Speculative romance writer with a passion for poetry, short stories and children literature; always working between history, reality and fantasy (http://deborahmilagros.wordpress.com)
Puerto Rican blogger for Thirty Creative Studio – a bilingual blog about books, experiences and current news (http://www.thirtycreativestudio.com)
Editor of ‘Consultoría Literaria’ – a Literary Critique Service for bilingual writers (http://www.consultorialiteraria.com)
1) How do you settle your brain into writing mode when it’s tossing ideas constantly?
The first thing I do is to write down the ideas on paper. Nothing fancy, just an old notebook filled with bits and pieces. Normally, one of the ideas will yell at me louder than the rest. After the idea gets picked the next step is to find a working title and two main characters names, from there down it is just writing.
I created Thirty Creative Studio back in 2009, but did not start using it constantly until April 2010. Originally, it was a site for me to write about everything and anything in English or Spanish. It evolved over the time and turned more into a story telling website. Everything I write at Thirty now is original material, but not fiction. I moved all my fictional work to Deborah Milagros, leaving Thirty Creative Studio as a bilingual blog about books, experiences and current news.
Deborah Milagros became my writer’s website containing all of my fiction works; including poetry, short stories, letter, etc. As well as the progress of my first novel, The EVE Project.
3) What is Kiva.org?
According to their website, Kiva.org is a non-profit organization with a mission to connect people through lending to alleviate poverty. Leveraging the internet and a worldwide network of microfinance institutions, Kiva lets individuals lend as little as $25 to help create opportunity around the world.
4) In what ways have you given to this charity, and what do you plan to do next?
I got involved with them last November and was able to help a dry cleaner from Portugal buy an engine for his shop. He repaid his loan completely and I was able to help a family in Mexico buy a gate for their property just a week ago. You can read more about it here (http://wp.me/pAHhC-sy)
5) How does Consultoría Literaria help writers?
Consultoria Literaria is an editorial service for bilingual writers. I worked with writers to develop their manuscripts without changing their ideas. It is a little more personal than a typical line edit service. I try to understand what they are trying to accomplish and help them organize their ideas and books. At his point I work with bilingual writers whose first language is Spanish.
6) When do you use the name Milagros and when do you use Deck-Suárez?
Well, this answer is a little complicated. Milagros is my middle name and I use it in less formal occasions. In Spanish it means ‘miracles’ and my parents selected it after having some issues before I was born.
Deck is my married name and Suárez is my maiden name. As you can see they are out of the traditional order for a married woman; they are backwards. I am originally from Puerto Rico and women normally do not change their last names after marriage and the kids use both parents’ last names. Therefore, I use the last name my kids should use if we will live there.
7) How does your architecture degree influence your writing?
I do not think my architectural background influences my writing, but it did wake up my writing passion and help me create a writing structure. After spending all of those years completing my degree I was able to conceptualized ideas and transform them into reality. I love doing research, visual works and developing concepts. I guess I use the same concept when writing.
8) What do you like best about writing Science Fiction?
I consider myself more of a speculative writer. I like to stretch reality more than create my own worlds and civilizations. I enjoy creating non-existent scientific terms, illnesses and parallel worlds.
My current novel, The EVE Project is soft Sci-Fi. As I mentioned before, I only incorporate specific aspects on my writing. I like to make my work as believable as possible with a lot of imagination and romance.
10) How did NaNoWriMo go for you this year?
I participated in NaNoWriMo for the first time this year. I used the last two weeks of October to roughly plan/outline my novel. I consider myself a hybrid because I am half plotter, half “pantser”. I love the challenge and the people involved. I was able to connect with many participants using Google + and I took part in two write-ins. The best part is that I finished my novel with four days to spare.
11) Now that November is over, what is the next step for The Eve Project?
December is going to be a month for editing. Hopefully in January I will be able to send out beta copies and should be ready for query letters late February. If I receive more than half-a-million rejects I will self-publish.
12) Many writers go through a stage when they hate what they’re writing. Do you ever feel this way?
I have not hit one of those patches yet (knock on wood), but I have days I just do not want to write. I normally skip the day when that happens. I use the time to imagine my work instead of writing it down.
13) Have you always considered yourself to be a writer, or was there a time in your life when you decided that is what you were?
- I have liked writing since I was in middle school, but never felt compelled to follow it as a career path. I went to college and obtained a Bachelor degree in Business Administration and attended Law School for one year. After that, I completed a Master in Architecture. About two years after I graduated I started writing constantly once again and decided the time was right to pursue writing as a full time career. Here I am, with a full manuscript and several WIP’s.
14) What is your opinion in the self/e-publishing versus traditional publishing debate?
I believe in self-publishing quality pieces. I have found many great books and shorts from writers that took the time to develop and polish their work. I still see the traditional publishers as my first option.
15) What social media do you use? Do you combine your personal and professional or keep them separate?
I use most social media outlets. I have twitter accounts, Facebook pages and blogs. Currently, my favorite is Google +. It is really easy to find people that enjoy similar topics and hobbies. The exchange is smart, engaging & instant. I also created a G+ page for my novel as a test.
For personal use I only have a Facebook account which is private. I know everyone in my friend list personally and for a significant amount of years.
16) What is your favorite electronic or digital writing tool?
I use a bronze color Toshiba netbook to write which is always by my side, even when I am sleeping. If I am working on a post I use Windows Live Writer and for my novel I used yWriter.
17) What is your favorite non-electronic writing tool?
I enjoy using color pens to do my writing. I normally print all my writing, but when I am working with new ideas I use a really loose and illegible cursive.
18) What is the most persistent distraction from writing?
I get distracted easily. Anything around is a distraction for me, even looking away from the screen to rest my eyes. I love to play with my nails to waste time. I am the queen of procrastination. I try to right in the morning when I am more relaxed and well rested.
19) What is your ideal writing environment? Have you ever been able to create it?
I love half-lit rooms with a low temperature. I will place really soft music and some candles. In reality, I have not been able to recreate it much, since I am always working around my three daughters and all their demands.
20) Who shot first, Han or Greedo?
Fine, I confess I am not a big Star Wars fan, but thanks to the ewoks that hunted me at night when I was around five years old 😦 On the other hand, I am sure Han Solo shot first. I was dragged several times by brothers and later by husband to watch the movies and I remember asking why he shot him without giving Greedo a chance. I guess George Lucas answered my questions when he ‘remastered’ the scene to portrait Han as a great guy shooting in self-defense. I do not think I could change one of my writings after it is on paper & in ink (film in this case). I guess it will be the equivalent of re-writing history.
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