Caridad Ferrer is a first generation, bilingual Cuban-American, whose young adult debut, Adiós to My Old Life won the Romance Writers of America’s 2007 RITA® for Best Contemporary Single Title Romance as well as being named to the 2009 Popular Paperbacks for Young Adults list, awarded by the ALA. Her second novel, It’s Not About the Accent was released in 2007 with Publisher’s Weekly stating, “…this twisting book amply rewards readers.”
She has also contributed to the anthology, Fifteen Candles: 15 Tales of Taffeta, Hairspray, Drunk Uncles, and Other Quinceañera Stories. Her newest young adult novel, When the Stars Go Blue, is a contemporary retelling of Bizet’s Carmen, and will be released by Thomas Dunne Books in November 2010. Booklist calls it, “Beautifully written, with contemporary characters and an engaging story line.”
A dancer driven to succeed.
A musical prodigy attempting to escape his past.
The summer they share.
And the moment it all goes wrong.
Dance is Soledad Reyes’s life. About to graduate from Miami’s Biscayne High School for the Performing Arts, she plans on spending her last summer at home teaching in a dance studio, saving money, and eventually auditioning for dance companies. That is, until fate intervenes in the form of fellow student Jonathan Crandall who has what sounds like an outrageous proposition: Forget teaching. Why not spend the summer performing in the intense environment of the competitive drum and bugle corps? The corps is going to be performing Carmen, and the opportunity to portray the character of the sultry gypsy proves too tempting for Soledad to pass up, as well as the opportunity to spend more time with Jonathan, who intrigues her in a way no boy ever has before.
But in an uncanny echo of the story they perform every evening, an unexpected competitor for Soledad's affections appears: Taz, a member of an all-star Spanish soccer team. One explosive encounter later Soledad finds not only her relationship with Jonathan threatened, but her entire future as a professional dancer.
Have you ever (done something your main character does in your book)?
For three years, I was a member of the Florida Wave Drum & Bugle corps, plus I spent an additional nine years in high school and college marching band, so I know the marching world VERY well.
If you could hang out with any literary character, who would you choose and why?
Sebastian St. Cyr, from C.S. Harris' Regency mystery series. He's a fascinating character in that he's well-read, interested in the arts, very independent, intellectual, and curious, yet very tough, having served as an Intelligence Officer in the British Army. He just strikes me such a multi-faceted character with so many stories to tell.
Have you ever had your numbers done? Did they reveal anything about you?
I have and found it fascinating, because it really pinpoints all of the contradictions in my personality-- the combination of cool and analytical with painfully shy and sensitive was especially interesting, since so many personality profiles or horoscopes don't tend to allow for both aspects.
Do you have any special writing rituals or totems to connect with your muse?
I have to have music-- I create soundtracks for each of my books, sometimes multiple soundtracks, and in creating them, it's as if I'm creating the world I'm going to be inhabiting for the foreseeable future.
What songs would make the playlist for WHEN THE STARS GO BLUE?
Well, the song from which I took the title, of course, WHEN THE STARS GO BLUE, the gorgeous Ryan Adams composition, but as performed by The Coors with Bono. Other songs (among many, many, MANY):
Dreaming With a Broken Heart- John Mayer
Gravity- Sara Bareilles
Since I've Been Loving You- Corinne Bailey Rae
Little Wing- The Corrs feat. Ronny Wood
My Heart Was Home Again- Josh Groban
A Beautiful Mess- Jason Mraz
If WHEN THE STARS GO BLUE were made into a movie, who would you like to see in the role of Soledad? Jonathan and Taz?
Well, for Soledad, I can easily see Naya Rivera who plays Santana on GLEE in the role of Soledad. I think she could portray the right combination of strength and vulnerability. Jonathan is really tough to cast, because it has to be someone who's physically very attractive, almost pretty-- sensitive, yet can turn on a dime, emotion-wise. I've loved Jackson Rathbone ever since I saw him in an episode of Criminal Minds, and he's certainly very pretty, but he's not quite as physically imposing as I see Jonathan in my mind's eye. Taz is maybe the easiest for me, in that I think Spanish actor Javier Beltrán would be absolutely perfect.
What kind of chocolate best describes you?
Dark, dark chocolate with an intense flavor yet is extremely rich and smooth. Boy that makes me sound egotistical, doesn't it? But it's more that really dark chocolate of that nature is not for everyone and I've come to the conclusion that's how I am. People either like me or they don't and that's okay. There are all kinds of chocolate for all kinds of palates. :)
The Freebie: To be entered to win a signed copy of WHEN THE STARS GO BLUE, leave a comment below, telling us - Have you ever seen Carmen performed? What did you think? OR Who is your favorite Drum/Bugle Corps and/or marching band?
(I'll go first - I have seen Carmen on stage and I adore the music, which is one reason why I can't wait to tear into this book - I've got the score running through my head whenever I think of it. AND favorite marching band... well, of course, Ohio State has the "best damn band in the land!" GO BUCKS! I'm also partial to Dublin Coffman HS Marching Band because they are phenomenal, and because my daughter spent three years in the flag corps with them.)
OK, your turn. Because this posted a day late, this drawing will remain open until Thursday, December 2.