What's Fresh with Caridad Ferrer's It's Not About The Accent
Hello Caridad, good to have you back to chat. Please tell us about your latest novel, It's Not About The Accent.
Caridad: IT’S NOT ABOUT THE ACCENT, from MTV Books and was just released on August 21, 2007.
Sporting a new name and an exotic new Latina flair, she's ready for her college debut. But is the luscious Carolina really better than plain-Jane Caroline?
Sick and tired of her life in small town Ohio—completely boring with a side of dull—college-bound Caroline Darcy is determined to start fresh . . . as a new person. And that means following in the footsteps of her late Nana Ellie—her witty and vibrant Cuban great-grandmother with the glamorous, well-traveled past. Donning a seriously caliente new wardrobe and a vivacious personality to match, she becomes Carolina, a half-Cuban aspiring actress, ready for adventure.
Once at school, everything goes according to plan. Putting her primo acting skills to use, she flirts up Erik, a smooth-talking frat guy with gorgeous baby blues who can't get enough of her "exotic" charm. The only guy who doesn't seem impressed by her Latina façade is Peter, a quiet, sweet Cuban guy from Miami. But when "Carolina" gets in over her head and finds herself in a dangerous situation, it's Peter who comes to her rescue—and leads her on a real adventure to discover the truth about Nana Ellie and her family. It turns out that being boring old Caroline is way more exciting than she ever could have imagined….
Sounds awesome! Could you share a bit about the main character of your book and what makes her unique?
Caridad: Well, the main character is Caroline Darcy and part of what makes her so unique, at least the way I see it, is what she perceives as her ordinariness. She feels that she has to completely transform herself in order to stand out and for her, the best way to do that is to take on the persona of the one person in her world she saw as unique and different. A good deal of her journey lies in discovering her own gifts and uniqueness.
How did the idea for this novel come about?
Caridad: I needed to come up with a concept for a second novel and I’ve always been fascinated by how in this country, so many young women (with ethnic backgrounds in particular) go to such great lengths to change their appearance— changing their hair color, their eye color. I thought it might be fun to take that premise and turn it on its ear a bit, with a very white-bread character trying to make herself more “exotic.”
What do you hope readers will gain from reading this novel?
Caridad: Without sounding too preachy, I hope that readers will gain a greater understanding on how surface impressions are but a fraction of what makes us individual.
Thanks for sharing, Caridad. Best of luck with It's Not About The Accent. Would you like to close with a novel you highly recommend and why?
Caridad: Wow--so many great books to choose from--lately, I’ve been revisiting one of my longtime favorites, HEARTBREAK HOTEL by Anne Rivers Siddons. It captures such a unique moment in time--both for the character and for the time period during which the story is set, but at the same time, it’s an incredibly timeless story. I first discovered it my sophomore year of high school and I can’t tell you how many copies I’ve worn through since then. Completely fabulous story!
Caridad Ferrer is a first generation, bilingual Cuban-American, born in Manhattan and raised in Miami. Her debut novel, Adiós to My Old Life (MTV Books), was named Latinidad’s Top Teen Read for 2006 as well as winning the Romance Writers of America's 2007 RITA® for Best Contemporary Single Title Romance. Writing as Barbara Ferrer she has also contributed to the anthology, Fifteen Candles: 15 Tales of Taffeta, Hairspray, Drunk Uncles, and Other Quinceañera Stories (Harper Collins/Rayo). Find her on the web at CaridadFerrer.com and BarbaraFerrer.com.