What has your road to publications been like?
Long and bumpy as is the case for most of us.
Writing is hard. Getting published is harder. In a different way.
Writing is a lonely process. To be able to write you must cut yourself from the world and create from within. To get published you must reach out, communicate effectively with others, to create a network that will allow you to put your manuscript at the right time on the right hands.
Writers are introverts by definition. But to get published you must be an extrovert. It isn't easy to do both.
So how did I get Two Moon Princess published?
I joined the SCBWI and attended the SCBWI conference in NYC (once) and the PA charter meetings (regularly). I also read their bulletin religiously, especially the page called "Editors Needs". It was there I found out that Tanglewood Press, that until then had only published Picture Books, was open to MG and YA submissions. I submitted my manuscript to Tanglewood Press in September 2005. A year later we signed the contract. Two Moon Princess came out in September 2007. The paperback edition with a new cover, in June 2010.
And yes, before that, Two Moon Princess was rejected. Many times. It's part of the process.
How did the idea for "Two Moon Princess" come to you?
Once upon a time, when I was a child, I saw a broken arch on a beach in northern Spain. In my mind, the arch was magical. It was a portal to another world, I called Xaren Ra. Later, I moved to California and Andrea, a teen princess from Xaren-Ra came with me. Two Moon Princess is the story of what happened to Andrea when she returned to her world with an American boy.
What was the most challenging aspect of writing "Two Moon Princess"?
The story came first. It is always like that for me. I write because I have a story I want to tell. This one was a personal story, the story of a girl from a patriarchal, authoritarian society that discovers freedom in California.
Because it was a personal story, I chose to write it using first person point of view (POV). It is my favorite POV because it is more immediate. It brings the reader into the character's mind. But this being my first novel, I didn't realize the obvious problem I would have using Andrea's POV: How was I to convey to the reader the events that happen when Andrea is not there?
This was a big issue, especially, in the second part of the book when Andrea is a virtual prisoner in her father's castle while the king and her love interest go to battle.
I had to learn a trick or two to be able to cover that part.
What's something surprising about yourself that most people wouldn't think true?
I am from Spain. English is my third language. My second language was French. I didn't study English until I was in my late teens and didn't become fluent until I moved to California in my mid twenties.
But, I must confess, it wouldn't be a surprise if you talk to me in person, for I do have a Spanish accent.
What's next for you?
Tanglewood Press has agreed to publish the sequel to Two Moon Princess. Its working title is The King in the Stone (an homage to The Sword in the Stone, my favorite Disney movie when I was growing up). They will probably change the title, though.
The King in the Stone follows Andrea's adventures in northern Spain both in the present and in the year 718 A.D. 718 A.D. is a crucial year in Spanish history. It marks the first victory of the Spaniards over the Arabs that had invaded the peninsula seven years before. Andrea's journey is rather personal though. It is a story of love, loss and revenge. Not necessarily in that order.
You can read an excerpt at http://onpublishing.wordpress.com/authors-writings/carmens/the-king-in-the-stone-upcoming-2010/
I've also finished another Young Adult novel, tentatively titled Requiem for a King. Requiem for a King is a story of forbidden love and blind revenge in XII century Spain.
While querying Requiem for a King, I'm also working on a paranormal story in which my two favorite Spanish authors (Becquer and Lorca) are, literary, immortal. You can read the first chapter at: http://carmenferreiroesteban.wordpress.com/2010/10/30/garlic-for-breakfast/
Here's a bit more about Carmen, via her website:
I was born in Galicia (Northern Spain), a land of rolling hills and green valleys surrounded by ocean thought in medieval times to be ‘Finisterre,’ the place where the world came to an end.
While still in college, I moved to the arid highlands of Castilla—the land of the castles—in Central Spain and it was there, in the capital city of Madrid, where I finished my Ph.D. in Biology. For the next ten years, I worked as a researcher both in Madrid and at the University of Davis in Northern California.
My writing career started when I came to live in Pennsylvania in the 1990s. Following my first sale, a magazine article on latex allergy, I published four books for Chelsea House (Facts on File): Heroin, Ritalin, Mad Cow Disease, and Lung Cancer. I have also written three short scripts for young children for a Pharmaceutical Company.
As a fiction writer, I have published three short stories on the literary magazine Errata. One of them, a variation on O. Henry's short story ‘The Marry Month of May,’ won second prize in the 2004 Bucks County Writers Workshop Summer Contest.
Two Moon Princess is my first book.
As I await the publication of The King in the Stone, a sequel to Two Moon Princess, I'm hard at work on my new book, a mystery/love story set, again, in a medieval world.