Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Writers' Wednesday: An Interview with Jeff Rivera

Welcome to Writers' Wednesday! I'm especially excited about today's featured author, since his story is one of those "literary lotteries" that happen once in a blue moon. Jeff Rivera is the author of Forever my Lady. Here's the scoop on its remarkable journey to publication:

"Originally independently published, Jeff Rivera's debut novel, Forever My Lady went on to be acquired by Warner Books/Grand Central. It tells the award-winning passionate story of a juvenile delinquent named Dio who is sentenced to prison boot camp. Everyone who he has ever trusted has given up on him except one special girl that promises to stay by his side no matter what, the love of his life, Jennifer. He promises he will to turn his life around for her and she promises will never leave him. In fact, they plan to marry one day. But when Dio is released from boot camp he discovers Jennifer is about to marry someone else.

"Forever My Lady was featured in national magazines, on national television and radio including: The Boston Globe, Miami Herald, Rotarian Magazine, Urban Latino Magazine, VOY, Right On! Magazine, NPR, American Latino TV, SITV and was awarded Best New Author Award and the Best Urban Fiction Award and by the Mahogany Media Review. His first novel, Forever My Lady (published by Warner Books/Grand Central Publishing) became a critical media darling having received over 45 reviews on Amazon, over 30 reviews on and was given 5 stars by's #1 Book Reviewer Ms. Harriet Klausner. Rivera is fast at work on his next novel as well as the sequel to Forever My Lady and anticipates its independent release in 2008. "

Jeff stopped by today to answer a few questions about his work. Let's find out a little bit more..

You have a lot of controversial topics in your book, prostitution, gang warfare, child abuse yet you somehow were able to turn it into a heart-wrenching love story. Why did you find it necessary to include such topics?

I think as an artist, it's important to realize the responsibility you have in affecting the world around you. Those are all topics that realy happen in the world along with love issues as well. So, I knew that if I was given the gift of this story and I had an opportunity to really move people with this story what a great opportunity to ground this almost fantastical love story with real life issues.

You were born in Utah, raised in Oregon but have lived everywhere in the United States from Las Vegas to New York. How has the affected your writing style?

That's a good question. I think one thing it really did, Allie, was it helped me see people's perspectives on life easier. Had I been raised only in Oregon and still lived there, I never would have seen or experienced the shifts in personalities that each city has. Each city as a whole has a very distinct personality almost as if they're one gigantic entity. At the same time one thing it really helped me realize is that truly wherever you are from the same common issues that we all face are with each person. This is why I chose to write about love. We all know what it's like to experience the desire for someone so much so that we cannot breathe and the feeling of heartache as if we had our heart ripped out and stomped on by the one person we hoped to be forever with.

The love interest in the book's name is Jennifer. Why did you choose to make one of the only Latina characters a prostitute?

I was so worried about that. But I chose that as her "profession" because both Dio, the main character and Jennifer are victims of child abuse and you really get to see how it affects both of them in different ways. I hope that it is a warning in some way for anyone who is thinking about abusing their children how it can affect them. Also, I hope that it will connect with others who are lost in that world that somehow they can find their own self-worth just like Jennifer eventually does.

You seem to have a passion for writing about love. Would you say you're a romantic at heart?

Very much so. I'm a total sap when it comes to love. Some friends might say I fall to hard too easily. But it's such a great feeling and I really do believe in souls destined for each other and all that sort of thing. I really do, however, I have learned that there's more than just one choice. There could be several soul mates or twin flames out there for you.

Jeff, thanks so much for being here today, and good luck with the sales of your book! Readers, you can find out more by visiting his website here.


Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for your support, everyone! -- Jeff Rivera (Author of FOREVER MY LADY)

Dru said...

I like the concept of Jeff's story. Great interview.

Liz said...

Nice interview with insightful Q&A.