Hello and welcome to my blog, Author Interviews. My name is Fiona Mcvie.
Let’s get you introduced to everyone, shall we? Tell us your name. What is your age?
Beverly Gandara – over 50
Fiona: Where are you from?
Fiona: A little about your self (ie, your education, family life, etc.).
I attended Brooklyn College and Marymount Manhattan College before I began my screenwriting studies at the Gotham Writers Workshop. I am happily married and reside in the southeast.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news.
My novel Concrete Wingsearned;
2017 Literary Classics Seal of Approval with a recommendation for home and school libraries.
2017 Reader’s Favourite Five Star Seal
2017 New York Book Festival’s Honourable Mention
2018 Florida Book Festival’s Honourable Mention
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
I began writing after I retired. I am fascinated with people’s lives and adventures. I listen to life experiences, create stories and enjoy sharing them.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
When I completed my first screenplay and received good feedback from someone in the industry.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
Concrete Wingswas initially written as a screenplay. Two producers suggested it would make a fine novel and the story would be easier to sell to Hollywood as a book. I accepted the challenge.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
I considered the behaviour of the main character and the character who influenced him the most. One was like concrete – unmovable, and rigid in his thinking while the other wanted to fly, explore and grow.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style?
I avoid flashbacks and tell my stories sequentially in biographical form, although they are fictionalized.
Is there anything about your style or genre that you find particularly challenging?
Writing in general is challenging. Having the discipline to craft the story in its most simple but dignified style takes time. I write in differentgenres so I am not committed to anything but a good story whether it is a family drama, historical fiction, suspense thriller or comedy.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic and are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
My novel Concrete Wingsis inspiredby my husband’s quest for freedom, his experience as a young teen sent out of Cuba on the eve of the Bay of Pigs Invasion to retrieve smuggled family jewels and his coming of age story in New York at the height of the sexual revolution.
Fiona: To craft your works, do you have to travel? Before or during the process?
Up to this point, I have not had the need to travel for any of my projects, except in the creative realm of my imagination.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
The cover for Concrete Wingsdepicts a dramatic painting by Artist, Brian Boner. My husband Armand and our colleague Bruce Feigenbaum designed the front and back covers.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
The quest for freedom is a worthy one and success is not always measured by what one becomes, but often by what one overcomes.
Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest? Who is your favorite writer, and what is it about their work that really strikes you?
I have no favourites but admire and respect all writers who have the courage to dig deep into their own soul to craft a story that informs, educates and entertains.
Fiona: Outside of family members, name one entity that supported your commitment to become a published author.
Colleagues in the industry who understood my journey and respected my work.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
The amount of time, energy and commitment given to the process of writing determines whether it is a career, a hobby or a fleeting idea. For me it is a career, albeit one that came late in life.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
Not at all. I am on my way to completing my next novel and will apply the same energy and commitment to making it as interesting and memorable as my earlier novel.
Fiona: Did you learn anything during the writing of your recent book?
Never stop striving for excellence.
Fiona: If your book was made into a film, who would you like to play the lead?
Fiona: Any advice for other writers?
Learn your craft and listen to your gut. Courtesy counts when networking and never give up. I add that there is no expiration date on dreams.
Fiona: Anything specific you want to tell your readers?
Simply, thank you for your support.
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
Only cookbooks as I am in the midst of completing my second novel, Soaring in Silence, based on a screenplay I co-wrote with Jack Knight titled Unprotected Witness, a thriller and relocating to another state.
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
It was an elementary school readerFun with Dick and Jane.
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
Funny visuals, clever dialogue make me laugh and smile. Loss of any kind makes me cry.
Fiona: Is there one person, past or present, you would love to meet?
He died too young and I never got to know him as an adult.
Fiona: Do you have any hobbies?
I dabble in art, love to cook and solve puzzles.
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
British mysteries, intelligent comedy, nature documentaries and film noir.
Fiona: Favorite foods, colors, music?
Simple foods, soft colours, classical music.
Fiona: Imagine a future where you no longer write. What would you do?
Observe, learn and enjoy.
Fiona: You only have 24 hours to live how would you spend that time?
Hugging my husband.
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone?
I’ll leave that to my husband.
Fiona: Do you have a blog or website readers can visit for updates, events and special offers?
Please visit www.bevgandara.com
A New York native, Bev Gandara attended Brooklyn College and Marymount College before beginning her screenwriting studies at the Gotham Writers Workshop.
Her first screenplay Concrete Wings has been converted to a full length novel now available in soft cover, Kindle and audiobook at Amazon and other fine retailers. Concrete Wings is about Julian, a naive teen sent out of Cuba on the eve of the Bay Of Pigs Invasion to retrieve smuggled family jewels. Coming of age in New York at the height of the sexual revolution, he earns his political and economic freedom. By a twist of fate, he begins to lose his liberty when his oppressive parents arrive and refuse to assimilate into American Society.
Concrete Wings received:
2018 Florida Book Festival’s Honorable Mention in the General Fiction Category
2017 Literary Classic’s Seal of Approval
2017 New York Book Festival’s Honorable Mention in the General Fiction Category
2017 The Reader’s Favorite Five Star Seal
Bev is working on her second novel, Soaring In Silence inspired by Unprotected Witness, a screenplay co-written with Jack Knight, veteran actor of stage, screen and television. Soaring In Silence is about a young recently handicapped married woman who by her own resourcefulness and the wonders of the Internet, overcomes her struggle against the unwanted sexual advances of a dangerous retiree with a buried criminal past.
Bev’s comedy screenplay Rent Money garnered her the Golden Palm Award for Best Screenplay at the 2012 Beverly Hills International Film Festival. Rent Money is about a an independent virgin bookkeeper working for two sexually active men in the Radio and TV Barter business in Manhattan in 1965 who is focused on two goals. 1. remain independent and pay her own rent. 2. experience womanhood with a handsome neighbor. Stymied by society’s changing rules during the sexual revolution, with courage and dignity, she reaches at least one of her goals successfully.
Her other screenplays, a mix of family dramas, dramas and thrillers are all contest placed.
Many of Bev’s stories are inspired by and or/based on true stories. Her heroic characters understand that success isn’t always measured by what one becomes but often by what one overcomes
She resides in the southeast with her husband, Armand whose experiences inspired Concrete Wings.
For more information about Bev, visit her website at www.bevgandara.com or IMDb Pro at www.imdb.me/bevgandara.
Armen Pogharian said:
Congratulations on quite a haul of awards and recognition. Best of luck to you for many more.
Bev Gandara said:
Thank you, Armen: Your kind words are appreciated.