- “Lloviendo Estrellas” (Raining Stars) by Cristian Castro (another things-are-rocky song)
LET'S WELCOME PRISCILLA OLIVERAS AUTHOR OF: HIS PERFECT PARTNER
LET’S WELCOME PRISCILLA OLIVERAS
Rad-Reader: Was your inspiration behind this story Thomas and Yazmine story or Yazmine’s Family’s story.
Priscilla: Really, it was Yaz who popped up in my imagination first. As I got to know her better, the type of hero I’d need—one who would challenge her and help her character arc—started to form, and in walked Tomás. Also along the way, Yaz’s sisters and her father started to come together as I learned more about her familia.
Rad-Reader: Were you a dancer or dance mom, because you had the dance studio and dance moms down to a tee? As a dad take my daughter to dance it brought back memories.
Priscilla: A little bit of both. I was on the dance team in high school, but as a mom of three daughters, I spent a lot of time in dance school waiting rooms or in the wings volunteering for theatre productions. That’s probably where the dancer, Broadway performer aspect of Yazmine’s character came from.
Rad-Reader: I thought it was a nice touch of adding the Spanish, was that planned or did it just happen when you were writing the story?
Priscilla: I made a conscious decision to start writing with and about Latinx characters for several reasons. As a Latina, I recognized the scarcity of Latinx characters on the covers and as the main characters on the pages of the romance novels I read. I write about the world in which I live and that world is full of diversity. In my house and when I’m spending time with my Latina friends, Spanglish (a mix of Spanish and English) is common. Adding Spanish phrases to HIS PERFECT PARTNER and the other books in the series seemed natural because that’s how I envision the characters speaking with each other.
For me, the bottom line is to be true to my cultural heritage and most importantly to be true to my characters. Someday I may write about a Latina who doesn’t speak the language because I know plenty who don’t. It’s all about being authentic to my characters.
Rad-Reader: Did you base Yazmine on anyone you know or was she just your creation?
Priscilla: Not someone specific or in particular. Really, she’s more a figment of my imagination meshed a little with my personal experience and love for performing. The actress whose image I pictured came along after I had already been thinking about Yazmine and her personality, background, etc.
Rad-Reader: The traditions that Yazmine family celebrated the holidays’ reminded me of my wife’s Hispanic grandmother’s house. Were those things you planned on putting in the book from the beginning or did they just seem right when you were writing?
Priscilla: The traditions Yaz and her familia celebrate are similar to ones I celebrate with my familia. I didn’t specifically plan to highlight those celebrations in the course of the story, rather, it was more like as the story came together, celebrating those traditions was natural to my characters.
Rad-Reader: You had Stephen going on dates did you ever think about having Yazmine going on dates as well?
Priscilla: No, because her focus wasn’t on finding romance, but on taking care of Papi and getting back to NYC.
Rad-Reader: Was this a story you had wanted to write for a long time?
Priscilla: Well, it’s probably more like I worked on it for a long time because HIS PERFECT PARTNER was actually my thesis manuscript during my MFA program at Seton Hill University. It became a labor of love, with me wanting to do Yaz and Tomás and their love story justice. That’s really how it is with all my characters—I feel the pressure to do a good job for them.
Rad-Reader: When you are writing does it make it easier to write when you use things you know or experience?
Priscilla: The easy answer is to say yes. J But actually, it’s fun to research and learn about something, someplace, some idea or topic that’s new.
Rad-Reader: Did you want this book to be a story of father-daughter or just turned out that way?
Priscilla: In the Latino culture, familia is important. So, it was only natural that Papi plays a big role in this book. And while he’s not physically present in the follow-up books, he still has a presence.
Rad-Reader: Did you know when you were writing the scene of Yasmine’s father that he would be giving the girls the letters?
Priscilla: Yes. I wanted his love and his…I guess his essence, you might say…to live on. The letters he gives his girls show up in the next books. They’re symbols of his love and how much he positively affects the sisters.
Rad-Reader: I noticed in the front of the book that this is your first book, was it a long process for you from start to finish?
Priscilla: (see answer above about my MFA thesis)
Rad-Reader: Were you able to pick the cover or was that done by other people?
Priscilla: Kensington Publishing (my publisher) has a fantastic Art Department that handles the covers. I send them information about the characters and the story itself, and then the Art Department does their magic. They’ve done a fabulous job with all my covers; I’ve been really blessed.
Rad-Reader: Did you have friends and family read your rough drafts first or just a couple of close friends?
Priscilla: When I started HIS PERFECT PARTNER, I worked with critique partners in my MFA program. After graduation, I signed with my agent, Rebecca Strauss. She and I went through two rounds of revisions on the manuscript before it was sent out to publishers. Once Kensington bought the manuscript, my editor, Martin Biro, and I went through one round of revisions as well as copy edits.
