Friday, May 8, 2020

Writing Warriors United Spotlight Author Interview with Ester Lopez

Writing Warriors United Spotlight Author Interview with Ester Lopez

What literary pilgrimages have you gone on?
Over the years, I’ve been to several conferences, too numerous to mention, but the most memorable, where I learned the most was in 2013. It was an RWA convention in Atlanta and the main topic was ‘Indie Publishing.’ All workshops were PACKED! I learned so much and that is the one event that started my “Indie” career.

What is the first book that made you cry?
It was so long ago, but the one I remember was actually the story of Romeo and Juliet. While we read that in school, the movie version came out (with Olivia Hussey and Leonard Whiting) and we got extra credit for watching it. So, I cried twice over the same story.

Does writing energize or exhaust you?
It energizes me!

What are common traps for aspiring writers?
Thinking you aren’t ready. I’ve been writing journals and scribbling notes for years, but when I decided I wanted to write as a career, I made myself an office space and I sit there to do my writing. They need to take it seriously, make a “writing area” and try to make a regular time for writing. (I fail at that part, but trying to establish one is important)

What is your writing Kryptonite?
By Kryptonite, I take it you mean ‘downfall.’ Mine is procrastination-waiting for the right time. In actuality, if I sit down and just start writing, things start happening. I think I’m more worried about NOT having enough time to write when I do sit down.

What other authors are you friends with, and how do they help you become a better writer?
I’ve met a lot of authors like me, who are trying to get our names out there. They write different genres, but we try to meet up at the various book signing events. Lately, all of them have been cancelled. We keep in touch online through Facebook and Messenger by offering encouragement and praise. Here are some of them: Kimberley O’Malley, Katherine L.E. White, Adrienne Dunning, Carrie Humphrey, Maria Elena Alonso-Sierra, and Victoria Saccenti. Some of them are prolific writers and makes me want to write more.

How did publishing your first book change your process of writing?
After taking those workshops at the 2013 RWA Conference, I changed the way I ‘finish’ my books. The process I use to write stayed the same. I use worksheets I got from various online classes on characterization and I flesh out my main characters. Then, I figure out their Goals, Motivation, and Conflict for each of them. Sometimes I do the same for secondary characters. Then, I use the Snowflake Method, which helps me focus on the story, building it a little at a time.

What was the best money you ever spent as a writer?
Originally, I think it was joining RWA for the first time, because it led me to a better education in writing and the process of getting a book published. And the 2013 Convention (an additional expense) which led me to self-publish my first book.

What was an early experience where you learned that language had power?
When I was five years old, we moved to Puerto Rico and I was forced to learn Spanish. That’s when I learned that language had power-to communicate to other people.

What’s your favorite under-appreciated novel?
One that has stayed with me for many years was “To Kill A Mockingbird.”

As a writer, what would you choose as your mascot/avatar/spirit animal?
I’ve never thought about that, but my name, Ester, is a derivative of Estrella, which means star. So maybe a twinkling star as an avatar?

What does literary success look like to you?
Making enough money from the sale of my books to support myself financially.

What’s the most difficult thing about writing characters from the opposite sex?
Realizing that men don’t ‘think’ as much as women, or the same as women.

Have you read anything that made you think differently about fiction?
Not really, other than some fiction is much better than other fiction

How do you select the names of your characters?
Some of them come to me. Otherwise, I look for a name that has a meaning that would make sense in the story.

Do you hide any secrets in your books that only a few people will find?
Not intentionally, unless it has something to do with the story.

What was your hardest scene to write?
The sex scenes!

What is your favorite childhood book?
When I was younger, I would go to the library every two weeks and check out several books at a time. My sister and I would compete to see how many we could read in that time period. She would always win because she ended up reading my books, too, so I can’t remember any specific book. My favorite types of books were the ones with a ‘happily ever after.’

What is the most difficult part of your artistic process?
Getting my butt in the chair!

When you die – what would you like the universe to say to you as you walk into the next life?
There goes a woman who followed her dreams.

Esta Lopez Links:

Writing On The Edge Of Reality 
The Abduction, Revenge, Betrayed, The Quest and Between Heaven and Earth are now available in print and eBook formats at andwherever books are sold.


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