Daily Archives: March 16, 2012
Please welcome today’s guest author David Pereda to the blog. David’s books have a strong connection to Cuba, and he’s here today to talk about his personal connection to Cuba as well as explain how his Cuba connection plays out in his books.
Please make David feel welcome by leaving a question or comment for him in the comments section following this post. It is not necessary to register or log in to leave a comment.
Hope you enjoy today’s conversation with David Pereda.
About David Pereda:
David Pereda is an award-winning author who enjoys crafting political thrillers and mainstream novels. His books have won the Lighthouse Book Awards twice, the Royal Palm Awards, the National Indie Excellence Awards, and the Readers Favorite Awards. He has traveled extensively around the world and speaks several languages. Before devoting his time solely to writing and teaching college-level courses, Pereda had a rich and successful international consulting career with global giant Booz Allen Hamilton, where he worked with the governments of Mexico, Venezuela, Peru, and Qatar, among others.
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.
Please visit him at…
ISBN: However Long the Night
978-1-61572-599-1 Print Book
The Cuba Connection in my Work
by David Pereda
People often ask me, “Why do I write so much about Cuba?” “Is it a place that intrigues you?” “Do you have a business connection?” “Do you have a personal nexus, perhaps a wife or a girlfriend from Cuba?” “Have you ever visited Cuba?” “What is it about Cuba that stimulates you to write all these books with a Cuban background?” “What inspires you the most to write about Cuba?”
The answer is simple — and it’s personal, not business. I’m Cuban.
Most people don’t know this, so this is news for your readers. As far as I know, this is the first time it has been published anywhere: English is my second language.
Much like Cid Milan, the main character in my book However long the Night, I arrived in the United States — Tampa, Florida — when I was nineteen years old. Like Cid, I left a girlfriend behind named Sonia. Unlike the Sandra in my book, Sonia was blonde and blue-eyed and, hopefully, not pregnant since I never saw her again. Like the Sandra in my book, Sonia was the child of Spaniards, as I am.
I’ve been to most of the Cuban places I describe in However Long the Night and my other books with a Cuban theme. In fact, I’ve been to most of the places I describe in any of my books, whether Cuba, Mexico, Italy, Paris or Dubai. I’ve been to more than twenty-five countries and have lived in five — Brazil, Venezuela, Mexico, Cuba and the United States.
However Long the Night has several fictionalized, thinly-autobiographical passages of Havana and Tampa and Mexico. I’ve been to all those places. And the love scene between Sandra and Cid as teenagers in Santa Maria del Mar Beach in Cuba is, well, a poignant memory of my life.
That’s why I write about Cuba. I was born there. I left my childhood sweetheart there. My grandparents on my mother’s side are buried there.
Writers should write about things they know about.
I know about Cuba.
An Excerpt From
However Long The Night:
Cid’s mother leaned on the rail next to him. She wrapped an arm around his waist and hugged him tenderly. “How are you doing, Son?”
Cid looked into her soft brown eyes. “Fine, Mama.”
“I know you. You’re not fine at all. You always try to be so tough, but you’re not. Manny is like your father. They see life one way, like bulls. You’re like me. We feel every little emotion, because we care. So I know you’re not fine. You’re hurt.”
His eyes filled with tears. “She doesn’t love me, Mama. She didn’t come.”
“Maybe she had a reason for not coming, Son.”
“No, Mama. I tried talking to her for days, and she disappeared on me. It was as if she was angry about something. It was her way of breaking up with me.”
“Give her a chance. Call her from Tampa and listen to her explanation. You can always send for her. Maybe even come to get her.”
“I will, Mama. But deep down I know she doesn’t love me anymore.”
“Why do you say that?”
“I remembered something she said to me once. She told me, looking at me with those beautiful hazel eyes of hers, ‘Cid, the day you don’t love me anymore, don’t tell me. I don’t want to be hurt. Just go away and disappear. I’ll understand.’” A tear rolled down Cid’s cheek, and he wiped it away with the back of his hand. “And that’s what Sandra did, Mama, you see? She disappeared.”
They watched the Cuban coast in silence, gold and green and blue. A cool breeze replaced the strong wharf odor with the briny smell of the open sea.
After a while, Cid noticed his mother was crying. “What’s wrong?”
“Don’t mind me. Just an old lady’s tears.” Her gaze was fixed on the receding coastline. “She’s beautiful, isn’t she?”
“I’ll miss her.”