On TikTok Connections y Pelo Suelto
with Nancy Viera, author of The Grief and The Happiness & Silhouette
#NuevasPaginasconLupita is an expanded edition of the mini get-to-know the book and author interview series on Instagram aimed to "spotlight" Latinx authors with books out in 2021. The goal is to connect readers to new and/or old favorite Hispanic/Latinx/e authors and their books! So give this & every post a share to help us reach more readers!
How does it work?!
Here’s the deal, I came up with a set of casual/random/funny questions to ask each Latinx/e author I interview. For now, the questions will all be the same but maybe in the future I’ll launch this into more specific questions to the author or maybe I’ll turn this series into a mini-podcast or maybe……well, you get it! The possibilities are endless.
If you are new here don’t forget to check out all the other amazing interviews! We also have a really great line-up of guest authors coming up so make sure you don’t miss an interview by subscribing now!
Hey Heyyy Book Franz!
A few months ago I decided to stop making assumptions about TikTok and check out the community of readers aka BookTok for myself. I was surprised to find that I was extremely wrong about a lot of things related to BookTok - mainly that it would be difficult to engage in discussions about books with video time, caption, and comment character limits. I found that its actually not difficult at all because folks on TikTok have found creative ways to engage in bookish discussions and as I’m learning about these ways I’ve managed to connect to more readers, writers and authors!
Today’s special guest is a direct connection made via TikTok and it makes me so happy to share this authors work with you because if it weren’t for Tiktok - I might have missed out on knowing about her books and that’s the magic of social media bookish communities - we find a way to build our own communities so we don’t miss out <3
Could you tell me a bit about where this photo was taken? Is it special to your book in some way?
For this picture I was getting ready for my virtual book launch and I felt a bit nervous so I posed in front of my camera to hype myself up. I felt so overcome with joy at the fact that I was hosting a book launch that my smile came so naturally, something that doesn’t happen often with selfies.
Tell me about your book without telling me about your book - share any literary inspirations behind your book! If there are none, the gap you wanted to fill in the literary canon with your book.
Both my books are very unique in their own way. In my memoir I tell my story of resilience and bravery in motherhood and other experiences. However, in Silhouette I embody many people in my poems. I felt the characters flow through my words. They are micro stories of racism, immigration, and self-love. I want readers to find pieces of themselves or people they know in my poems, and in that way find inspiration to always come back to their selves. The poems were inspired by my love for reading and finding pieces of myself in many characters out in the literary world.
What are two central themes in your book that you connect with the most and why?
Throughout the book, it’s easy to see how each character abandons their character, or are abandoned sometimes for the sake of love or their love for their dreams. You’ll experience them come back to reality, or their tragic demise. Love and death is very tied to my poetry.
If a book was home, where would your home be?
It would be a medium size cottage in my hometown. Preferably atop one of the meadows overlooking the town. Far enough from everyone but close enough for me to visit and attend parties. A creek surrounded by trees would float by providing me and my small garden water. The wraparound porch would be filled with pots of flowers and various types of chairs to sit and lounge. Inside the house would have a wood stove but also a gas stove. The kitchen would smell of coffee and freshly baked bread. And, everywhere you looked, small and big stacks of books to pick from. There would be a room repurposed as a library with a desk for me to write overlooking the creek as the sun sets.
If your book was a famous musician who would it be?
Gloria Trevi all the way. Picture the big, untamed hair and the loudness of her voice when she would belt out Pelo Suelto. That is how I see my book, loud, unapologetic and authentically herself.
What comfort food could a reader pair with your book?
A slice of toasted bread with melted brie and a smidge of strawberry jam along with a glass of white wine.
In what ways has access (or little to no access) to Hispanic/Latinx/e literature defined you as a writer?
The one thing that bothers me the most about bookstores and libraries is how small the Spanish section is. I am grateful to speak two languages but I think of when I want my Mom to read books and how limited the selection is. This is why I translate my books into Spanish right away. I want to one day see the multi-language section have more selection.
Where can readers keep up with your work?
A huge thank you to Nancy Viera for taking the time to chat with me about her work! Please please make sure you purchase a copy (or request your local library carry a copy) of her book #SupportLatinxLit!
Synopsis for Silhouette from Indie Bound website:
Silhouette is the narrative of the heart of humanity. It captures tales of love lost, and labour gained. In its lyrical prose and empathetic poetry, Nancy Viera is many people. She is the lover who has left her heart in another country. She is the mountain, where flowers grow, freeze, die, but find a way to bloom again. She is the smell of a grandmother's cottage, the pain of a childhood memory, the brush of a curl that can't fit into straight lines. She is the rough hands of a mother, the fire of romance lost in a dream, the silhouette of tiny jars that catch our feelings when "we sin, we love, we move on."
Beautifully crafted, each poem is delivered with rawness and grace.
Synopsis for The Grief and The Happiness:
In this memoir, Nancy Viera tells her story of resilience, healing, and moving forward with grief in one hand, and happiness in the other. Her son’s father passed away unexpectedly in 2016. He was 33 years old and had been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, and depression years before that, as a result of four years in a war zone. At the time of his death their son, James was six years old, and Nancy was the one to break his heart with the news. It shattered her to see his pain. In losing Jim, Nancy finds healing and learns how to parent through grief interwoven with happiness.
Bio for Nancy Viera:
Nancy Viera is the author of The Grief and The Happiness. Nancy is from Denver, Colorado where she lives with her son James and dog Troy. She’s lived in Mexico and Colorado for most of her life and spends her time reading, singing and dancing in her living room, hiking, and traveling.
Friendly reminder that the best ways you can support Latinx/e authors and Latinx/e literature is by doing the following:
Leave a review for their books on any website that sells books
Request that your local library carry a copy
Purchase a copy of a friend, family member, your nemesis (hey! I’m sure they read too).
Shout about the book on any social media platform or to your friends and family!
Share this interview widely! Word of mouth does wonders for connecting readers to books.