Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Writer Wednesday: Maricel Jiménez

Earlier this year, I was able to meet a fellow indie author at the Puerto Rico Comic Con by the name of Maricel Jiménez. I knew about her from a good friend whom I know from surfing together and he’d mentioned she wrote books. I remember being very happy at hearing that and telling him to tell her to go for it… and boy did she. 

I met her at her booth and was happy to buy her first novel, the Adventures of Pixie Piper. I read her book while my mom was undergoing surgery and it was thanks to her book and Terry Pratchett’s Disc World series that I was able to maintain high spirits and I’m thankful for having such a sweet read to help me stay focused on a positive wavelength. So when I decided to retake my Writer Wednesday Interviews, I definitely wanted to take the opportunity to catch up with her so we can find out a little more about her and what she’s up to. 

1. I met you at the Puerto Rico Comic Con where you presented your first book, the Adventures of Pixie Piper. What’s your book about and who do you think would enjoy the book?

My book is about a little girl who gets a visit from her fairy godfather and she discovers that she is actually a fairy. He takes her to the land of fairies where a simple adventure ends up becoming a life or death quest to save her mother from evil winter fairies. (In a nutshell)

2. How was the experience of writing Pixie? What was the inspiration for the book?

I wrote the first draft of Pixie several years back when my oldest son was just a little boy. I was re-reading Peter Pan and was consuming the entire Harry Potter series like a Thanksgiving dinner. Also, The Lord of the Rings Trilogy. So all that fantasy inspired me. First I wrote a book that is yet to be transcribed and right after finishing that, I went straight to Pixie. I wanted to write fantasy that was a bit more lighthearted than what I had been reading. I think Pixie achieved that. 

3. You also have a blog. What can people find there and can you share a link?

I actually have 2 blogs. One is Unsuccessful Attempts at Brain Silence. That is my personal blog and you will find anything in there. Poetry, short stories, opinions, ideas to fix Puerto Rico, rants… anything. The other blog is Puerto Rico Yarari and that is a travel blog all about Puerto Rico. Other writers are welcome to collaborate on this one! (Hint, hint)

4. You recently went to the Miami Book Fair. How was the experience and reaction to your work? Would you do it again?

It was a great experience! The people are warm and everyone had a positive reaction to the book. There’s nothing like seeing a kid’s face light up when they see the book. Also, I did lots of Networking. Unfortunately because of the rain I did not get to look around as much as I had wanted, but the overall book fair was definitely worth the trip.

5. The Fairy Kingdom has a feast organized and YOU have to cater. Walk us through the menu.

Hmmmm… We’ll start with stuffed mushroom caps, topped with extra aged Aggio Faery Cheese (the best fairy cheese ever made!). Follow that with a tossed flower salad with cranberry almond vinaigrette and to seal the deal, the famous Faery Pot Pie baked by the one and only Bessie Treebark. For dessert, some Faery Brulée: a smooth cream topped with a crust of fire-hardened sugary fairy dust. WARNING TO HUMANS: Consumption of this dessert could cause uncontrolled elevation and floating, among other side effects.

6. What is your experience being an indie author from Puerto Rico?

So far the public has had a great reaction to the book. The book has received great reviews and ratings from readers and fellow writers and the kid's faces light up when they look at the cover. That's awesome!

7. What moments have touched you related to your writing?

I once had a very selective teacher review my poetry. She said I had the talent, but needed to work on my "oficio", meaning develop and hone my skills. This woman would tear your writing apart mercilessly if she thought it sucked. To me, her constructive praise was reassuring and motivating. She taught me that there is a need to practice your writing, not just write. In other words, editing is key!

8. Describe the feeling the first time you held your book in your hands.

I was nervous opening the box, then I see all those pretty blue covers and Pixie all live and beautiful and I believe there was a tear involved. Then of course I grabbed it, caressed the cover, looked admiringly at it for a few long seconds then lifted it up to my nose and took a deep breath. It smelled divine! Then I opened it, read my name on the inside title page and thought: Wow! I actually published a book. I am writer!!!! Not that I wasn't before, but now it was undeniable. I leafed it and smelled it some more. There is nothing like the smell of your very own book! Ahhh... I get excited just reliving the moment.

9. You sprout wings, what is the first thing you do and what would you do during your first day?

The first thing I would do would be to touch them. Make sure they are real. I'd look at my fingers to see if there was any fairy dust. If there is, I'd put some in a jar and then go fly! I'd fly to the top of a really tall tree and perch myself up there like a bird. It would be cool if I hung out with some of the Guacamayos that hang around my parent's house. They're blue and yellow and really pretty. Then I would try to see just how fast I can fly and how high I can go. I would presume there are limits. After getting used to my wings and getting to know them, eventually I'd build a tree house that could only be accessed via wings. ;)

10. What’s next for you and Pixie and where can people connect with you?

Pixie is bound to have lots of adventures! She just discovered she is a fairy so there's plenty to come, but of course, she has no idea what the rules are so you can bet she's gonna get into some trouble. And of course, eventually her mother needs to remember who she is!

To connect with me visit my sites: 


My thanks to Maricel for her great answers. As an added bonus, I'm inviting the people I interview to do collaborations and see what we can come up with. Each interviewee gets a custom made prompt and then we see what our collective writing can come up with. Below is the prompt I shared with Maricel as an aperitif for the story to come. By all means, check her out and stay tuned. Much more to come. :D

PROMPT: The sky is blue because it’s lost its rainbow. We put bookmarks from our books in our back pockets and channel powers from our stories to rescue the rainbow! 

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