So, I am both a traditionally and self-published Author. I write vampire romance and have dabbled in vampire erotica. Think I got a thing for vampires? I knew in high school that I wanted to write. I wrote for the school newspaper and yearbook. I constantly had one of those black and white composition books with me with a story I was working on. I was writing juvenile romance and was unhappy with it but didn’t know what to write about.
In waltzes my college freshman friend. He handed me a book, The Vampire Lestat by Anne Rice (someone I’d never heard of but once or twice). After reading the book, I knew I had to go with the vampires I had come to love over the years. In 7th grade, at a sleepover, the girls’ mom came in with the movie Lost Boys and this started my fascination and research involving vampires.
I also loved the research aspect! If my book is set in a place I’ve never been, I thoroughly research the area, sights, people, clothes, food, etc. in order to give my readers a better idea of life wherever I’m writing about. Plus, if a person from that location reads the book, they aren’t going to find discrepancies.
I was a background investigator for a while so I think that’s where my love of research came from. My hubby and I met online and don’t think for a minute that I didn’t run a background check on him the day after we met because I really liked him. Luckily, nothing came back on him but he did have four kids and I always swore I’d never date anyone with kids but I’d already fallen in love with him so…too late…lol!
In high school, I lived in Brasil (it’s how they spell it in Brasil) for six months as an exchange student and at sixteen, I was very young and impressionable. At home, in high school, I was a no body but in Brasil, I was what I considered to be famous. Everyone wanted a picture with me, to talk to me (in Portuguese because at the time, very few Brazilians spoke English…hence the reason I translated the book into Portuguese as well). In setting my books in Brasil, I can give the reader a better description of the area, people, food, activities, etc. which I find, when reading, very helpful. A few of my books are set in Brasil, along with my latest, Vampire of Brazil.
Every morning, the bread cart would come around and everyone would run there and buy their fresh bread for the day. My favorite was the bread with requiljao which is like a cream cheese but better and a little runnier than regular cream cheese. Sweets like Brigadeiro (mini chocolate truffles with chocolate sprinkles-my favorite) and Bolo de Coco (coconut cake) were my favorite. Every day, on my way home, I would stop at the newspaper stand and pick up a Diamonde Negro candy bar and it had become my favorite. The national pop was Guarana but every once and a while we would stop at a café and have cafezinhas which was really, really strong coffee. It came in mini tea cups so I had no room for cream or sugar. Typical dishes with the family I stayed with were Feijoada (rice and black beans-eaten several times a day), Arroz e faijao (a different spin on rice and beans) and my favorite was Maionaise (potato salad with veggies and spices).
Whenever we went walking down the beach, we always stopped at the hot dog truck and the coconut vendor. The coconut vendor would cut off the top of the coconut with a machete and stick a straw in the coconut and we would drink the fresh, all natural coconut water (this was LONG before it was so popular in the states).
Now, I’m married to a man who went to culinary school so I don’t have to do much cooking (good thing…lol). Our deal is whomever cooks, the other cleans. This leaves me time for writing. I get to, in each time I include Brasil in my stories, get to re-live my wonderful time there which I still hope to return to one day.
I absolutely, place people I know characteristics into my characters in my stories. I also do the horrible and kill off the people I gave those vary characteristics to because they start to remind me of that person and the horrible past. I usually look up the meanings of names and give those traits to my characters. It’s kinda my little inside joke with myself!
My latest vampire book was Vampire of Brazil (which is printed in English and Portuguese - I translated it). My very last book was a memoir about being Bipolar called Inside My Head. For my Brasil book, I even went about finding pictures to represent important aspects of the story. I used a real Brazilian and Rio de Janeiro cemetery in the background for the cover making it more authentic.
I loved the food of Brasil. My personal favorite was pizza because they made it with white sauce (another thing they were ahead of from the states), chicken, corn, etc. and it was amazing!!!! The brigadeiro was my favorite dessert where things could get a little deceiving. I thought I was going to eat a piece of cake with the frosting in the middle. When I got it in my mouth, it had been bread with tuna salad in the middle. Imagine my surprise?!
Well, it’s time for my sign off. Thanks for having me and indulging me in the long post!!
Thanks for stopping by to share your food for thought, Jodie!
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