When I finished reading Laura Resau's gorgeous novel, THE QUEEN OF WATER, I knew I wanted to interview her for our Sweet Six Interviews. This is a book that embodies the heart. Here's a bit more about it, but for the whole story, including interviews with Maria Virginia, visit Laura's website.
1) Tell us about your book!
The Queen of Water, which I co-authored with my good friend Maria Virginia Farinango, is the true story of her life as an indigenous girl in the Ecuadorian Andes. At about age seven, Virginia was taken from her impoverished home to become an unpaid servant (essentially a slave) for a wealthier family. For the next eight years, she struggled to hold on to her spunk and spirit, and eventually made a dramatic escape as a teen. Then, feeling caught between cultures, she had to figure out who she was and how to realize her dreams. I find her story eye-opening, inspiring, triumphant, and surprisingly funny.
2) What scene in your book do you LOVE the most?
There are so many! The cool thing about writing a true story is that the material is often wildly surprising— real-life stuff my mind wouldn’t have dreamt up on its own. I love the scenes that involve Virginia’s romantic crushes—one of whom was the TV star MacGyver, whose secret agent adventures inspired her own antics. Her other crush was her first love, a boy named Felix. It was really heart-warming to write about her falling head-over-heels in love, especially after the abuse and betrayals she’d experienced. During our interview stage, when Maria Virginia was telling me about these crushes, she became cute and girly and giddy, describing how her heart fluttered and whatnot. It was so sweet!
3) If you had to pick a character you LOVE (and not your own!), who would you pick and why?
Jerry Spinelli’s Stargirl is magnificent! I love how exuberantly non-conformist she is, with her ukelele and beloved pet rat, with her sense of wonder and humor and beauty.
4) What's the craziest/most memorable valentine you've ever received?
My mom always told me that Valentine’s day is a holiday invented by Hallmark to make money. Needless to say, it wasn’t a big holiday in our home. Now that I’m married and in my own home, my husband knows I’d be a little… put out… if he didn’t give me at least some flowers or chocolate. There’s been nothing memorable, unfortunately. And before him, I guess most of my boyfriends were slackers-- I can’t think of a single memorable Valentine! Thankfully, my husband has decades ahead to address this…
5) If you were a Brach's Heart, what phrase would be written on you?
Crazy 4 u! Or something involving craziness! Writing stories is all about channeling your craziness, I’ve realized-- using it to your advantage in a socially acceptable way. The last talk I did ended with me concluding, “Well, that’s it, guys! Hope you don’t think I’m completely nuts!” (Note to self: end next speech with more of a punch.)
6) The all-important choice: flowers or candy?
Funny you should ask. In my novel-in-progress, there are LOTS of flowers and LOTS of chocolate… but instead of Valentine’s associations, the connection is more with ancient Mayan culture and mythology. But back to your question. My preference is seasonal. I’ve been drinking copious quantities of hot chocolate lately—both for “book research” and because it’s wintertime. In the summer, I’m sure I’ll be sticking vases of fresh-cut flowers all over our house. For Valentine’s Day, I’ll take whatever comes my way…
Thanks for a fun interview!
Thank you, Laura! I was thrilled you agreed to share with us! ~ Jaye