August 27th, 2007

Girlfriend Cyber Circuit: our very own fashionista_35!

With her debut novel, Adiós to My Old Life (MTV Books; July 2006), Caridad Ferrer proved her talent for riveting fiction with bicultural teen appeal. For her encore, she presents the story of a young woman’s quest to reclaim her Latin roots and escape her boring vanilla identity.



IT’S NOT ABOUT THE ACCENT traces the bold transformation of Caroline Darcy, a college-bound beige-blonde born and bred in small town Hampshire, Ohio, into “Carolina,” a half-Cuban aspiring actress, with striking Havana Brown hair, a caliente wardrobe, a taste for platanos, and a hunger for adventure. Carolina has no problem dressing, dancing, and talking the part, down to her effortlessly rolled rrrs – even though she’s only one-eighth Cuban. She owes her attraction to her exotic heritage and her yearning for something… different to Elisa Maribel Teresa de La Natividad Sevilla y Tabares – her Nana Ellie, the great-grandmother she loved, dearly and fiercely, and lost when she was thirteen. Carolina vividly remembers Nana Ellie’s romantic stories of her encounters with everything from the Eiffel Tower to Russian nobility. And she regrets missing the chance to unravel the facts from the fantastic tales – and learn more about her Nana’s mysterious, scandalous past.

The story opens at the beginning of Caroline’s Latina rebirth and undergrad career at the University of Southern Ohio for the summer session. To her thrill and amazement, her Cuban act works like a charm on the opposite sex. Faster than her first beer buzz, Caroline finds herself becoming more popular and getting increasingly intimate with Erik, a smooth-talking frat guy with gorgeous baby blues. The only male on campus who doesn’t fall for Carolina’s Latina allure is Peter, the full-blooded son of Cuban immigrants, who hails from Miami. Despite the danger of being exposed as a fraud, Caroline is drawn to this quiet, serious student – on a strictly friendship basis. But when Carolina gets in over her head and on the edge of a dangerous situation, Peter is the one who comes to her rescue. What’s more, he accepts her for who she is – and leads her on a real adventure to discover the truth about Nana Ellie and the very wealthy family she left behind in Cuba. What Caroline discovers about her ancestors – including one unknown living relative – is more exciting than she ever could have imagined.

Part mystery, part romance, and all captivating, IT’S NOT ABOUT THE ACCENT affirms Caridad Ferrer as a gifted teller of stories that resonate with young women, both Latina and Anglo.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
CARIDAD FERRER is a first generation, bilingual Cuban-American, born in Manhattan and raised in Miami. Her debut novel, Adiós to My Old Life (MTV Books), was named Latinidad’s Top Teen Read for 2006 as well as winning the Romance Writers of America's 2007 RITA® for Best Contemporary Single Title Romance. Writing as Barbara Ferrer she has also contributed to the anthology, Fifteen Candles: 15 Tales of Taffeta, Hairspray, Drunk Uncles, and Other Quinceañera Stories (Harper Collins/Rayo).

JENN'S QUESTIONS FOR CARIDAD

Jenn: Do you write full-time?

Caridad: I’m a full-time writer, but in a former lifetime, I was a teacher and I also have a lifetime of music training in my background. From both, I bring discipline to my writing— I treat it like my job and expect others to respect it as such. I don’t let anyone mess around in my designated writing space/office and if I have a deadline, that takes precedence over most everything except my kids. And actually, since they’re old enough to pour the milk without spilling, there have been more than a few, “Fix yourself a sandwich” nights. Which they like, actually, since it allows them to feel as if they’re helping.

Jenn: When and how did you make the transition to full-time writing?

Caridad: I actually transitioned from full-time mom to full-time writer and that was a harder transition, I think than it would’ve been if I’d been transitioning from the “outside” world. I all of a sudden had to go from being available 24/7 and putting my own needs aside to having to say, “You’ll have to wait until Mommy’s finished.”

There were honestly times I felt like Dr. Mengele. But ultimately, it’s been good— my kids have become such cool independent individuals with their own unique interests and best of all, they’re able to entertain themselves and don’t have to hound me to be their full-time entertainment service.

Jenn: Where do you write?

Caridad: We just moved, right after I got my office JUST how I liked it, of course, so I’m in the process of recreating my space. So it’s a work in progress, but here’s my space:


And who’s usually by my feet:


Jenn: What makes you happiest about writing?

Caridad: Just the storytelling— I’m at heart, a storyteller and the fact that I get to write my stories and send them out into the world and have them touch something in readers— that is just THE coolest thing. And I get to eat Mega M&Ms and listen to music while I work. Yep, life is good.

Jenn: Give us a run-down on all your books. How do you see this new book fitting into the work you’ve produced so far?

Caridad: Well, ACCENT is my second book— ADIÓS TO MY OLD LIFE was my debut novel and that was a lot of fun, because I got to really tap into my love of music for that one. With ACCENT I got to let my history geek out to play, which was a lot of fun. I think the way the two novels tie into together is that I have lead characters who aren’t perfect, who make mistakes, but who at heart, know who they are. I think, too, the sense of community that I create within each of my novels— it’s as much about the family you’re born into as the family you create or that develops around you when you’re away from your birth family.

That’s also a theme in my third novel that I’m just finishing up, (working title: A THIN LINE). Also a young adult novel, it’s a contemporary reinterpretation of the story of Carmen (opera/ballet) and again, I go back into my music background for that one, but also dabble in dance and sports and so far, it’s just been a blast. That’ll be coming out in early ‘09.

Find Caridad on the web at CaridadFerrer.com and BarbaraFerrer.com.
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