Exclusive Interview with
Anita Perez Ferguson
When did you start writing?
I began writing nonfiction books in 1999, but my fiction writing began in 2016 after I had been very sick and lost my interest in doing just about everything.
What makes writing your passion?
I enjoy learning about my family's history and about this history of our country. Creating fictional characters to relive that history is fun.
How long have you been writing?
I wrote short poems when I was young, but my book writing began much later after a long career of teaching and traveling.
What was the feeling when you published your first book?
I was surprised to see my first book. Ofcourse, I knew it was coming, but I could not believe I actually stuck to it long enough to get it published. Now there are five  books with my name on them, three non fiction and three fiction.
What’s the story behind your choice of characters?
For my first novel, Twisted Cross, the main character, Salvador Tenorio, came to my imagination while I was visiting a California Mission, San Gabriel. He told me his story, I listened, then wrote it down.
What annoys you the most in pursuing a writing career?
I find that many people think that writing comes naturally and that it is not as difficult or complicated as it actually is. This can be mildly annoying, but it does not compare to the difficulty of promoting a book once it is published.
How do you get over the “writer’s block”?
If I am stuck on a scene or a plot twist, I stop writing and start drawing. Once I sketch out my characters and their actions, the story continues in my mind.
We all know the writer’s path is never easy, what makes you keep going? What advice would you give to new authors?
New authors need to give themselves credit for all the time they spend thinking about writing. Ideas develop even when you are not at your desk. Once you have a scene or a plot, write it down and keep going. Little by little you will have a book.
If you could go back in time and talk to your younger self, what would you say?
I would tell myself to let an adult know how difficult it is for me to read. I would seek help to keep the words still on the page and also ask to read books that related to me and my family.
Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with the bad ones?
I'm just trying to GET book reviews. It's not as easy as you may think. I know I like my books and I am willing to promote them no matter what someone else may think, but boy, would I like to get some positive reviews!
What is the feeling when you get a good review?
When someone says something good about one of my books I am delighted and proud.
Have you ever incorporated something that happened to you in real life into your novels?
Not yet. There may come a time when I consciously use one of my own direct experiences in a book, maybe in my next series, Camino Royal.
Which of your characters you can compare yourself with? Did you base that character on you?
I did not intentionally base any of my characters on myself. Sometimes I listen to kids on the street and picked up some of their vocabulary and attitude.
What do you think, the book cover is as important as the story?
Covers are important. My publisher changed my first book cover to make it more appealing to young readers and I thank them for that.
Do you connect with your readers? Do you mind having a chat with them or you prefer to express yourself through your writing?
It's always fun to interact with readers.
How do you feel when people appreciate your work or recognize you in public?
I'm delighted and just a little surprised to be recognized for my work in public. "Is that ME you are talking about?" I say to myself.
Who is your favorite author? Why?
My friend, Sandra Cisneros is one of my favorite authors. Her humor amuses me, and I relate to her realistic descriptions.
What’s the dream? Whom would you like to be as big as?
I would like the Secretary of Education in each state to require my books in their history curriculum. Cisneros, Allende, Garcia, and others may enjoy that privilege now.
Would you rewrite any of your books? Why?
I considered trying to make them better after learning many lessons, but I decided to apply my learning to new books instead.
If you could switch places with any author – who would that be?
I appreciate other authors, but I am happy being who I am. We all work hard and have our own contributions to make.
What would you say to the “trolls” on the internet? We all know them – people who like to write awful reviews to books they’ve never read or didn’t like that much, just to annoy the author.
I've never met or read an internet troll. I hope they feel better soon.
What would you say to your readers?
Thanks for joining me in the adventure of my books.
Share a bit about yourself – where do you live, are you married, do you have kids?
Would you believe I have been married to the same wonderful man for fifty years? He read to me at night. Am I luck, or what?
What is your day job if you have one?
I teach people to have a good time, dancing, writing, and playing group games.
What are your hobbies? What do you do in your free time?
I love to thrift shop and think of stories for all the weird stuff I find.
Did you have a happy childhood?
Yes. I was blessed to be loved and secure in our home.
Is there a particular experience that made you start writing?
Do you have unpublished books? What are they about?
What do you think should be improved in the education of our children? What do we lack?
If you were allowed 3 wishes – what would they be?
What is your favorite music?
Share a secret with us 🙂