Mirror Talk is a memoir about growing up on Long Island, New York in a warm, loving family during the Cold War years; a failed marriage; being a young actress in New York; and, the duel joys of writing and humor.
Tell us something about yourself.
I am a woman of a certain age, well actually, an absolutely positive age. I graduated from the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York and worked in theatre as an actress, a playwright, and a director. I’ve also had many startlingly boring office jobs. Now that I’m retired I’m finally able to write full-time. In the past year, I’ve self-published my memoir Mirror Talk and a collection of poems called Singing Magic.
How did you publish Mirror Talk?
I self-published with CreateSpace, the subsidiary of Amazon. It would be great if an agent or a publisher showed an interest in Mirror Talk and I landed a book contract but if this doesn’t happen, because of self-publishing, my work is “out there,” being read and responded to and I like that.
How did you know you wanted to be a writer? How did you get started?
Because I always feel a sense of joy when writing. I got started when I was seven years old and my parents gave me a toy typewriter that actually worked. There was no stopping me.
What do you believe is the hardest part of writing?
I know it’s a cliché, but the loneliness of it.
Did you learn anything from writing this book?
I learned to stop denying certain uncomfortable truths in my life and this was, at times, understandably painful. In the past, I compartmentalized my work – poetry seemed a good place for the pain and essays for humor but in writing my memoir I blended both sadness and humor and that felt somehow much more honest.
What are you reading now?
In Theda Bara’s Tent by Diana Altman, a fascinating novel about the film industry.
What types of books do you like to read? Who are your favorite authors?
Poetry, memoir, fiction, history. Dostoyevsky, Dickens, Emily Dickinson. Contemporary authors: Frank McCourt and Mary Karr.
Are you working on your next book? What can you tell us about it?
Yes; it’s called “Cowgirl at the Ball.” At the heart of it is my belief that we ought to hold on to our uniqueness and be proud of being different.
What is the best advice you can give other writers about writing or publishing?
To believe in yourself and in your talent. And if you can’t interest a publisher in your work, go ahead and publish it yourself. Self-publishing is empowering.
What are you doing to promote your latest book?
I’m giving readings at the local library and several book clubs and promoting Mirror Talk on the social networks Scribd, Twitter, and Facebook. I’m also looking into blog talk radio and online interviews and reviews.
Where can readers learn more about you and your book?
My website is http://www.BarbaraAlfaro.net
Print and Kindle editions of Mirror Talk are available at Amazon