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Tannia Ortiz.Lopes Interview

Tell us a little about yourself
I was born in Guayama, Puerto Rico and currently live in Germany with my husband and my two sons. From 1988 until the year 2000 I participated in the following Spanish poetry anthologies published by “El Editor Interamericano” located in Buenos Aires , Argentina; “Americanto”(1988),
“Poetas Hispanoamericanos Contemporaneos” (1989),“Patria Plural”(1990),“América Poética” (1992), and “Expoesía 2000”(1996). These secular poems were published under the pen name of Thánatos Lopés. In 2004, I published my first free-style inspirational poetry book, The Window to my soul, My Walk with Jesus, with Tate Publishing under the pen name of Mary Magdalene. On March 2006, the book was voted “Best Poetry Book” by www.christianstoryteller.com. On May 2006, two local newspapers in Germany published one article each regarding my book. During 2006 I broke some grounds in Germany and had my book stocked for several months at Daub Buchhandlung, a local book store in the city of Menden , Germany . Mr. Wallentine was the first German’s book store owner who welcomed my English book. He took a chance considering the narrow market for unknown American writers in a small city in Germany . Nevertheless his risk was rewarded since the books sold very well there. Locally the book is currently available at FeG Iserlohn Evangelical Church in the city of Iserlohn , Germany .
From 2006 until present time, I have been blessed with the opportunity to publish my poetry and stories at “Storytime Tapestry Newsletter” and “Wt In Spirit” Christian magazines, both located in Canada .
In February 10, 2007 at 10:00 am EST I was interviewed by Denise Turner, host of the internet radio show, “Off the Shelf” at www.blakeradio.com. In March 10, 2007 at 6:00 pm CET (Central Europe Time) I was the guest writer at Jo Linsdell’s Chat Room at http://jo.linsdell.tripod.com. This chat room is located in Italy. During the chat I talked about my book and poetry in general. It was an hour full of fun and exchange of information.
For those of you interested in buying my book, it could be purchased directly from the publisher at www.tatepublishing.com and at all major online stores worldwide.
My webpage: www.myspace.com/tanniaortizlopes. My blog at www.amazon.com

When did you decide to become a writer?
Since my adolescent years I had a dream: “I want to be a writer.” I first started by writing verses for friends’ Valentines cards at school. Then my verses grew into poems. And finally my poems found rhythm and became songs! I also wrote some essays and adolescents short stories. Those stories helped me to cope with all my growing pains!
After graduating from high school, I went to study at the University of Puerto Rico , Ponce Campus. It was there, under the guidance of my Spanish professor, that I found my poetic voice. She also opened a door of opportunity for my young voice and poems by recommending me to the editor of “El Editor Interamericano.” I published with them from 1988 until the year 2000.
Most of my earliest writings had a secular theme. The evolution from secular writing into the inspirational genre emerged later on in my life. It all started on May 2003 with a change reaction of events totally out of my control and the beginning of a middle age identity crisis. I also had what I called “a prophetic dream” in which God called my attention and I listened attentively. This dream, in combination with these events, took me to a silent retreat during the Mother’s Day weekend. The result of that retreat was the beginning of my walk with Jesus and our writing partnership. These events brought me down to my knees and taught me to trust in God for all my needs. During my weekend of solitude, I learned to listen to God’s voice in the sound of silence. That silent retreat has been so far the best gift my husband has given me!

What was your first published work ?
I had my first publishing opportunity in 1988. I published my poems at “Ecos de Puerto Rico,” a local newspaper in Guayama, Puerto Rico , my hometown. These were secular poems. I published with them from 1988 until 1989.

What is your dream as a writer?
I dream of being famous and have enough money to do the things I want to do. I pray the message of my poems help others to have a deeper and personal relationship with Jesus. There are several charity organizations I would like to help with the profits of my book.

What writing avenues are you currently pursuing?
In addition to poetry, I also write songs and essays. The songs are both inspirational and secular, but not vulgar. I am currently writing some experimental children stories and a couple of fiction stories, too. I have not been fully successful with these two genres yet, but I won’t give up. I joined a critique group at www.writerschatroom.com and with their help I am slowly sharpening those skills! I am currently translating my book from English into German with the help of my German tutor and a German poet friend of mine. My most ambitious goal is to self-publish the Spanish version of my book before fall 2007.

Is there anything you wish you had been told earlier in your career?
Yes, how difficult it was to market my narrowed nich poetry. As a first published writer, I came full of dreams and false expectations. In a year or so, God opened my eyes and helped me to see more clearly how naïve I was! But little by little I learned to total surrender the marketing of my book to God and the results have been exceptional. No, I have not reached the Top 10 Books of the year, but I have not lost my faith that I will make it!

What advice can you offer writers just breaking into a serious writing career?
First of all, to be prepared to market their book alone and beyond their original expectations. I encourage them to pursue creative ways to market their book. I recommend them to join a good critique group and learn from other seasoned writers. Be open to positive criticism, as it will help them to grow both as writers and as human beings. It is very important to always carry your business cards with you. Opportunities might come knocking your door in the least expected ways and places. Don’t be shy to talk about your book to strangers, but don’t over do it. Be proud of your work. Don’t be discouraged by rejection letters. They are great learning tools. Read them carefully, improve your writing, and submit it again; remember you are not alone paddling that boat. So welcome aboard and cheers!

Anything else you want our readers to know?
I would like to invite your readers to come and join me LIVE on Monday, April 9, 2007 at 10:00 pm EST (Eastern Standard Time –USA) as I will be interviewed by Nicole Stevenson, host of “First Cut” internet radio show at www.artistfirst.com

3 comments:

  1. Nydia Laracuente is a reporter at "La Estrella de Puerto Rico", a local newspaper in Puerto Rico. Nydia was the first reporter who reviewed my book and interviewed me, too. What started as a professional contact on 2004 has developed into a friendship.

    Nydia's emailed the following comment and she authorized me to post it here.

    "I read the whole interview, and you know what, you make me decide finally to be a writer. I love to read. I have a lot of themes, real stories, fiction, and never do it. I will start today. God bless you.

    You are an example to pursue."

    ReplyDelete
  2. Tannia E. Ortiz-LopesApril 24, 2007 at 5:25 PM

    I enjoyed tremendously the interview with Jo Linsdell. I had my first chat room experience at Jo Linsdell's chat room. I was the guest in Saturday, March 10, 2007.

    I encourage other authors to contact Jo to be a guest at her chat room and to be interviewed soon.

    From Germany, may the peace of Christ be always with you,

    TANNIA

    ReplyDelete
  3. Tannia, has done it again. I love her work, her dedication to the family and of course, her awesome and positive attitude toward anything and everything. God bless and keep up the good work.
    Best regards,
    Hicham

    ReplyDelete

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