Thursday, December 12, 2013

Red's always been our favorite primary color, it's about to be yours. A sit down with author Red Harvey!

Guinevere had the opportunity to get acquainted with today's author through her book. She's not only a SFF and paranormal fan, but she's also a geek! Not to say that it's rare, but she's the first Latina author I've had the pleasure of reading who proudly wore the title! Without further adieu...

1. Hope all is well Red Harvey. I know you through your work, but to readers meeting you for the first time, why don't you introduce yourself?

Hello, prospective readers! I'm somewhat like the term Chris Hardwick has coined; a nerdist. I dabble in nerd, study it, and occasionally I write about them.

2. I read and reviewed your first book "Cursed" a few months back. I know it's difficult to pick genres when they so easily cross with finesse, but I took it as a paranormal romance with a little horror, a little adventure. Do you think that paranormal is where you're comfortable? Or do you think you will experiment with different genres in the future?

Paranormal is where I did my experimenting, as I actually love reading and writing horror, science fiction, and fantasy. So far, I've penned a horror story, and a few science fiction, and maybe next, I'll move onto fantasy. The genres do indeed blur, and so it's hard to stay with just one.

3. In your paranormal-romance book "Cursed", you play around with a lot of Native American/American Indian/Indigenous/First Nation culture, as well as adding real life conquistador "Hernando De Soto" into your story? Did you find writing for a culture that is different than yours?  

Writing from a different cultural perspective can be challenging without research. At the same time, I come from a Puerto Rican background, and my family has different traditions than others I encountered while in high school and beyond. It wasn't too difficult to place my outlook on the "outside" looking in, and write as the character from that space.

4. You're leading lady Imogen could see the future. If you could have any supernatural ability what would it be?

As a self-proclaimed nerdist, I have internally debated this question on more than one occasion. Finally, I decided the best supernatural ability would be psychic abilities of the Professor Xavier caliber. He can read minds, control minds, and freeze people in their tracks by stopping their neurological functions. Basically, his powers are underrated and unlimited, and I would love to be in his shoes (sorry, wheels) if only for a day.
5. We talk a lot about diversity on our blog. I didn't catch it due to your pen name, but after prodding(and inappropriate probing lol) I found out you were Latina. There aren't as many Latino/a authors whom write paranormal or SFF that I've had the chance to highlight yet. Do you have any Latino authors that write beyond literary fiction that inspired you?

No Latino/a authors inspired me in SFF or paranormal fiction, but plenty of women authors inspired me, like Ursula K. LeGuin, Joanna Russ, and Marge Piercy. 

On a more personal note, my unspoken inspiration in writing is my third cousin, Julia de Burgos, who was a respected and award-winning poet in Puerto Rico, writing collections like Poemas exactas a mi misma (Poems to Myself). I'd like to think her wisdom is powering some of my words.

6. Being a person of color in the publishing industry, do you feel as though your represented in the books that you read? What are three books you love that reflect the diversity you see in the world? What are three books that don't?

In most of the books I read (horror and SF), I hardly see a Latino/a person being mentioned, or if they are, they're in the background.

A book which I feel exemplifies the diversity I see in the world is Woman on the Edge of Time, by Marge Piercy. Her main character is a Latina woman, a character who speaks in such on honest voice of what it's like to be an Other, to be perceived as undesirable by society, and to make mistakes as a human being.

Two other great books on diversity would be The Bluest Eye and Rubyfruit Jungle

Three books that could use a sprinkling of diversity (and I'm not saying they're not well-written) would be The Hunger Games11/22/63, and Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?

All three of those novels are great stories, but they feature a leading cast of all white characters with little to no cultural diversity. Change things up a bit; feature a black female lead (one of the most feared due to stereotypes, but at least television shows like Person of Interest and Scandal are catching up).

7.  I have a few books featuring Latinos and Latinos in supporting roles, but I'd love to see more books where they took their driver's seat. Do you think it's important to you to see Latinos represented in books?

It's important to see people of every diversity in leading roles, not only in literature, but reflected throughout the spheres of media like movies, television, music, and life.

When other cultures are allowed leading roles, it shows we all can have power, hopefully sharing power (I'm a hippie).

8. Who or what was the last thing that inspired you to write?

The last thing that inspired me to write was reading Full Dark, No Stars, particularly the afterword. King's grasp of creating a gripping story always fascinates me, and hooks me in hard, which is what a reader is looking for. 

9. We see that you have a release scheduled in 2014. What would you like readers to know about this book? Will it be a series? 

My next book being released by Champagne Book Group is tentatively titled Daughter of Zeus. It features a female lead (gasp, surprise!) who is on a path for revenge. Ada Freyr means to travel to Atlanta to kill her father, but doing so won't be easy as inter-state travel is heavily restricted in the near future. It's a good thing she has the power to manipulate electricity (and sometimes human beings), as it will make her quest go her way. Or will it?

The book isn't meant to be a series, but after re-editing it, I've been toying around with other plot-lines for a possible sequel.

10. Lastly, where can anyone interested in everything "Red Harvey" go to receive updates and the like?

Follow Red Harvey's Blog: Red Harvey's World
Check out Red Harvey's Goodreads Profile: Red Harvey @ Goodreads
Click the link to view Red Harvey's Wattpad: Red Harvey's Wattpad
Follow Red Harvey's Twitter: Red Harvey's Twitter
Like Red Harvey's Facebook Page: Red Harvey's Facebook Page

What a great author pic! Click on the widget below for a chance to win her book "Cursed" in paperback or ebook!

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