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Monday, December 17, 2007

Caught in No-Man's Land

It hit me, reading the blog entries here, that I'm kind of in a unique position.

I'm the only one who doesn't have an upcoming release with MTV Books and I'm not going to—at least, not at any time in the foreseeable future.  I do have a young adult release coming up in early '09, but that's with a different publisher and I don't know—I'd feel kind of odd talking about it here, even though it's all I want to talk about because I'm in the throes of revision for it and it's all that my creative brain is full of right now.  Plus, I just really, really like the story.  

The other side of the No-Man's Land coin is that I don't have any particularly recent releases.  Adiós is more than a year back and Accent was released nearly five months ago, so neither of them constitutes any kind of fresh news.  Any of the typical blog stories—where did I get my inspiration, what influences me with a particular story, tell us about the characters... it all feels as if I've already answered them a hundred times before.  

This is where things get tough for me—as I mentioned in a column for my agent, I find it difficult to sell myself.  Ridiculous, no?  But it just goes against my general nature to go tooting my own horn.  But it's an evil necessity.  Actually, contrary to what this post may sound like, I do enjoy talking about my books—a lot.  I just worry about wearing out my welcome! :-)

So anyhow, I will make  concerted effort to talk my lovely MTV Books up, especially since I'm very proud of both of them and they've taken me some incredible places.  And anything that anyone wants to ask me about either—I'm more than happy to answer.  Deal?

Okay.  I'll start then—I found out last Friday that I made my very first Best of list.  If you scroll on over to page three of the article, you'll see that author Mary Castillo chose as her best book of 2007, none other than IT'S NOT ABOUT THE ACCENT.  Merry Christmas, baby!  Especially since I'm there alongside such luminaries as Junot Díaz, who wrote what is unarguably the most celebrated Latino novel of 2007, The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao.

Dude.  How unbelievably hard does that rock?  My book on a list like that.  It boggles the mind, really.

So, anyhow, that's kind of where I sit—and the deal utterly stands.  Anything anyone wants to ask me, I'm more than happy to answer.


Stephanie Kuehnert said...

Congrats, Barb! That's a great honor!

WannabeWriter said...

I have to ask: What's your next book about??

And: What kinds of things (stories, songs, poems, etc.)did you write when you were younger, and what were they usually about?

By the way, I really enjoyed It's Not About the Accent, and I can't wait to check out Adios to My Old Life next.

<3 Paige

Kelly Parra said...

Congrats, Barb, that is very cool!!

After I read you were writing your latest for another house, I was still hoping you'd stick with MTV! Of course, I'll grab the next one too! I loved Adios and Accent. :) :)

Barbara Caridad Ferrer said...

Thanks, Steph! I was so shocked and beyond thrilled, really. :-)

Paige: a) thanks so much for loving Accent—It's an incredibly special book to me. (Oh, who am I kidding? All of them are special—just in different ways! *g*)

What's the next book about? In a nutshell, it's a contemporary retelling of the Carmen (opera/ballet) story set against the backdrop of competitive drum and bugle corps. I get to go back into my world of music, which I love so much as well as incorporate dance and soccer, of all things. It makes sense, I swear!

Finally, what did I write about as a kid? I've been a journaler off and on my entire life-- so I've done a lot of freeform writing from that standpoint. As a kid I wrote poems more or less under duress—I was in a gifted program in Miami and every year we had to write stuff for submission to the Dade County Youth Fair. Pretty much hated it, because I don't have the necessary gift for abstract imagery and metaphor and evocative language that good poetry demands. In other words, I don't get it. But strangely enough, the poems I submitted often won ribbons. Go figure.

I always did make up long, elaborate stories in my head though—sometimes I wrote them down, sometimes they stayed in my head, just as entertainment. When I was in corps, we had some LONG bus rides and if I ran out of stuff to read, making stories up was a way to keep myself occupied. Ditto for the long drives between Miami and Tallahassee when I was in college—the Florida Turnpike is one of the most boring stretches of highway you will ever encounter in your entire life. There's a lot of those eight hour drives I don't remember because I'd put on my favorite music and disappear off into my head, creating stories, generally romantic in nature. I've always been a huge sap for emotion and drama and romance with a side of comedy. Probably why I love Richard Curtis' films so much.

Barbara Caridad Ferrer said...

(My last answer was getting epic, so I thought I'd start a new one.)

Kelly, never say never-- I love being part of MTV Books—how can I not? They gave me my start. But things didn't quite work out for a third book and then I was approached by an editor with the offer to give writing this new one a go and I simply couldn't say no to that, especially when the subject matter was so up my alley. However, since that book's not coming out until early '09, I'm pretty much out of commission for the next year with respect to YA. But if the opportunity presented itself to come back to MTV, I'd be thrilled.

Little Willow said...

Congrats! :)