Saturday, November 17th, 2007

BOOKS BEHIND BARS

It’s called The Big Read and it’s sponsored by the NEA. Basically, it’s a program that promotes more reading in America. I’m all for it, and I’ve been selected to spearhead the “prison pilot.” Usually, The Big Read takes place in libraries all over the country — this is the first attempt to reach out to incarcerated youth. For me it’s an honor and an adventure. This is a real prison, with cells, guards and guns! We start with London’s Call of the Wild, move on to Baldwin’s Sonny’s Blues and eventually tackle such literary staples as Lee’s To Kill A Mockingbird and Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451. All this in 13 once-a-weeks visits. A vast majority of the boys, or “wards” as we are required to call them, don’t like to read, and they particularly don’t like to read assigned books. The few who do, lean towards crime fiction (although one did fess up to liking Jackie Collins, which, though not necessarily a crime, is a guilty pleasure). The first session, 12 wards showed up, cranky but curious. Second session, only 2. Next week we intend to bribe, er, encourage their attendance with snacks. I have placed an order for potato chips, candy bars, cookies, and juice boxes. Food for thought?

Tuesday, October 16th, 2007

UCLA

Novel Writing I: Writing the First Novel
Instructor: Eduardo Santiago

October 2 – December 4, 2007.

That novel is inside you waiting to emerge, but deciding where and how to begin and the demands of writing the manuscript may seem daunting. It need not be. Weekly assignments, group interaction, and instructor feedback help you explore various methods of writing your first novel while learning the key craft points of plot, structure, point-of-view, sense of place, and voice. The goal is to complete the first chapter of your novel by establishing an intimacy with your characters as you artfully shape their journey, and to develop an overall concept to guide you through your story.

Wednesday, October 3rd, 2007

UNDER THE BRIDGE

Here’s a special treat – my long awaited San Pedro debut! And what a treat it is as I will be sharing the spotlight with two very dear friends, Rosa Lowinger, whose book Tropicana Nights blew me away last year, and Reyna Grande, author of Across A Hundred Mountains. Doesn’t she have the best name ever? I’ve considering changing my name to Grandy Gordo. Or Jimmy Changa. Or Nacho Mama. Ok, gotta stop. See you under the bridge!
Saturday, October 6, 2007

5pm

Under the Bridge Bookstore & Gallery
358 West 6th St
San Pedro, California 90731.
310-519-8871

Monday, September 24th, 2007

School of the Holy Child – Rye, New York

This all-girl catholic school chose my book to read over the summer, and have invited me to lecture to the students on Thursday, September 27th. Very cool since I attended a catholic school a long long time ago. No, it was not an all-girl school. This one sounds great, read on:

Since its founding, School of the Holy Child has provided generations of young women with a strong liberal arts education rooted in Catholic values and based on the trust and reverence for the dignity and uniqueness of each person. Originally named St. Walburga’s academy in memory of Reverend Mother Mary Walburga White, SHCJ the first Provincial of the American Province of the Society of the Holy Child Jesus, the school opened its doors in a small house on West 141st Street in New York City. Under the leadership of First Perfect Mother St. Ignatius, ten sisters and 14 students began classes on October 17, 1904.

1904! According to my friend George Snyder is the year everything important happened.

Thursday, September 20th, 2007

WEST HOLLYWOOD BOOK FAIR 2007

I will be moderating the panel
AT LAST: FIRST FICTION

Please join me and a wonderful group of recently published novelists: Jennifer Kaufman and Karen Mack (they wrote as one), Alex Espinoza, Jeff Hobbs, and Andrea Portes. I have read all of their books and can’t wait to meet them (Jennifer and Karen I’ve met before at the SBCA Awards..the night they won best fiction – not bad for a first novel – but it really is a wonderful book, I read it in one night over to morning – I haven’t done that since Once Is Not Enough in 1975).
This really is a top-notch group of emerging talent. DON’T MISS IT!!!

Tuesday, June 12th, 2007

Mami, Interrupted

Shortly before my mother died, I was moved to write this piece. It was such a crazy time, I’m amazed I had the clarity to write anything at all. The good people at Slow Trains immediately agreed to publish it.

Excerpt:

“This is not material,” I tell myself as I lean in to kiss her. “This is your mother.” But it is material. Like the brainwashed assassin who can’t help but kill, I have been trained to write.

Maria Moreno de Santiago 1937 – 2007.

Tuesday, June 12th, 2007

AROUND THE WORLD

A WRITER ABROAD…it’s every writer’s dream to get away from it all, explore new horizons, meet all sorts of different people from all walks of life. Sometimes dreams come true. It took me three months to travel around the world, but a simple click will get you there…onetwothree!

Sunday, December 31st, 2006

#1

Thanks to friends and fans, Tomorrow They Will Kiss tops the bestseller list for the year 2006 at Skylight Books.

Monday, December 18th, 2006

The Caribbean Writer: Short Story

The Smile of the Crocodile

They finally found Chucho, in Coral Gables, decomposing in his car. Neighbors first noticed birds, graceful white vultures circling above their houses, silent as spirits, against the powder-blue Miami sky…

Monday, December 18th, 2006

Best of 2006

Denver’s Rocky Mountain News names Tomorrow They Will Kiss among top ten overlooked gems.