Author Spotlight and Interview with Amarilys Gacio Rassler

I am delighted to have the lovely Amarilys Gacio Rassler, author of  Cuban-American, Dancing On The Hyphen, with me today! She came to the United States from Havana, Cuba, as a Peter Pan child in 1960. She originally arrived in Miami, Florida and now calls Tampa home. She is a graduate of the University of South Florida and is a daughter, wife, mother, grandmother and more. She writes poetry and prose. Cuban-American, Dancing On The Hyphen celebrates her heritage and the blessings of living in the U.S.

Come...as Amarilys dances with her memories and be transported to another place and another time. Follow her ever-present Cuban-American spirit. Take a peek into the soul of a Cuban immigrant remembering her family's crossing of an ocean for freedom's sake. Experience the drama and participate in the humor of Cuban-American: Dancing on the Hyphen!

Where do you find your writing inspiration?
I find my writing inspiration in modern and classic poetry and in books written to inspire writers. For example, The Right To Write, by Julia Cameron and The Courage To Write, by Ralph Keyes. Music, art and cinematography can also easily feed my muse.

What is your favorite fictional character or creature?   
Lucy Pevensie, from The Lion The Witch And The Wardrobe. I feel a  camaraderie with her because she saw another world around her and characters in that world that no one else from her own family saw till much later. When I was a child, living in Cuba, I first saw spirits at the age of four. I love the way Lucy sticks with her beliefs and claims as true that which she saw even though no one else at first believed her.  

What is the one writing tool you couldn’t live without?
Definitely the internet for research and for excellent access to dictionaries and thesauruses.

Do you have any writing rituals?
Yes! I pray for inspiration, turn on a gurgling fountain, put on soft music of the culture of the character I’m creating, pick up pictures from the internet of the neighborhood most like the one in which my character lives and then I see myself there with him or her.  

What path did you take for publication?
Cuban-American, Dancing OnThe Hyphen, my first book, I self-published. I am so glad I did! It is a cultural book, with the flavor of Cuban culture. It’s prose and poetry that tells my story as one of the 14,000 children who escaped Cuba alone in the exodus of 1960-1962.  I dedicated it especially to my mother who was able to enjoy the book for more than a year before she passed away. I have also written stories and poetry that were published in the traditional way in print magazines and on an online magazine.

If you could be any character in one of your stories, who would it be and why?
I’m very close to self-publishing a second book, The Chairs, the story of the visit of two angels to the seaside town of Dunedin, Florida, summoned by the prayers of an elderly couple. I would like to be one of those angels, the one I called, the centurion. Why? I love the insight and power he has over the darkness in the spirit realm.

Are you writing anything now? Tell me about your next project!
Right now I’m working on my spiritual memoir, Beyond The Veil, the story of my traumatic trip in 1979, into the spirit realm.  I’m also writing a speculative fiction novella, a suspense-romance, Commuters. It’s the story of a Chicago detective who rescues a little girl from a serial killer, falls in love with her young widowed mother and then realizes that the demons from the serial killer have transferred to the girl. Can he once again set her free?

What are you currently reading?
Writing romance, reading romance! I’m presently enjoying Richard Paul Evans’, The Last Promise. Writing speculative fiction, reading speculative fiction! I just finished The Chair, by James L. Rubart. Super drama about a chair supposedly made by Christ and protected by a select group of women throughout the ages.

When you’re not writing, what can we find you doing for fun?
When I’m not writing I’m making memories with my family. You can also find me reading while drinking strong coffee at a café or cooking to make my hubby happy!

What is the best advice you have received (writing or otherwise)?
The best advice I have received on writing has come from what Julia Cameron says…

“Write because something ‘touches’ you, write because you want to ‘touch’ someone else, but most of all write to ‘get in touch’ with the divine or because the divine somehow has ‘gotten in touch’ with you.”  

You can find stories by Amarilys G. Rassler at Fiction 365. www.fiction365.com
More about Amarilys at her website: www.guavanewton.com  

Thanks so much for joining me!

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Marggie said...

It's a pleasure! Thanks for inviting me!