Betty Viamontes

Biography

Betty Viamontes was born in Havana, Cuba. In 1980, at age fifteen, she and her family arrived to the United States on a shrimp boat to reunite with her father after twelve years of separation. "Waiting on Zapote Street," based on her family's story, is her first novel. She is currently working on an anthology of short stories, all of which take place on Zapote Street and include some of the characters of her first novel. Betty Viamontes lives in Florida with her family and pursued graduate studies at the University of South Florida.

Smashwords Interview

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.
Read more of this interview.

Videos

Waiting on Zapote Street Video
Waiting on Zapote Street Video which includes family pictures

Books

The Pedro Pan Girls: Seeking Closure
Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 44,320. Language: English. Published: November 30, 2020. Categories: Fiction » Historical » General, Fiction » Inspirational
From the author of the award-winning "Waiting on Zapote Street" comes another story that will pull at the reader's heart strings. In 1961, Olivia and Clarisa become part of an exodus that brings over 14,000 unaccompanied Cuban children to the United States: Operation Pedro Pan. What should have been a short separation from their parents will mark the transformation of their lives.
Bajo las Palmas: Sobreviviendo en los campos de trabajos de Cuba
Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 41,380. Language: Spanish. Published: September 6, 2020. Categories: Fiction » Cultural & ethnic themes » Hispanic & Latino, Fiction » Women's fiction » General
Bajo las palmas, escrita por la autora de la galardonada novela Esperando en la calle Zapote, describe a los lectores una historia basada en hechos reales. En la Cuba de los años 60, se frena la vida de una joven de clase media cuando es víctima de lo que rápidamente se convertiría en huracán del dogma idealista y de la política mundial.
Under the Palm Trees: Surviving Labor Camps in Cuba
Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 41,410. Language: English. Published: August 5, 2020. Categories: Fiction » Literary collections » Caribbean & Latin American, Fiction » Literary collections » Diaries & Journals
From the author of the award-winning "Waiting on Zapote Street" comes a story based on true events. In 1960's central Cuba, a young middle-class woman’s life is interrupted as she finds herself a victim in what will quickly become a hurricane of world politics and idealistic dogma.
Como Buscar Agua en el Desierto - Historias Inspiradoras de Cuatro Mujeres
Price: $5.99 USD. Words: 72,850. Language: Spanish. Published: July 16, 2020. Categories: Nonfiction » Biography » Physicians & medical professionals, Nonfiction » Biography » Autobiographies & Memoirs
Estas son las historias de cuatro mujeres con raíces Latinas y sus diferentes caminos vividos. Sus verdaderas historias, secretos y luchas son únicas. Cada una debe sobrepasar su papel de hija y enfrentarse a una vida empañada por desafíos.  
La Niña de Arroyo Blanco
Price: $5.99 USD. Words: 54,540. Language: Spanish. Published: May 17, 2020. Categories: Nonfiction » History » Caribbean & West Indies / Cuba, Nonfiction » Biography » Literary biography
Por la autora de la novela Esperando en la calle Zapote, ganadora del premio Latino Books Into Movies. Es esta una historia épica, basada en hechos reales, que transporta a los lectores a la provincia de Camagüey, en el corazón de Cuba. La trama se desarrolla durante el año 1955, cuando germinaba la semilla de la revolución de Fidel Castro.
Los Secretos de Candela y Otros Cuentos de la Habana
Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 36,860. Language: English. Published: April 12, 2020. Categories: Fiction » Cultural & ethnic themes » Hispanic & Latino
"Las narraciones de Betty Viamontes son como el arca de Noé. Recogen todos los «especímenes» para conservar a la posterioridad, el perfil de un pueblo lanzado a un destino incierto." Autora del premiado libro Esperando en la calle Zapote: Amor y pérdida en la Cuba de Castro. Una antología que lleva a los lectores a diferentes
Like Finding Water in the Desert: Inspiring Stories of Four Women
Price: $5.99 USD. Words: 69,440. Language: English. Published: April 11, 2020. Categories: Nonfiction » Biography » Woman biographies, Nonfiction » Biography » Autobiographies & Memoirs
Betty Viamontes, Anna Brubaker, Susana Mueller, Jean Morciglio, coauthors. These are the stories of four women with Latin roots and their different journeys, true stories, secrets, and struggles. This anthology reflects recent history and the way the world has changed. Their stories show what it means to survive with Latin roots, a challenge almost as hard as finding water in a desert.
The Girl from White Creek
Price: $5.99 USD. Words: 53,200. Language: English. Published: March 21, 2020. Categories: Nonfiction » History » Caribbean & West Indies / Cuba
From the award-winning author of "Waiting on Zapote Street," winner of the Latino Books Into Movies award. This epic tale, based on true events, transports readers to the province of Camagüey, in the Cuban heartland. In 1955, the seeds of Castro's revolution will lead a small town’s inhabitants to witness a radical change to their customs and their way of life.
Havana: A Son's Journey Home
Price: $5.99 USD. Words: 54,710. Language: English. Published: January 22, 2020. Categories: Fiction » Cultural & ethnic themes » Hispanic & Latino
By the author of the award-winning book “Waiting on Zapote Street.” In 1968, a day before his sixteenth birthday, Rodolfo Hernandez’s mother forces him to leave Cuba alone to protect him from Castro’s regime. But nothing could prepare him for his encounter with his uncle Arturo in Miami.
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.