Yveta Germano is an exciting writer. Exciting? Why do I say that? I think I am justified in saying that she is exciting simply because she attacks social media, promotion and writing with such amazing energy. I posed this set of “cutting edge” questions to her and she, without doubt, gave me the strongest set of responses I have ever read. Many authors have been stumped by these questions– enjoy!
Why did you want to write a book?
I never asked myself that question. I’ve been writing stories ever since I can remember. My mom told me that, as a child, I never wanted to sleep. So when other kids went for their afternoon nap at daycare, I’d sit in the middle of the room and tell them stories I made up while they fell asleep. Even the teachers listened to me. That’s why I never asked “why,” I just had to figure out the “when.”
What makes you a great writer?
I make sure I know the character, literally get inside his head, and become a part of the story. I love using dialogue because it moves the story and makes it real. I do not like books where you’re told everything you’re supposed to feel and imagine. I try very hard to let my readers become as much of a part of my book as I am.
What is inspirational to you?
Life writes the best stories. I suppose it’s the little things in life that have the power to inspire me almost every day. It’s easy to miss them if you are too fixed on the future or on what has been. My younger daughter, Victoria, taught me a valuable lesson. She often says, “Today was the best day of my life.” She means it every time, day after day. When I finally understood the importance of her view of life, I began to see something wonderful and inspirational, no matter how big or small, every single day. Sometimes it’s just the fact that we are alive that inspires me to create something that’ll last long after I’m gone (I hope).
How did you approach writing?
Like almost everyone else – I picked up a pencil and a notebook and started to write (many years ago). I’ve been a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators for a number of years now. It’s a great resource and their conferences are usually packed with wonderful speakers and editors. I write much more like a professional these days; trying to have some sort of a synopsis and staying clear of the usual pitfalls that editors and readers hate. It’s been a long learning curve, but it’s worth it.
What do you think a great book needs?
Characters readers care about, a story that hasn’t been told a dozen times before, a voice that’ll make us ponder or send shivers down our spines.
How do you feel about the independent writing world?
I love it and I hate it at the same time. I love it because I love the fact that I could self-publish Bring Me Back and keep control over the content. Many wonderful, great books have been published independently because nowadays publishers are so driven to earn money, they often accept subpar books for publication only because they are written by a celebrity or someone well-known to the public while passing on stories that should definitely be published.
I hate it because, unfortunately, there are many self-published books on Amazon that are so poorly written, they should have never been published. They clutter the site and confuse the readers. In their quest to sell books, self-published authors reduced the prices of their books to the levels that are so low these days, it’s nearly impossible to make a living writing self-published books. If you don’t do it for the love of writing, you may end up being disappointed. Today’s readers do not appreciate the amount of time that goes into writing a good book. They are spoiled by the free or almost free books out there, and they download them just because they are free but never read them anyway. It’s kind of sad.
Do you believe a book needs promotion to succeed?
Absolutely. Look at me. I first published my book 6 months ago and had to leave the country for a while to take care of other pressing issues. I did not have time to do any marketing or promotion. I did not even tell many of my friends about the publishing date. I just left Bring Me Back in the Amazon jungle to fend for itself. By the time I came back, the book was hidden among hundreds of thousands of young adult titles. How does a reader find it if you do not promote it? I need to catch up, but it is hard. Fortunately, I love the story and everyone who read it loved it, too. I am patient as I believe word of mouth and proper promotion will Bring “It” Back… I still have two more books of the trilogy to publish, so I will be better prepared as far as timely promotion is concerned.
Who are your favorite authors?
Jodi Picoult, Paulo Coelho, Markus Zusak
What attracts you to a book?
First I judge the book by the cover – like everyone else… Then I read the excerpt and, finally, I look for the characters. I’m really big on characters, I want to love them.
A drop of rain falls from the sky—what do you think?
Awesome! I can just sit by my computer and write and not feel guilty about it, ha, ha, ha… Shall I be more poetic? No, I don’t think the angels are crying, they’re laughing with me, if anything. I love rainy days because I live in Georgia where we do not have too many.
How does a cloudy day make you feel?
I love every day no matter what the weather condition. The sun needs to take a break too.
What does a bar of chocolate taste like to you?
