Saturday, November 9, 2013

Meet Author Tina Bustamante

Author Tina Bustamante has flown in from Chile to launch her debut YA novel, As Waters Gone By. She'll be touring on the West Coast during the month of November.

The launch begins at:

Northshore Baptist Church
10301 NE 145th St. SE
Kirkland WA 98034
November 8, 7:00 pm

Tina will also appear there again on 11/13/13 at 7pm.
She can also be seen at schools, colleges, bookstores, retirement communities, and book clubs. A full schedule of her appearances is attached.

We asked Tina a few questions about herself, her writing, and her teen years. Here are her answers:

What did you want to be when you grew up?

As a child, I loved drama and acting. I wanted to be an actress. Although, I do remember writing stories and wanting to write novels.
As a teen, what were you most anxious about?

I worried about how I looked, if boys liked me or not, if I fit into the crowd, and unfortunately we struggled with money so I worried if we’d have enough for everyone’s needs, if we’d have enough food.

In high school what were your finest and worst moments?

I went on a two trips to Mexico and built houses in Tijuana – those were great trips. I went hiking and loved backpacking on the Montana/Idaho border. During one trip to Mexico, I breathed in the dust of chicken feces and ended up in the hospital with a terrible illness – in the middle of Montana while my mom was out of the country. My parents also got divorced during my junior year of high school, and that was a hard time for me.
Because As Waters Gone By has romantic elements, can you describe your best or most romantic date ever?

Best date ever … was with my husband. We met in Curacao, started dating in the Mexico, got engaged in Chile, and married in Seattle. We went on some fun dates in Coatzacoalcos, Mexico. We used to hunt down the best street food in the city. And to this day, I love good Mexican food. 

Now that we've heard about the best date, what was your worst date ever?

Oh goodness. I remember one date with a guy that I wasn’t sure was a date. And so I stood at the ticket counter wondering if he would pay for the movies or if I was supposed to pay for myself. I lingered too long and he stepped up and paid, but I’ve always wondered if he was annoyed. We never went out again.

What hobbies and interests did you have as a teen?

I loved to hike, mountain climb, hang out with friends, and I loved to read. Always.

Your main character Ellie has a unique sense of style. As a teen, were you a fashionista?

No. I wish I had Ellie’s sense of style.

When did you first start writing?

My friend and I wrote the beginnings of a novel when I was in seventh or eighth grade, and then again, when I was eighteen, I started a novel. But it wasn’t until I was in my twenties that I decided to take writing and my own writing journey seriously.

What made you write Ellie’s story?

It’s interesting, because I had just gone through a year of rejections for a middle grade novel that I wrote, and I was utterly despondent and discouraged. During that time I wrote in my journal that I wanted to write a story of one girl’s healing journey. A few months later, I saw in my mind’s eye a picture of a lighthouse, a dog, and a girl with dark hair, and I wanted to know her story. I started digging and digging and began putting thoughts to paper and eventually Ellie’s story emerged.

How does your life compare with your characters’?

Some things were similar. Some things very different. I know what’s it’s like to work for what I need, and to worry we won’t have enough. I know what it’s like to feel like parents just don’t get it and to wish my mom and dad still were married and still loved each other. And to wish things could be different. I never lived with an aunt, and both my parents are alive and well, and are really great people who love me very much.

What is one thing you hope readers will take away from your book?

That you have to accept your story. The good, the bad, and the ugly – even the boring. It’s your story. No one else will ever live your one life, so embrace it and be honest about it. All of it.

Can you tell us a bit about your life and writing schedule?

I wake up early in the morning to write. I live in Chile, and the education system didn’t quite work for my kids … so I’m schooling them at home right now. Crazy. And it’s busy and hard. So I get up super early to write, and then I edit after school. We’re developing twenty-seven acres of land, so I take the kids to see the progress. We visit friends, eat lots of good Chilean food, and go to sleep late. It’s a rich and good life.

If you had three wishes, what would you wish for?

 - I would really like to see the girls that I love so very much who live in a girls home I visit near my house in Chile (orphans, abandoned children, very risky lives) live in good homes and have a future filled with hope and life and love.
- I’d like airline tickets to go down in prices so I could see my family more often. (I have a sister in Australia and family all over the world.)
- And I’d like to get good books into really hard-to-reach places and teach kids how to read, and for everyone to understand how important stories are for our survival.

What is something most people don't know about you?

That I have been to thirty-five or forty countries. I love the hurting and the marginalized. And I love speaking in Spanish. Love it. I like to read fiction in Spanish.

What advice do you wish you could give to your younger self?

Honestly, I wish I could go back and tell myself it’ll all be okay. That I don’t have to worry about the boys liking me, or the girls liking me, or fitting in, or being skinny, or what I looked like so much, or making a boy happy so he’ll like me. It will all pass and things will ALL even out and in the end. You really have to like yourself.

Now for some JUST FOR FUN questions:

Where did you go on your last vacation?

We went to Chile and ended up moving there! So be careful where you go on vacation. Before that we went to Disneyland and Barbados with the kids.

Have you ever climbed into or out of a window?

Um … oh yes. When I used to sneak out of my house in high school to toilet paper people’s yards (mainly the boys we had crushes on) … Oh yes. Many windows. Many Friday nights.

What super power do you wish you had?

I’d love to apparate.

That would certainly come in handy to get you from Chile to the many different places you want to visit. Is that how you got to your West Coast book tour?

No, I flew (in an airplane). A long, long trip.

What are you working on now?

I am working on a novel idea that deals with dreams and how our dreams impact reality, that dreams are strange and don’t always make sense - but are sometimes more true than what we live in our physical lives. And I’m tinkering around with the sequel to Waters … We shall see what surfaces the most quickly.
Where can readers find out more about you?

They can visit my website, connect with me on Twitter (@tinabustamante) and Facebook, where I have a facebook page, and a writer’s page.

Here's more about Tina's book:

 When Ellie moves in with her aunt on Orcas Island after her mother’s death, she doesn’t expect to have one of the most incredible summers of her life.

She doesn’t expect to restore a mysterious lighthouse that holds the truth about her family, or to rehabilitate a crazy dog, or to see a strange man who may or may not be a ghost. And the last thing she expects is to meet Will Larson, who flips her summer upside down.

But, when Will’s past and her own collide, will their relationship survive the secrets they both conceal, or will these unshared secrets tear them apart? Can Ellie gain the courage to uncover the truth of who she really is and finally find a place where she belongs, or will she choose to remain an outsider?

And here are some reviews:

"If you love getting lost in a story, this book is for you. With a gripping plot, vivid descriptions and characters you will soon be rooting for, this is one of the books that lingers inside your heart and mind long after you have finished the last page." ~ Deanne Welsh (read more at Eclectic Waters)

""Tina Bustamate knows how to tell a turbulent and heartwarming coming of age story. Awash with emotion, As Waters Gone By swept me away -- be sure to catch this wave." ~Judith Graves

Tina Bustamante's Appearances

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