Thursday, May 22, 2008

Promotional Interview with Mayra Calvani

Name: Mayra Calvani

Tell us about yourself – where you are from, how you got started writing, what you do when you are not writing (or anything you want our readers to know)

I was born in San Juan, Puerto Rico, but have lived in the US, the Middle East, and now live in Belgium. My traveling and learning all these different cultures have been an inspiration in my writing, as having a Hispanic heritage has been as well. I was an early avid reader and my first passion for books developed after I read the first Agatha Christie mystery. I was instantly drawn to the fantastic world of these imaginary stories. Then came the Adventures of Sherlock Holmes. During my teens I was also an avid reader of romance novels, though I don’t read much romance anymore. I started writing in my early teens. I was always the quiet, shy type and preferred my escape world of imaginary places and characters instead of going to parties—so no, I was not one of the popular girls at school. But I didn’t care. I was happy and self motivated. My love for writing has continued all my life and I now write fulltime. It’s been an arduous road and there’s a lot of competition, but that’s fine with me because I enjoy the journey as well.

What inspired you to write your first book?

I guess I couldn’t escape from my imagination and from the force that propelled me to bring those stories to life and live through them. I wrote my first ‘book’ when I was fifteen, but that one was never published—fortunately! :-)

How many books have you written?

I have written eight books—two of these, Embraced by the Shadows and Dark Lullaby, have already been published, and the others will see publication later this year and some time during 2008-9.

How do you decide on their topic?

I don’t really ‘decide’. The topic, idea, or whatever it is, comes to me and tells me to put it down into words. I hardly ever plan ahead or do an outline. I mostly follow that voice in my head that tells me what to write. Think of it as taking dictation. That said, there are many things that may spark my inspiration and creativity—the ‘dark’ side of things, violin music, foreign settings and characters, science and philosophy, an unusual book or movie, etc.

Do you write to make money or for the love of writing?

If it were for the money, I would have quit a long time ago! LOL. Definitely for the love of writing. Of course, my goal is to make some real money as well. Every writer needs validation of some kind.

What are some traditional methods of marketing you have used to gain visibility for you and your book(s)?

I have two websites, one for my adult books and the other for my children’s books ( and I also have three blogs where I promote my work and feature other authors’ work as well: (children’s books)

In addition, I edit a newsletter ( and co-edit another one ( These are all venues to promote my name and books.

Of course, I request as many reviews I can for my books, and I also write book reviews for various high-profile sites like and

What are some unique methods?

Since I write articles as well, I distribute them using various article directories like and I always include a byline with links to my sites and blogs and this results in thousands of hits every month. I’m a member of, BookPlace, Facebook, and numerous authors and writing groups and forums, and I always make an announcement in these when I have a book coming out or have some other important news to share.

Virtual Book Tours is another new way of promotion which I have discovered, a way to reach thousands of readers without having to travel.

Do you sell through a website?

No. I let my publishers handle that.

Do you plan on writing additional books?

Definitely. I have several works in progress and enough ideas to keep me busy for at least the next two decades. :-)

Interview Presented By
Nikki Leigh - Author of Book Promo 101

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