|Ingrid Rojas Contreras and me at Rakestraw Books in Danville, California.|
First time novelist, Ingrid Rojas Contreras was on hand at Rakestraw Books at 7pm to read from her new novel, Fruit of the Drunken Tree and answer questions from audience members.
There was quite a nice turn out for this event as roughly 27 audience members came to hear Ingrid Rojas Contreras speak at Rakestraw Books. Ingrid Rojas Contreras was a wonderful and engaging speaker! I feel like this particular author event/book signing was one of the best author events/book signings I've attended this year. I enjoyed learning about the author's life and how she came to write Fruit of the Drunken Tree.
We learned that Ingrid Rojas Contreras is originally from Bogata, Colombia and came to the USA in 2002. She mentioned that it took her 7 years to write Fruit of the Drunken Tree, which is a novel she finished writing in 2008 and then spent time editing before it was published.
Ingrid Rojas Contreras mentioned she likes writing first thing in the morning. She also gave two really great writing tips to those aspiring to write a book. The first tip was to open a dictionary and randomly choosing a word and then write a short story around that particular word. This works like a quick writing prompt to help you start writing more. Ms. Rojas Contreras also suggested joining a writing group to help gain feedback from other writers on what you write.
Fruit of the Drunken Tree is a work of fiction and inspired by the author's life. The following is a summary from Amazon:
Seven-year-old Chula and her older sister Cassandra enjoy carefree lives thanks to their gated community in Bogotá, but the threat of kidnappings, car bombs, and assassinations hover just outside the neighborhood walls, where the godlike drug lord Pablo Escobar continues to elude authorities and capture the attention of the nation.
When their mother hires Petrona, a live-in-maid from the city's guerrilla-occupied slum, Chula makes it her mission to understand Petrona's mysterious ways. But Petrona's unusual behavior belies more than shyness. She is a young woman crumbling under the burden of providing for her family as the rip tide of first love pulls her in the opposite direction. As both girls' families scramble to maintain stability amidst the rapidly escalating conflict, Petrona and Chula find themselves entangled in a web of secrecy that will force them both to choose between sacrifice and betrayal.
Inspired by the author's own life, and told through the alternating perspectives of the willful Chula and the achingly hopeful Petrona, Fruit of the Drunken Tree contrasts two very different, but inextricably linked coming-of-age stories. In lush prose, Rojas Contreras has written a powerful testament to the impossible choices women are often forced to make in the face of violence and the unexpected connections that can blossom out of desperation.Here's an NPR interview with Ingrid Rojas Contreras. It is an awesome interview that gives more background about the author's life and her new novel.
Have you attended any author events and book signings lately?