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Tuesday, November 23, 2010

GCC Presents Caridad Ferrar!

A dancer driven to succeed.

A musical prodigy attempting to escape his past.

The summer they share.

And the moment it all goes wrong.

Dance is Soledad Reyes’s life. About to graduate from Miami’s Biscayne High School for the Performing Arts, she plans on spending her last summer at home teaching in a dance studio, saving money, and eventually auditioning for dance companies. That is, until fate intervenes in the form of fellow student Jonathan Crandall who has what sounds like an outrageous proposition: Forget teaching. Why not spend the summer performing in the intense environment of the competitive drum and bugle corps? The corps is going to be performing Carmen, and the opportunity to portray the character of the sultry gypsy proves too tempting for Soledad to pass up, as well as the opportunity to spend more time with Jonathan, who intrigues her in a way no boy ever has before.   
But in an uncanny echo of the story they perform every evening, an unexpected competitor for Soledad's affections appears: Taz, a member of an all-star Spanish soccer team. One explosive encounter later Soledad finds not only her relationship with Jonathan threatened, but her entire future as a professional dancer.

About the Author:
Caridad Ferrer is a first generation, bilingual Cuban-American, whose young adult debut, Adiós to My Old Life won the Romance Writers of America’s 2007 RITA® for Best Contemporary Single Title Romance as well as being named to the 2009 Popular Paperbacks for Young Adults list, awarded by the ALA. Her second novel, It’s Not About the Accent was released in 2007 with Publisher’s Weekly stating, “…this twisting book amply rewards readers.”

She has also contributed to the anthology, Fifteen Candles: 15 Tales of Taffeta, Hairspray, Drunk Uncles, and Other Quinceañera Stories. Her newest young adult novel, When the Stars Go Blue, is a contemporary retelling of Bizet’s Carmen, and will be released by Thomas Dunne Books in November 2010. Booklist calls it, “Beautifully written, with contemporary characters and an engaging story line.”

And a quick interview with Caridad:

Can you tell me about your book in seven words or less?
Dance, music, intensity, passion, and betrayal.

Other than your main character, who's a favorite character of yours in your novel and why?
Oh boy, it's kind of a toss-up between Mamacita, Soledad's Tarot card-reading grandmother and Raj, who becomes Soledad's best friend over the course of the story. In their own way, they're both perceptive, outrageous, and tell it like it is.

What's one piece of writing advice you would give to aspiring authors?
Don't believe that selling "fixes" everything. New challenges present themselves along the route and there's always something new to learn.

What did you write when you were a teen? Did you journal? Write poetry? Write overly literary or emotional stories? Or avoid writing altogether?
I wrote stories in my journal and also told myself stories in my head during long bus rides or car rides. I always had a very romantic streak, so there was always some deep vein of emotion/romantic entanglement, usually involving the girl who never gets noticed finally getting the guy of her dreams. Not that this was based in any sort of personal day dreaming on MY part, no... not at all. *g*

What's the last book you read that you really loved?
I'm almost done with Armistead Maupin's latest, MARYANN IN AUTUMN, which is a lovely coda to his original Tale of the City series. I absolutely LOVE that series, especially the first three books, and he really seems to have returned to form-- it's so lovely to pick back up with these characters, some thirty years after they were first introduced (although I didn't read TALES until about fifteen years ago). What's great and so unique about it, is that the characters have aged in "real time" as it were, so they still feel very fresh and contemporary. They're just old friends with whom you're catching up.

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