LMG: I joined SARA in May, 2001. I saw an announcement in the newspaper inviting people who liked to write romance to join. I’d been reading romance practically all my life and I’d been writing it since college. So, I thought, this is the right organization for me. When I arrived, they were celebrating their 10th year anniversary. This was the best decision I ever made. I learned about both the craft of writing as well as the business side of it and I’ve met some of the most wonderful people I could ever meet.
SC: And supportive! What sub-genre of romance stories do you write?
LMG: I write contemporary romance, historical romance and romance for the woman who has lived a little.
SC: What about the romance genre appeals to you?
LMG: I like romance because no matter the odds, problems or conflicts, the hero and heroine resolve all their issues and achieve true love and happiness. Some critics turn up their noses at this, saying it is escapism and unreal. However, true love does happen. And if naysayers want concrete proof, romance books are a billion dollar industry.
SC: Great point! What are your ultimate goals as a writer?
LMG: I used to answer this without thinking and say, “To be on the New York Times Bestseller List.” While I still would like that, I have no control over that. So, now my ultimate goals are to keep writing for as long as I can and also to write the best stories I can so that my readers can enjoy them long after I am gone.
SC: I like your goals. What is the best book you’ve ever read about the craft of writing?
LMG: To this day it still is the best book – ON WRITING by Stephen King. He wrote it like a story. Even though I’ll never read his books because I’m too chicken, I’ll recommend this book to anyone who asks me.
SC: I love that book as well. Do you have a writing routine? What does it involve?
LMG: When I’m working on a story, I write anytime, anyplace. I can’t stop. I’m constantly thinking about the story and coming up with new scenes. I’m in my own little world I’ve created. Sometimes, I get distracted. At those times, I tend to write in the mornings. I discovered that’s when I have the most energy.
SC: What do you do when you’re not writing? Do you have any hidden talents?
LMG: I like to read and I need to make more time for it. I also like to scrapbook, but I’ve decided I’m going to go digital. Otherwise, where am I going to store all these scrapbooks?! Family history is very important to me. My dad has told me about his life growing up in the 1930’s and 1940’s. My story A LOVE FOR ETERNITY was inspired by a story he and my uncle told me about their sister. I want to compile our family stories so they will be there for future generations.
SC: Great idea for a story! What is your favorite part of the writing process?
LMG: When the story is coming fast and furious and I know what I want to happen next. It’s almost as if I’m reading it, but I’m writing it. Editing didn’t used to be so much fun, but now I like that, too. There’s always a new and different way to depict a scene.
SC: It’s exciting to look at your work in a new way. What would happen if you didn’t write?
LMG: I can’t imagine my life without writing. I’ve journaled since I was a teenager. I wrote my first story in college. I’ve written stories for the various phases of my life – college girl, married woman, single mom. Writing is as vital to me as eating and drinking. Even in my darkest times, I always write my thoughts down.
SC: Name one of the challenges you had writing or as an author and how you met that challenge.
LMG: Due to a tragic happening in my life seven years ago, I couldn’t write stories for a long time. I wanted to, but I just couldn’t. I’d start something, but couldn’t finish it. I was grief-stricken, yes, because my youngest son was gone, but I think it was also guilt that I could go on with my dreams when he couldn’t anymore.
SC: How awful, Lupe. I’m so sorry for your loss. What brought you back to writing?
LMG: In 2014, I decided I would participate in NANO – National Novel Writing Month. I set a goal to finish a story I’d started in 2009. I said, “If I don’t finish this story, then, it’s time to put it aside – and maybe it’s time to make a decision whether or not I really want to continue writing.” Not only did I finish that story, but I wrote three short stories through December and into 2015. In July 2015, I was able to complete another novel I’d started in 2009. This past November, one of my short stories was published by The Wild Rose Press, NO ACCOUNTING FOR LOVE.
So, my advice to writers, published and aspiring, is: Keep going toward your dream in spite of what life throws at you. Find a way to push through.
SC: Very inspiring. Thank you so much for sharing with us, Lupe. Congratulations on your newest story and best of luck with your writing!
Submitted by Mary Brand