Tuesday, September 27, 2022

Lighting the Way

It's time to start building up your library for those cold winter months ahead--getting those books for you to read by a cozy fireplace or by the window as the snow comes down outside. Today's guest in My Writing Corner, Annette Montez Kolda brings us a special tale of love and courage with her new book, Bring the Light.

Annette earned a B.S. in Communication and an M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Texas. She continues to develop her writing and is currently halfway through UCLA’s Creative Writing Certificate. Kolda has spent most of her career teaching middle school English. She has also worked for the Catholic Church’s Ministry to the Disabled and has traveled throughout Mexico. Bring the Light is the second in a series of Sister Bridget crime-fighting novels.  Let's learn more about Annette.

What do you enjoy about being an author?

I enjoy the creative process of making a story happen that didn’t exist before. A story that is meaningful to me and hopefully to readers. 

What do you find is the most challenging part of being an author?

The most challenging part of being an author is focusing my attention fully on my writing each day.

How do you develop characters?

I develop comprehensive characters by making an inventory of their history, their personality, their likes and dislikes, their physical characteristics, their previous interactions with the main character, and sometimes write a background scene that is somehow informative to the plot but not included in the book.    

How do you come up with your plots?

I am very much of a “pantzer” rather than a plotter. I come up with a general idea - for example, my current WIP is a mystery. It’s a murder that cuts very close to Sister Bridget’s heart, and shocks and disrupts her entire close-knit community. I know who done it, of course. The rest of the mystery is created as I write though.  

Tell us about your road to publication.

My road to publication began with online writing classes from UCLA Extension. One of my first professors made the comment, “Write the book you’d like to read.” He said think about a story that’s always interested you or a character that you’ve always kind of held dear somewhere in your heart or mind. So, I started with a character: a sleuth named Sister Bridget.  

What is your latest book and how did you come up with the idea to write it?

Bring the Light is my second Sister Bridget book. I came up with the idea for this book by considering what would be a circumstance in which Sister Bridget would find herself that would be fun, interesting, and unusual for her. The answer: a baby comes into Sister Bridget’s life. 

Let's get a blurb:

Sister Bridget Ann Rinc√≥n-Keller is known as the crime-fighting nun of East Austin's Latino Community. But her heartstrings may be pulled beyond their limit when she finds a newborn by the statue of the Virgin Mary. The baby’s mother is an undocumented, teenage immigrant. ICE separates the girl from her baby, and Sister Bridget tries to reunite them. But little does she know, there are five other girls, victims of Mexico's kidnapping epidemic, who also need her help. Sister Bridget puts her life on the line. Can she rescue the girls…and herself…from the clutches of evil?

Tag Line:  Sometimes, you have to pursue your own justice 

Sounds intriguing. How about an excerpt?

"Who the hell are you?" El Gigante shouted, towering over Sister Bridget. “How’d you get in here?” 

El Gigante embodied the DNA of the previous century's roaming Karankawa people, between six and seven feet tall. Though thick and bloated by debauchery, he exhibited the sculpted face, sharp cheekbones, and deeply ruddy skin tone of his ancestors. 

        He reeked of body odor and stale alcohol.

Devil, we meet, Sister Bridget thought. She stood steadfast, bat in hand, determined to hold her ground. Jesus gave his disciples power to cast out demons, but she didn’t have that kind of confidence. 

Nevertheless, emboldened by the Holy Spirit, Sister Bridget said, “Alejandro, I know your childhood was difficult. The horrible things that happened to you were not fair. Those abuses were not your fault, but these girls are innocent. It’s not too late to repent and turn your life around.” 

        El Gigante threw the girls to the ground. He smirked, and relished bringing his big boot down, crushing Araceli's leg. The girl screamed and sobbed. Her friend scrambled to her side. The giant then turned to Sister Bridget, laughing, taking pleasure in his cruelty. 

    "I have come to get these girls. Give them to me without any trouble,” she shouted. She imagined Jesus’ disciples standing with her, shouting with her.

            El Gigante stepped in front of the girls, blocking them.  

            Sister Bridget shouted, "God, forgive me," as she ran at the giant with the bat, swinging with all her strength.

What’s your next project?

My third and possibly final Sister Bridget book is a mystery in which Sister Bridget’s neighbor and dear friend is murdered.

What advice do you have for beginning writers?

To beginning writers, I advise taking a class and learning the basics of a story: genre, theme, plot, character, setting, arc, pacing, dialog, opening lines, etc. Once a writer understands the building blocks of a story, it is then a matter of constructing the book. 

Great advice!

Here are the buy links and the social media contact information for  Annette.

Buy Links:

Amazon: https://a.co/d/22KnUA9

Barnes & Nobel: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/bring-the-light-annette-montez-kolda/1141688127

Social Media:

Facebook: Annette Montez Kolda Author

Instagram: annettemontezkolda

Twitter : @MontezKolda

Website : annettemontezkolda.com

Thank you for being my guest today. Any comments or questions for Annette?

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