Interview with Betty Viamontes

What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
Writing became my refuge when I was a child and was a constant in my life since then. In 1980, when I emigrated to the United States at age fifteen, I had to place my passion on hold. I did not know English and learning it and getting used to my new country became an imperative. After completing graduate studies, I decided to begin to write again. I wrote in the evenings and worked in Accounting and Finance during the day. My mother's diagnosis with cancer around 2001 created a race against time to document her story. She passed away in 2011, and I stopped writing for several months. She had left me journals she wrote about events that she did not have time to share, but I could not read them because it was emotionally draining. Finally, I armed myself with the courage to do it and in 2015, I published a book based on her story. My first book, "Waiting on Zapote Street" is in many ways a collaboration with my mother and a gift to future generations. Writing for me is as essential as breathing.
What do your fans mean to you?
They are extremely important, not only because they validate an author's work, but because their comments can be a form of inspiration to the author and to others. Writing requires tremendous commitment. One has to search deep into the soul to provide readers with a rewarding, transformative experience. When a fan provides feedback to an author about how he or she was transformed by the author's work, it can be as rewarding as writing itself.
What are you working on next?
I am working on an anthology of short stories and poems about characters from Zapote Street (the street where the family in my first book, "Waiting on Zapote Street," lived).
Who is your favorite author?
Gabriel Garcia Marquez
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
Life itself. Being alive, going to work, having a family, traveling, making a difference in someone's life, it all inspires me.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
Learning new things, traveling, working, helping others. I am very energetic and love to make a difference.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
I was a child in Cuba, about six or seven, and wrote about a prince and a princess (in Spanish). It was not a big deal, but I had friends at school who liked to read what I wrote and that inspired me to write every night.
How do you approach cover design?
In the case of my first book, my mother had left me a briefcase that contained a small Cuban flag and stamps from the letters my mother sent to my father during the years they spent apart, some dating back to 1967. I wanted the cover to have meaning. I selected three stamps from her collection, placed them on top of the flag and took a picture. My mother's stamps have a very special meaning to me and placing them on the cover allowed me to pay tribute to her in a unique manner.
What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
Word-of-mouth, especially my coworkers, family, extended family, and social media.
Describe your desk
I prefer to write when I am sitting on the sofa. I have a desk but do not use it often.
Where did you grow up?
I grew up in Havana, Cuba.
Published 2015-07-23.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

La Danza de la Rosa
Price: $5.99 USD. Words: 60,810. Language: Spanish. Published: May 13, 2017. Categories: Fiction » Inspirational, Fiction » Literature » Literary
La danza de la rosa es una novela apasionante, donde la autora, Betty Viamontes, recrea los momentos que atraviesa una familia cubana, desde la fractura de un matrimonio que se ve obligado a soportar doce años de separación –el esposo en Estados Unidos y la esposa con tres hijos pequeños en Cuba– sosteniendo la ilusión del reencuentro frente a continuas adversidades. Esta obra, continuidad de Espe
The Dance of the Rose
Price: $5.99 USD. Words: 61,080. Language: English. Published: April 9, 2017. Categories: Fiction » Inspirational
From the author of the highly-rated novel "Waiting on Zapote Street." Rio and Laura reunite in the United States after being kept apart for almost twelve years. Rio now has two teenage daughters and an eleven-year-old boy he hardly knows. How to start again, as if the years had not passed? Would Rio's past continue to haunt him and his family?
Candela's Secrets and Other Havana Stories
Price: $5.99 USD. Words: 35,100. Language: English. Published: July 29, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Anthologies » Short stories - single author
From the author of the highly rated "Waiting on Zapote Street," a novel selected by a United Nations book club for its February 2016 reading, a new book, an anthology that will keep readers glued to every page. "Candela's Secrets and Other Havana Stories" will take readers to the streets of Havana through lively and engaging stories. Do not miss this wonderful collection.
Esperando en la Calle Zapote: Amor y Pérdida en la Cuba de Castro
Price: $5.99 USD. Words: 77,810. Language: Spanish. Published: July 27, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Historical » General
Basada en hechos de la vida real, "Esperando en la calle Zapote" es una historia de amor y de la lucha de una madre cubana para lograr la libertad y reunificación de su familia. Cuando Laura se despidió de su esposo en el Aeropuerto Internacional José Martí en la Habana nunca imaginó el tiempo que pasaría antes de que lo volviera a ver.
Waiting on Zapote Street: Love and Loss in Castro's Cuba
Price: $5.99 USD. Words: 74,340. Language: English. Published: July 22, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Historical » General
Winner of the Latino Books Into Movies Award “From its opening shocks of loss and separation to its thrilling and emotional conclusion, Waiting on Zapote Street gives us a front-row experience of a Cuban family’s hardship, love, and enduring love.” John Henry Fleming, author and University of South Florida Creative Writing professor.