Today I am thrilled to have VHP Author Neva Squires-Rodriguez
visiting today in the Potpourri Parlor. Neva joined VHP
in 2014 and has captivated readers with a terrific trilogy called The Liliana Series.
I am especially thrilled to feature Neva this week — this is National EMS Week. Neva is a 911-dispatcher in Chicago, 911 is one of the very important links in Emergency Services.
And now, the questions…
Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
Never give up on your dreams. Our dreams are all we have and if you believe in them, they are more likely to come true.
Do you have critique partners or beta readers?
I often join in on a weekly 8-10 sentence snippet with a group called Weekend Writing Warriors. I’m provided with writing critique in this group and often am given ideas on what to title my books, or if something sounds awkward in my writing.
In one sentence—what do you want people to say about your writing in fifty years?
I can’t wait for her next book to come out. (Hopefully I’ll still be around and coherent at that time…I’ll be 96 years old by then.)
In your novels, is there a character you love to hate? Why that one?
The mother-in-law Blanca, was always someone I hated while writing books one and two of the Liliana Series. Her character was themed after an ex-boyfriend’s mother who hated the fact that her son was dating me because of the fact that I didn’t speak Spanish fluently. Oddly enough since creating her character over ten years ago I became best friends with someone named Blanca and also found out that my ex-boyfriends mother died of cancer, so I felt really bad and in book three I’ve toned down Blanca’s character quite a bit.
Tell us about your favorite restaurant
Oh, I have so many. Let’s see my ultimate favorite restaurant is Senor Pan on the Northwest side of Chicago. It’s a Cuban Restaurant and I love both the food and the atmosphere in the restaurant.
Tell us about your next release.
My next release is “No Turning Back” which actually dropped on May 14th 2015. I really enjoyed writing this book because I was able to write about how Liliana takes charge of her life. I put a lot of emotion into this book, as well as throwing in quite a bit of twists which was a lot of fun. My mother read the book over first since she helps me with editing and she told me that she cried straight threw one of the chapters, so I’m excited to see what everyone thinks.
What are you passionate about these days?
Besides writing, I work at a 911 call center. I am very passionate about my job and take it very seriously. While it is stressful at times, it brings joy to my life in knowing that I am doing something that helps others. In light of everything going on with various police departments around the United States it has also been so helpful to me to see that there are so many police officers out there that care about what they are doing. I am able to take pride in what they do, as well in as what as I do to help them do their jobs.
What hobbies do you actively pursue?
Not really a hobby, but I also write a column for Reflejos Newspaper in the Chicago suburbs. It’s a bilingual newspaper that I enjoy writing for because it’s a media source that only focuses on the positive in the Latino community.
What is going on with your writing these days?
I’m currently writing a spin-off of Liliana, titled Esperanza. It’s going to be a very different kind of romance that will probably leave my readers mouths ajar.
What would we find under your bed?
Right now it’s actually very clean under my bed. I just moved my bedroom downstairs and all three of my boys upstairs to the larger bedroom in the house. They are excited because they have more space and really cool beds and I’m excited because there is now a door on my bedroom. Give me some time and I’ll acquire at least four shoes with no match in the deepest back corners under my bed.
Where do you research for your books?
Definitely the internet, because my books often take place in other countries, I research the food the terrain and often view pictures and watch videos from the country I’m writing about. Perhaps one day I’ll sell numerous copies and actually be able to afford a trip somewhere that one of my books are written.
Who are your books published with?
I’m published with Vanilla Heart Publishing. I’m really lucky because it’s a smaller company and I’ve been able to develop relationships with both the publisher and fellow writers.
Can you tell us where to find more information on you? Website? Blog?
Is there a place where readers can reach you?
On my blog, or any other social media site.
What was one of your greatest accomplishments?
Besides my children, my greatest accomplishment was completing my Master’s Degree from National University. Why? Because the encouragement I needed to get through it, wasn’t always there. I had to find the drive within myself. I thank God alone for being my rock and am grateful that with his help I was able to dig deep enough to pull it off.
Congrats on that achievement, Neva!
No Turning Back
PRINT EDITION on Amazon
SMASHWORDS for ALL Ereading Devices
including Nook, iPad, Kindle, and More!