JoeyPinkney.com Exclusive Interview
5 Minutes, 5 Questions With…
Eileen Clemens Granfors, author of The Pinata-Maker’s Daughter
Scholarly Carmen Gracia Principia has big dreams for herself. She does NOT want to spend her life as only The Pinata-Maker’s Daughter. She enters the University unprepared for social, racial, and economic differences.
Having two men who find her enticing is wonderful and confusing. One is a Hispanic radical. One is a frat-rat. And her roommate is not what she expected.
Carmen jumps into every part of University life despite her mother’s warnings. She has to learn what works for her. Some lessons are harder than others.
Joey Pinkney: Where did you get the inspiration to write “The Pinata-Maker’s Daughter”?
Eileen Clemens Granfors: “The Pinata-Maker’s Daughter” is part of The Marisol Trilogy. Reader response to Marisol’s story in “Some Rivers End on the Day of the Dead” inspired me to go back in time to look at her mentor’s college experience.
So Carmen, from “Some Rivers End…”, is the protagonist of “The Pinata-Maker’s Daughter”. The final book, “So You, Solimar” (Spring 2014) will feature Carmen’s daughter.
Carmen’s development from naive college freshman to the woman she is in “Some Rivers End on the Day of the Dead” is an inspiring story of youthful mistakes and choices.
JP: What sets “The Pinata-Maker’s Daughter” apart from other books in the same genre?
ECG: “The Pinata-Maker’s Daughter” is Women’s Fiction. It has a Hispanic protagonist, who lives in a white, rich world. Carmen learns as much from her white classmates about their culture as she teaches them about her own.
Despite the ethnic flair, the book is still a coming-of-age and self-identity book. As an author, I am always looking for stories of people whose background differs from my own.
Although I am not Hispanic, I grew up near the Mexican border where my classmates were dominantly Hispanic. My friends and family shared many cultural traditions with one another during holidays.
JP: As an author, what are the keys to your success that led to “The Pinata-Maker’s Daughter” getting out to the public?
ECG: I tweet. I blog. I friend. I will be using the local independent bookstore (Vroman’s Pasadena) for a reading. They help sponsor local indie artists.
I am in contact with my local, small-town paper and the city’s Book Fair. Since we plan to move to Missouri in the next five years, I am a member of several Missouri writing groups and share my work via email.
I also visit book clubs, in person if possible, and by Skype if it is too far to travel. Who wouldn’t have fun with a pinata-cake at their book club meeting?
JP: As an author, what is your writing process? How long did it take you to start and finish “The Pinata-Maker’s Daughter”?
ECG: I am a morning person. I take a morning walk with my dogs to think about scenes I am going to write. If I can’t make the scene work, I may write a poem or flash fiction until I can see my way through the maze created.
This book took me about a year to write. The first few drafts were fraught with egregious errors, and I am going back to my faithful copy editor for the final book.
JP: What’s next for Eileen Clemens Granfors?
ECG: “So You, Solimar” is the next book I want to finish. People are really anxious to see how the trilogy ends. By the way, even without that final book, The Marisol Trilogy is the #1 Hispanic Trilogy on Kindle. I love that!
When I finish this series, then I will have to make some choice of what direction I want to take my next book. I have written historical fiction (“Sydney’s Story, a prequel to A Tale of Two Cities”) and another women’s fiction title, “Stairs of Sand”.
This web site, Word Joy, features my reviews of the books I am reading. There are also tabs for each of my own books, with trailers.
http://facebook.com/ search: Eileen Clemens Granfors
“I started writing the day I retired from teaching when I joined UCLA’s Writers’ Program. The Writers’ Program made me more confident about trying a new genre (fiction). I found many kindred souls with whom I have kept in touch seven years. Writing has really opened up my life.” ~ Eileen Clemens Granfors