With my subsequent novels, HER PERFECT AFFAIR and THEIR PERFECT MELODY, as well as the Christmas novella I just finished, HOLIDAY HOME RUN, my sister and my mom have been my beta readers. J
Rad-Reader: Have you always wanted to write a book?
Priscilla: I’ve been thinking about writing since high school when one of my English teachers first broached the topic. My undergrad degree is in English, and I’ve been typing away at one manuscript or another for the last two decades, in between raising kids, earning a couple more degrees and taking care of other family responsibilities.
Rad-Reader: Was there anything special you did the day your book came out to celebrate being published?
Priscilla: Oh yes! HIS PERFECT PARTNER and I, along with my mom, took a tour of my hometown. I shared pics of all the stops on my author Facebook page and on my website. HPP even went to the gym with me to work out. J That evening, two other author friends who were also debuting (Sara Portman & Liana De la Rosa) joined me in co-hosting our Red Carpet Debut party on Facebook. We had a great time with lots of support from other author friends who stopped by the party to celebrate with us. Liana and Sara write Regency romance novels I definitely recommend!
Rad-Reader: If your book was made into a movie who would you want to play…
Yazmine: Denise Quinones
Stephen: Amaury Nolasco
Priscilla: Your suggestions are close, but these are the actors I had in mind while writing HIS PERFECT PARTNER.
Yazmine: ROSELYN SÁNCHEZ
TOMÁS: GALEN GERING
Rad-Reader: What song best describes your couple or your book as a whole?
“Corazon Espinado – Santana”
The book as a whole.
“Start of Something Good – Daughtry”
Song for Stephen and Yaz
“Sin Salsa No Hay Paraiso – De Puerto Rico
Father’s Bands traditional song.
Priscilla: I actually created a soundtrack for the novel. It’s comprised of the songs that inspired me while I was writing HIS PERFECT PARTNER.
Here’s a link to the Kensington Tumbler with the blog post featuring all the songs:
“Abrazame” (Embrace Me) by Alejandro Fernandez
“Labios Compartido” (Shared Lips) by Maná (a break-up, romance on the skids song)
“Te Amaré Por Siempre” (I Will Always Love You) by Marc Anthony
“Hasta Que Me Olivides” (Until You Forget Me) by Luis Miguel (This man could sing me the phone book and I’d be okay with it.)
“Te Extraño” (I Miss You) by Luis Miguel (another breakup song; hey, it’s a romance, there has to be conflict)
“Contigo a la Distancia” (With You in the Distance) by Luis Miguel (Are you sensing a trend here with Luis Mi songs? Yes, he’s that good!)
“Stand By Me” by Prince Royce (love this old American standard as a sexy bachata)
“La Barca” (The Boat) by Luis Miguel (the All is Lost moment)
And finally… this is the let-the-emotions-consume-you song that absolutely speaks to me when it comes to Yaz and Tomás and their love story:
“Amarte es un Placer” (Loving You is a Pleasure) by…you guessed it…Luis Miguel!
Priscilla: In HIS PERFECT PARTNER, Papi has a strong relationship with each of the girls. But, I’d probably say I lean more toward Rosa’s (the middle sister & the heroine in HER PERFECT AFFAIR) sentiments in that she’s the most “mothering” of the three and tries her best to take care of Papi now that the sisters’ mother has passed away. I have a super close relationship with my dad, who I must admit is the model for Papi in my series.
Rad-Reader: What is your favorite food?
Rad-Reader: Which is your favorite holiday and why?
Priscilla: I love all types of celebrations, but my favorite holiday is probably Christmas. My girls and I have several holiday traditions that we’ve continued over the years, even though they’re grown now—making gingerbread houses, new Christmas pjs, reading ‘Twas the Night before Christmas out loud together while gathered around the tree. The Christmas memories we share and the new memories we continue to create together are true blessings to me.
Rad-Reader: What is your next project and when is it due out?
Priscilla: Right now I’m finishing revisions for HOLIDAY HOME RUN. It’s a Christmas novella that will be included in the Fern Michaels 2018 holiday anthology titled SEASON TO CELEBRATE. That book releases late October 2018. I’m also awaiting revision notes on book 3 in my MATCHED TO PERFECTION series. This is Lilí’s story and it’ll release late November 2018.
Rad-Reader: Where can our readers buy your books?
Priscilla: HIS PERFECT PARTNER is available at bookstores, in print and e-copy. Here are a couple links where you can find it.
Rad-Reader: Where can our readers find you on the Web?
Priscilla: I’m on several social media outlets, so feel free to follow me on whichever ones you prefer.
Fiction From the Heart (Facebook author & readers): http://bit.ly/FictionFromTheHeart
4Chicas Chat: http://bit.ly/4ChicasChat
We would like to thank you so much for being with us and for taking the time out of your busy schedule writing. I know how hard that can be to get that momentum back. Just know we always have our Shout Out: An Author’s Place Page open to you when you want to promote your next book. Because you just couldn’t run fast enough so therefore, you are now a 1 Rad-Read Misfit too.
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