Blog: Birthing My First Novel

This has been quite a journey—or should I say, a long gestation period. I’ve been writing my first novel for five years, with several interruptions, of course,  such as selling a house in Portland, Oregon, buying a house in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, and moving to a new casa. There have been travels also, to France, Sweden and Turkey. All these have meant my writing practice has been irregular, to say the least, and has not  allowed for a smooth and speedy gestation for this “new one.”  I’m happy to say I’m on the eve of birthing Under the Salvadoran Sun. It should appear in the next three weeks!  I’m waiting breathlessly, as I huff and puff to get it out, hopefully in one piece with a healthy start!

"Comparte Tu Paz con Tu Hermano" by Fernando Llort

“Comparte Tu Paz con Tu Hermano” by Fernando Llort

There have been many developemental changes along the way. Who once said “Writing is rewriting?”  Was that Hemingway? This baby has had to undergo a lot while being hosted  by my pen. Even the characters have had name changes, when first readers complained there were too many names beginning with the letter “A”—I listened to them and changed some of the names. Other readers said “there’ s too many Spanish words.”  So I deleted some but kept, I hope, just enough to give the story its intentional Latin flavor. After all,most of it takes place in El Salvador, Central America. Naming this new one was the hardest; names were chosen and dropped until finally the right one just came to me one day in this last trimester. Of course, it’s a story that has heat running through it, in the form of a love affair between people, and between people and a place, El Salvador. Why not Under the Salvdoran Sun? The name was right!  

At last, I was ready to choose a comfy cover to wrap around the “new one.”  It was my good fortune to find Margot Boland, a wonderful book cover designer, and one of the many talented people I’ve had the privilege to meet in my new home, San Miguel de Allende. Margot had the skill and insight to quilt together a lovely cover for my new offspring. Thankfully, I received the permission to use several quotes from authors, whose works I admire, in this progeny of mine. They make great god parents.  Lastly, I’ve had to learn a lot about parenting a novel:  for instance, setting up a new web site where it could be easily pushed out into the world. Afterall, every good parent knows, it’s no good if you don’t encourage your children to go beyond the homefront, the writing desk and pen, and contribute to the minds and apetites of others for new literary delights. 

I’m looking forward to sharing my new creation with the literary community at the upcoming San Miguel de Allende Writers Conference. I hope many of you will join me there, where my book will be in the company of many other “children” of excellent authors.  I hope the novel will inspire thought, discussion and stimulate new ideas about a complex problem: immigration, one of the many key themes of the story. 

My novel will be available on Amazon, both as an ebook and a print-on-demand paperback. Aren’t you excited about seeing my beautiful cover grace your bedside table? I hope you enjoy the contents as much. Please take time to write a review on amazon or comment on my web page, hopefully you will find the product of this long gestation period worthy of your praise.  


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