Vida Blue is the recent novel by Susie Perez Fernandez, an author with a new career in romantic literature with a gripping story labeled a romantic thriller by some reviewers.
Unlike her other books, in Vida Blue love and passion are bound by action and adventure, a rare mix that keeps you wanting to know what is next in each riveting chapter. Each page is filled with suspense and excitement; its prose only accelerates the feeling of living an extraordinary adventure along with Ariadne, a strong woman who plays the starring role.
Vida Blue has been received positively by readers close to Perez Fernandez’s work, but also by critics who are approaching her books for the first time. In short, they have all agreed on its unpredictable plot, its intriguing characters, and its smooth narrative in tune with the fast-paced action, subtle sensuality and dangerous, intriguing, and exciting scenes play out like a movie. There is no doubt why Vida Blue has been highlighted as one of the best novels of its genre in 2020.
Perez Fernandez is a prolific writer who has recently gone from book format to launch her books to audio format. It is the first time she has heard her characters speak live, which contributes to the exciting atmosphere of the Italian coast, where Ariadne, in the first chapters begins her adventure. Hearing an audio book is, of course, a different experience than having the book in page format. For those who prefer to read, you can purchase Vida Blue in both formats.
It was a pleasure to meet Perez Fernandez, who has brought a new twist to romantic novels. Her novel Via Blue has caused huge excitement in the literature world, so it was nice to put some questions to her.
1. Hi, Susie Perez Fernandez, first, can you introduce yourself to our readers? Hello and thank you for the questions. It is my pleasure to tell you about Vida Blue and I hope what follows in the Q&A will inspire you to read it.
2. You have released a new book called Vida Blue, which is available on Amazon and all good bookstores, can you tell me more about the book? Vida Blue is a suspenseful blend of romance and adventure with vivid and exciting settings. This romance adventure sweeps readers across the globe with a narrative and plot that crosses borders nearly as much as the story itself steers up the heart rate. This is an action romance, something you don’t come across often enough in this genre, and the scheming that is drawn out in each chapter will leave you wanting more.
3. Your book is filled with danger, romance, and trauma, we don’t normally come across stories like that unless they are on the big screen, how did you come up with the storyline? I am an avid traveller and came up with the idea for the story while working as a destination wedding planner in Italy’s Amalfi Coast. It was here that the initial idea began for me to write about a love affair that would be any woman’s dream, but at what price? When I thought I knew what was going to happen in the writing process, the story line would take me in another direction. I love romance novels that have a gritty realism.
4. A lot of authors know what the ending will be when they start writing a book, is that the case with you or did you just let the storyline lead the way? I literally had no idea what the ending would be, of course, I wanted it to be gripping and more importantly, I wanted the reader to want more. For me, writing is like a journey, some of it has a road map and some of it is totally off course. Experimenting with a story is fascinating for a writer. I find that though I see the story play in my mind like a movie, I need to allow my characters to speak and show me how the story will develop.
5. Vida Blue has received many positive reviews, with one reviewer calling it an action romance, how do you feel about all the great reviews you have received? Extremely honoured and humbled by the experience. I wrote the book because I had something I wanted to say, and my wish was that everyone that read Vida Blue would find something they could use or experience from the story. I never write for reviews, but I must admit, they help an author stay relevant and for this reason, I appreciate and value each one.
6. Ariadne is a very strong character; did you base the character on anyone you know? Many people have asked if Ariadne is me, but I think every writer leaves a piece of themselves in every story they produce. All the experiences in life are like breadcrumbs that leave a trail. I like writing strong stories about woman, especially those that have a treasure trove of experience. Women in their forties, fifties and beyond. We have a lot to say, and we need to be heard.
7. Is Ariadne someone you would like in your life and does she have any of your attributes? I do not think I am like Ariadne; she is someone I strive to be, my Avatar, the good and the bad parts make her a wonderful protagonist. Perhaps she has my thirst for life and for learning about different cultures. She has a background from Spain as I do, she loves to travel… those are the things we have in common.
8. If you could describe your book in six words or less what would you say? A tapestry of love and adventure.
9. Since being released as a paperback you have now released it as an audio book, why did you decide to do it? Many of my readers asked me for an audio book. The story reads like a movie and when it is told to you in the brilliant voice of Melanie Carey, you fall in love with the prose immediately. Vida Blue is also available in a Spanish language format as a soft cover.
10. How did you find transforming the book into audio format and do you believe audio books are the future? Once Melanie recorded a chapter, I would review it carefully and give her my views of her voice. Not a completely easy process but if you know your characters, they translate well in the audio format. You will always have a group that says they love to read books, and I include myself in that group. You will have those that don’t have time to read and prefer to be read to. Are audio books the future? I think there is room for both book readers and audio format.
11. Your characters have distinct personalities, so how did you transfer that from a book into the audio version? I thought Melanie needed to see those characters like I see them, after all, they are like my children. I created them. I send her a short biography on each character and included pictures of how I felt they looked. This gave her a strong foundation for her voice and the intonation, pitch and timbre needed for each character.
12. You have been credited in writing your book in a style that makes the reader feel that are there in the story, was that intentional? Absolutely! I wrote Vida Blue like a movie with fascinating and enchanting characters, in locales that swept the world. I used Positano as the canvas and let my characters tell the story.
13. A lot of people having different styles when it comes to writing, some authors dress up as their main character, other authors like to write in a park. JK Rowling visited different Edinburgh cafés to write her first book, what is your technique when you write? I must have a face to build a character, for me, the research to find that face is of great importance. Once I have a face, I build their mini-bio’s with all their likes and dislikes, quirks, dreams and frustrations. I do not have a particular place that I love to write, my home is in front of the ocean and the sound of the waves helps me to concentrate.
14. You have self-published your book which many authors including some celebrity authors are now doing, was this a straight-forward decision for you? It was not an easy decision for me. Would I have preferred to have a mega book deal from a famous publisher, of course, who wouldn’t? I just felt that it was taking too long, and my story was ready to go. I hired a professional editor and book designer, and the process took about 3 years from start to finish. Using social media and building a professional web page has helped immensely.
15. They say everyone has one book in them, would you agree with that? I believe everyone has a story to tell. Believing that others want to hear your story is the clincher. You must believe your story is worth telling and then everyone else will listen to you.
16. You have gained a huge following, if someone asked you for advice on self-publishing a book what would you say to them? Promotion, promotion, promotion. They won’t come knocking on your door to buy your book, you have to get it out there to the public. Hire a good promoter or be your own best promoter. Use social media platforms, build an author’s webpage, and launch your book with small retail bookstores. Have your friends and family tell others about your book and never lose faith.
17. What can we expect next from you? I really wanted to write about how this pandemic has affected us. Within that story, making it into a romance is challenging but fascinating. I have several somethings brewing and I won’t stop until my stories are told. Thank you for reading Vida Blue.
For more information on the new audio book, please visit here