The darker the better! It’s sweet and bitter at the same time. It’s delicious, decadent, and it melts in your mouth leaving a tinge of guilty pleasure…
How do you define your book by genre?
Traditionally it’s a young adult paranormal fiction. But I would rather define it in my own made-up genre: young adult cross-over fiction we all hope turns out to be real one day!
How does blog touring make you feel?
Never done it. I’m game for anything new and exciting. Literally.
How many times have you rewritten a line to try and get the right feel for it?
As many times as it’s necessary. I’ve done it as many as fourteen times as far as I remember. I re-read the pages I write a lot and as long as I have the slightest feeling the line does not sound totally real, I’ll keep changing it.
Do you like to write with music? Does that help you concentrate?
I often hear other authors say they listen to music for inspiration while they write, so I feel like I should. But I never do. Since I write a lot of dialogue in my books, I often speak my dialogue out loud as I write it. I cannot imagine listening to some music especially with lyrics when I’m listening to myself already. On the other hand, I always play my favorite songs when I’m driving alone. I pick the music on purpose depending on what part of the book I’m currently working on. When the music plays, I imagine the scenes from the book, just like a movie, and sing along as loudly as I can. I used to be a lead singer in a band when I was a teenager, so I know how to sing aloud 🙂 Many songs have become synonymous with certain scenes and dialogues from my books to me.
Do you feel the writing world is full of negativity or positivity?
It’s both. Maybe it’s a good thing to keep some balance. You can’t have the good without the bad, so I do not dwell on it. I’m happy with what I’m doing and that’s what matters to me.
Does promotion make you excited or scared?
The only promotion I have done thus far was with Novel Ideas and it’s exciting. Probably because the people at Novel Ideas are really nice, hard working and fun to work with. I feel like I’m in capable hands and the circle of writers at Novel Reads is like an extended “writer family.” I honestly cheer for every one of them even if I do not know them personally. I do not even think of this as promotion. I think of it as a great part of the publishing experience.
What are your expectations as a writer?
I’m a little too humble to “expect.” What I really wish for is that I grow a wide following of readers who will love and enjoy my stories. I’m ready to give them all I’ve got!
Do you feel comfortable interviewing?
Love it! Love it! Love it! What else can I say? Can I have another interview please?
What is the worst thing you’ve ever read?
Unfortunately, there are as many bad books published as there are good ones (both traditionally published and self-published). I was asked by a self-published author to review a book. I agreed even though I had little spare time. Both the writing and the story were so weak, I was agonizing for days whether to tell the writer the truth because I hate to make people feel bad. The person seemed very nice, and I know very well how much work goes into writing a book. I did not write the review, but I offered help and wrote a detailed critique which I hope will help in the re-write process. I will be a lot less prone to accept someone’s request for a review in the future, though.
Do you find it easy to concentrate on a book?
No! I’m as ADD as it gets! As long as I can get up and pace around my house every ten minutes or so, I can force myself to sit still long enough each day to write up to 10 pages per day. That’s it, being still any longer would be torture. I entered a contest a couple of weeks ago where you submit the first 250 words of your new, never published novel. The results will be out in early February and I realized that if I won, I did not have the manuscript that I’d have to send out to various agents bidding on it. This contest is now putting my ADD to a test as I’m challenging myself to write 2,000 words per day to finish it before Christmas. Fortunately, it’s a book about something I was planning to write for a long time, something really close to my heart. The bad thing is, it’s loosely based on a true story of a teen suicide that touched my and my older daughter’s lives. I bawl my eyes out every day now while I write, so by the time kids come home, I look like an owl. This is what I meant when I said I want to love my characters.
What are your hobbies outside of writing?
Reading someone else’s books! Traveling, visiting castles and historical sites, singing, even writing music. There’s still so much I want to do, I’ll have to clone myself to do it all…
(The next part of this is word evaluation- I will say a word and you will say the first thing that comes to mind.)
Music – singing loudly along
California – fake
Christmas – joy
Yesterday – gone
Maze – lost
Blue – blanket
Diplomat – untrustworthy
Dreaming – loving it!
Lover – heat
Romance – tingling excitement
Book – comfort
Biography – boring
July – travel