The first thing you notice about Elena Martina’s facebook page https://www.facebook.com/author.elenamartina#!/author.elenamartina is her enthusiasm. She offers cheery chats and helps to other writers. Not surprisingly her column is titled, Happy Living One Day at a Time. As Elena was born in Peru, South America Spanish was her first language. She came to the USA to attend A.P.S.U. and graduated with a degree in Psychology. She did further study at Duke University and just stayed.Elena Martina published her first book in April 2012. When asked why she chose to write she said that writing “chose me”.
She was not born with the passion to write. She said “It just happened”. One morning she read the editorial in the local newspaper which reported on the number of Hispanics living in her home county. She was stunned at the high number. The article went on to say that there was nothing for native Spanish speakers to read in their first language. She could not rest. She became a path finder. She made it a cause to write for native Spanish speakers through that newspaper. It took three months for her to convince the paper to print her first bilingual column. That was in Dec, 1998. Elena became their only bilingual columnist. She received feedback from the Spanish speakers from various countries thanking her and congratulating her for on bi-lingual column.
Elena’s husband was supportive of her writing endeavors but he joked that she might not be capable of producing a weekly column. She did, and not only that her column was bought by eight other newspapers within a year. That was her introduction to writing.
Elena believes that every writer needs support. While writers do propel themselves to write they need social and familial support. Elena monitors her “writing energy”. When it drops to “low” she attends writer meetings, or discusses her projects with her loved ones.
From newspaper columns Elena has recently launched her first published book. On New Year’s Eve she dared herself to write it in 2010. It was a stretch for her because although her husband reads fiction, she does not. She dared herself to write fiction because she wanted to enter her husband’s psychological mindset. She did not find the task easy to complete. She says that “Fiction is hard for me, I can’t make up stuff easily. It is either factual or it is not”. It was a huge challenge for her, but she met it.
Elena says that her characters are totally fictional although they are flavored with a few hints of herself, her family and her former surroundings. Elena said that her characters are not real to her, although the situations they face are. One example she offered is that many societies still follow the arranged marriages model as part of their culture.
Her novel tells the story of two families. They have arranged the marriage of their children. The reader has a ringside seat to the run up to the marriage and the outcome. The girl is compliant and accepts the idea of an arranged marriage. But the groom has a secret. He is presently involved with someone else. He does not want to marry a woman his parents have chosen for him. The story involves romance, deceit, violence, and murder.
Elena says that writing impacts her life on a daily basis. She is either writing a blog, a poem, a quote or working on her second novel. She says, “I write all of the time now. My children are grown and away from home, but when I was a columnist, they witnessed my writing work. My kids are proud of me and remember things from years ago. They are very impressed I wrote a book!”
Elena has spoken to many “would be writers” (aspiring authors). She says most get stuck in writing, their fears overtake their writing, they are busy with their lives. She says that even though many write they may never achieve their goals of publishing a book. Something always holds them back. Her encouragement to those writers is “Just Do It!” She hopes it helps. It’s an individual thing.
Elena Martina, author of Clinging To Deceit, 2012.
Follow Gael on facebook https://www.facebook.com/GaelMcCarte.author.speaker