author, The Secret Life of Daydreams
Give us a bit of your background (where are you from, your family, traveling adventures)
I’m from Portugal, born and raised, and I’ve been in the US for almost 20 years. When I lived at home, I had the chance to visit Spain and England.
Say your publisher has offered to fly you anywhere in the world to do research on an upcoming book, where would you most likely want to go?
Hands down, that would be Italy. I’d love to spend 6 months there.
What is your favorite genre to write?
Romance, of course.
What is your favorite genre to read?
Also, romance. All types of romance.
What got you started on your writing journey?
I’m the ultimate writer cliché. I knew I wanted to be a writer when I was in first grade. I wrote a lot of poetry when I was in high school and university but it wasn’t until a few years ago that I finally started writing fiction. My fascination with words and books has never ended.
Why do you choose to write clean/sweet romance?
I chose to write clean romance because I wanted to be able to hand my book over to my daughter (or anyone else I know) and not worry about the content being appropriate, or having to make excuses for it. There’s so much more to a relationship than sex and I wanted my stories to explore everything that plays into the lives of two people when they’re thrown into each other’s lives, and how they deal with their attraction for the other when their circumstances are not ideal.
What other things do you have planned with your writing for the rest of the year?
I’m now working on Simon and Isabel’s story, which I’m hoping to see published later this year. Simon is a professor who comes to the university in Braga to teach literature. He’s a quiet, introverted guy and likes books more than people. Isabel is a personal chef and housekeeper who has recently lost the grandmother who raised her. She’s hurting and she hides that pain. They couldn’t be more different from each other and I just love how they discover how perfect they are for one another.
How much of your personality and life experiences are in your writing?
I try not to add too much of my personality consciously. I want my characters to be have their own and for it to be clear to the reader. Life experiences are different in that I think they’re helpful for my writing. The more things I go through, the more I know how they feel. And when I know how they feel, then I can use that as a basis for my characters’ feelings.
Where do your ideas come from?
My story ideas usually start with the male character. The more I find about who he is and what he does, the story starts to develop. The female main character comes along soon after. When I start having little snippets of dialogue and scenes playing in my head, then I take notes about them and little details emerge about the conflicts between them, their fears and their dreams. It’s a part of the process that I really enjoy.
If you could sum your main character into five words, what would they be? How about three words for each character?
Josh is talented, honest, and confident. Sofia is dedicated, modest, and loyal. But they are also both stubborn and insecure.
What are your hero and heroine of the story like?
Josh thinks he has his life where he wants it. He has a successful photography business and the freedom to travel where he wants. Then he arrives in Braga, Portugal, for an assignment and things change when he meets Sofia at his friend’s apartment. His old insecurities come back and that upsets his plans. Sofia is ready to start a new stage in her life but she’s very busy working as a teacher and caring for a mother with declining mental health. When she meets Josh, that careful balance is upended and she fights the attraction for him. I think deep down they are both scared because they get that glimpse of how happy they could be with the other one and they’re not ready to face those changes.