About Selys Rivera:
Originally from Puerto Rico, Selys Rivera considers herself a God-loving and social justice obsessed chica. With an undergraduate degree in English Writing and a graduate degree in Social Work, she marries her two passions by writing to inspire others and voice issues she’s passionate about. One of her biggest hopes is to leave the world even just a little bit better than when she entered it.
She is currently the author of "Rise in Love: A Poetry Chapbook" and "Social Justice Advocacy 101: How to Become a Social Justice Advocate from A to Z". She is also a recipient of the Honorable Mention Award in the 2012 Boston Globe Scholastic Art & Writing Awards for her essay, "I Love You Infinity".
In her free time, you can find her reading any book she can get her hands on, staying up way too late coloring in her adult coloring book, and playing with her red Dachshund named Ketchup.
What inspires you to write?
When I decided to go into post-secondary education and the workforce, I noticed I had a choice. I could either do a job that forced me to write or one that inspired me to write. As I went into social work, you can imagine which one I picked!
What authors do you read when you aren’t writing?
This list is extensive, so I'll just name a few top ones: Jane Austen, Louisa May Alcott, Maya Angelou, Tyler Knott Gregson, Margaret Atwood, Esmeralda Santiago, Julia Alvarez, and Sandra Cisneros. Lately, I've been getting pretty into Becky Albertalli.
Tell us about your writing process.
My writing process is to just write whenever and wherever. The minute I have an idea, I write it down. It doesn't matter where I am. It could be on my laptop, tablet, phone, notebook, or random scraps of paper. It also doesn't matter what I'm doing. I could wake up in the middle of the night with an idea and I make sure I write it down. It doesn't always make sense in the morning, but the process is still the same!
Then, I go back and look through everything to try to organize it. I'm trying to get more organized from the beginning, like keeping all my writing ideas in the same notebook or computer folder. I just started trying out character sketches and I'm pretty excited about that!
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
I usually come up with a general plot outline for my stories, but I'm learning to let my characters grow on their own. I can have an entire plan for a character, but then as I write suddenly my character becomes more than I originally expected. Sometimes they even change the ending!
What advice would you give other writers?
I would say to write for the sake of writing itself. If you write while thinking about literary criticism, you’ll find yourself freezing up.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
My first book, "Social Justice Advocacy 101: How to Become a Social Justice Advocate from A to Z", was published by a small publishing company called HowExpert that's owned by Amazon. I chose a publisher for my first book because I wanted help getting out there.
My second book, "Rise in Love: A Poetry Chapbook", was self-published because I've always been curious about the process. I also researched and found that poetry chapbooks are commonly self-published because they're also just a way to get one's name out there as a poet.
The advice I'd give to new authors is to explore the purpose for being published. How big an audience do you want to reach? How much control over the marketing of your book do you want to have? Answering questions like these can help a new author pick the more appropriate path for their work.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
As an author, I've always said that I wanted to walk in a book store and find my book on the shelf. However, the older I've gotten, the more I realized that epublishing is the future. I still stand by that. I had to accept my first book might be an ebook.
As a reader though? As much as I love the feel of a book in my hands, ebooks do have their own appeal. Better for the environment. Available for purchase anywhere there is internet. Multiple books accessible in one ereader.
Overall, I do see the publishing world moving more and more towards fully digital, but I still think we're quite a ways away. In the meantime, physical books are here to stay!
What genres do you write?: Poetry, Progressive Christianity, Spiritual, Social Justice
What formats are your books in?: eBook
All information in this post is presented “as is” supplied by the author. We don’t edit to allow you the reader to hear the author in their own voice.