AUTHOR, BLOGGER, & BOOK REVIEWER EXTRAORDINAIRE!
One of the most exciting things that is happening in our American literary world today is the increasing numbers of Latina bloggers. Many of these bloggers are published authors who utilize their blogs as additional forums for their creativity. In addition to posting a new poem or article, writers often discuss their books and other works, their writing routines, their book tours or speaking engagement calendars, their reviews of other authors' literary creations, and generally take time to show themselves to their public as fully-rounded folks with many interests and passions in addition to writing: families and pets, authors they idolize, their travels far and wide, etc.
Through these increasingly sophisticated and numerous blogs, authors are continually rediscovering themselves and sharing these journeys with us. In the pre-internet era, learning about the backgrounds and personalities of authors whose books we read could be challenging. When we found such information, it was often dry and locked in cement, brief and accompanied by faded black and white photos. Now, Latina bloggers (and a goodly number of male Hispanic authors as well!) are putting recognizable, amiable, respectable human faces on their literary selves and showing us the people they are in engaging, dynamic, constantly updated ways. What a delight it is to know the human spirit behind the artistry!
She’s been writing since the age of 12, when she began creating paranormal stories. She majored in Creative Writing in college, where her passion for writing solidified, but she never limited herself to one genre of writing. In fact, as she has evolved as an author, so has her predilection for publishing in different genres. She has written "literary" (as opposed to "commercial") short stories; parody/satire, as exemplified by her novel, Sunstruck; paranormal vampire fiction, represented by her novel, Embraced by the Shadows; nonfiction, focusing on book reviews and culminating in the recent award-winning book, The Slippery Art of Book Reviewing, which Mayra co-authored; and 6 children’s books.
Mayra is most enamored of children’s literature, which she describes thus: “I love writing for children. It’s like walking on a rainbow. A world of color where I can exaggerate and let my imagination run totally wild.” Her latest child’s book is Frederico, the Mouse Violinist, to be published this fall. She has six children’s books scheduled for publication in 2011-2012! Mayra is also working on a young adult novel and is halfway finished.
Writing books in multiple genres is challenging enough for any author, and one might think that this keeps Mayra too busy for anything else. Not so. She has written over 300 book reviews, author interviews, and articles in the past decade, publishing these in print media as well as online. She reviews for The New York Journal of Books, the National Latino Books Examiner, SimplyCharly.com, and Blogcritics Magazine.
In addition, Mayra maintains her two author websites and writes four blogs (addresses are below). She says: “It’s fun switching from one genre to another depending on my mood. I love it.” A lifelong high achiever, Mayra also speaks four languages: English and Spanish, of course, plus French and some Turkish. She lived in Turkey for a while and is now based in Belgium.
Visit Mayra’s websites at http://www.mayracalvani.com/ , http://www.mayrassecretbookcase.com/ . Her blogs include http://www.mayra’ssecretbookcase.blogspot.com/ , http://www.thedarkphantom.com/ , and http://www.violinandbooks.wordpress.com/ . Her book reviews appear most often in www.examiner.com/latino-books-in-national/mayra-calvani . Please drop by her sites and leave her your comments. It will be time well-spent for you!
In future posts here, I'll discuss other bloggers, male and female. Also, keep your eyes out for my upcoming book review of Mike Padilla's rousing, humorous, big-hearted novel, The Girls from the Revolutionary Cantina. Take care, check out all these authors' wonderful work, and make literature an eternal part of your and your families' lives!