Readers often have a glamorous view of writers. They believe writers constantly travel the world to exotic places; live a life of adventure; are involved with beautiful and seductive women -- or, as the case may be, men; can taste the difference beween a Medoc and a St. Emilion -- and distinguish the vintage too; and that the act of writing comes effortlessly.
I know what you expect me to say right now, "No, it's not true." I'd be dishonest if I said that.
I've traveled to more than twenty-five countries; I've been married five times -- and if that's not adventuresome enough for you, consider this: I've ridden racing camels in the Arabian desert, competed in show jumping equestrian events, been in a street fight in Mexico, have seen a pack of wolves hunting in Alaska; and, on a given day, I can taste the difference between a Medoc and a St. Emilion and, often but not always, the vintage year.
However, there's one thing I can't do, no matter how hard I try: write effortlessly.
To me, writing is the hardest thing I've ever done. It takes me a long time to settle on an idea to write about; and it takes me even longer to plot the book -- yes, I'm a plotter not a pantser. But what takes me the longest is the act of writing the book itself. Everyday I give myself excuses not to write -- like I need to answer my emails, do my income tax, plan my next trip. On a good day, with a lot of luck and much self-persuasion, I might produce 2-3 pages of good writing. I don't feel too bad when I do that since my idol, Hemingway, was delighted when he wrote 400 words in a day. The problem is I don't do that often.
So a typical writing day for me is so painful I wouldn't wish it on anyone except on an unabashed, dyed-in-the-wool masochist. I'm not a masochist, mind you. I love life and its pleasures.
If you were sitting across from me right now, this would be your cue to ask, "Why do you do it then?"
I do it because I love to tinker with words. I do it because I delight in crafting thrillers and mainstream novels with subtle layers of understanding. I do it because I get a kick out of creating and developing unique characters. In short, I do it because the joy and feeling of accomplishment I derive from holding in my hands the completed manuscript is akin to that of a mother after giving birth to a baby.
And it's worth all the pain.
About the Author:
A member of MENSA, Pereda is the regional director of the Florida Writers Association and the co-founder of AWE (Asheville Writing Enthusiasts). He loves sports and has won many prizes competing in track and show-jumping equestrian events.
Pereda lives with his family in Asheville, North Carolina.
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This is the dilemma award-winning Miami Architect Cid Milan suddenly faces in this 90,000-word, mainstream novel. A Cuban immigrant forced to abandon his country as a teenager during the tumultuous Mariel boatlift of 1980, Cid is a self-made man who arrived in the United States with nothing. He’s an example of what can be accomplished in America through hard work and determination. He hobnobs with the Mayor, has a sexy model for his girlfriend, and is building the most luxurious condominium on Biscayne Bay. But when his dying father, Colonel Jose Milan, a well-known political dissident, confesses to him a shocking family secret from Cuba, Cid’s life implodes.
Colonel Milan reveals that in order to ensure Cid could leave Cuba unharmed, he collaborated with Castro’s police -- willfully betraying both Cid's best friend, Joaquin, and forsaking his pregnant girlfriend Sandra. Overnight, Cid’s world is turned upside down. Trying to unravel the mystery of his own past, Cid realizes there’s only one thing he can do: return to the land he abandoned. In his quest to learn the truth, Cid rediscovers himself and his roots as he reunites with Joaquin and searches frantically throughout Cuba for Sandra and the secret she has kept from him all these years: his son. In the process, Cid learns an invaluable lesson about love, forgiveness and redemption that changes his life forever.