, when did you begin writing, and why?
A: I always wanted to do something creative. Actually, my very first dream was to be a Disney animator. I would draw and paint all the time. When I was in middle school, I started writing as a hobby over the summer – I was suffering a bout of depression at the time – and it stuck with me after that. It became my therapy, my escape. I never took it seriously, in the publishing sense, until I was in college when my professors in various subjects told me I was good. Hopefully I made some of them proud!
Q: Your YA debut, A Deathly Compromise was released this last October. Can you tell us about the novel and what inspired you to write it?
A: A Deathly Compromise is about Death in the form of a young woman who reaps souls in a hospital. Along the way, she meets two people, both with forms of cancer, and she forms relationships with them both. They teach her to care and question her “life”. It’s very much a story of free will vs. destiny.
I was inspired to write it from a health scare that occurred in my family. I felt a lot of guilt and fear in that time. Breaking down death into something, someone, that I could relate to and have other people potentially relate to as well, got me through the situation and through my grief. Dee (Death) eventually just became a part of me. I hear her voice in my head all the time. When I’m uncertain about something, I’ll ask WWDD? The answer almost always is some form of “kick ass, take names, ask questions later” and that gives me a boost of bravery.
Q: You aren’t just an author, you are also a wife and a mom-to-be. How do you balance work and family?
A: I’m still learning! I think it helps that I have a great support system at home. My husband has always encouraged my writing and has fed me countless ideas – he’s never dismissed anything. Once this baby arrives, my tactics for writing will definitely change though. I’ll keep you updated, if I’m conscious.
Q: When you aren’t writing, what do you like to do to relax or have fun?
A: Catch up on reading. My god, I have a pile to get through and it never ends. Otherwise, I’m catching up on my ever-filling DVR, Netflix queue or doing something else creative like painting or crafting. I’m enjoying the last few trips to the movies as well.
Q: Do you have any advice for writers who are wanting to break into the publishing world themselves?
A: Use the connections around you! We are lucky to live in a world where we have endless technology at our disposal. Make a blog, website, meet new people and don’t be afraid to try your hand at something different. Some of my best writings I did were just prompts given to me from acquaintances on Tumblr. They led to some great ideas. Network also – take it from the most introverted and anxiety-ridden person, don’t be afraid to go to author events in your area and submit your work. You never know who you can meet and sometimes the advice from other authors alone is worth the time.
Q: Where can we learn more about you, your work and any upcoming releases?
You can find me at my website at: http://www.coralrivera.com or through my blog at: http://rewawriter.wordpress.com. I’ll be updating both soon with more information and I’m never stingy with teases for upcoming projects. 😉
Thank you so much Coral! If you would like to read my review of a Deathly Compromise, click HERE. Spoiler alert: I loved it and it made it onto my Top Hits list! Click HERE to see others that have made that list. And as always…Happy Reading!!!