Aurora is pleased to welcome Christy Trujillo, whose second book in her Maldito series, Emmy's Heart, has recently been released by Devine Destinies. Her first published novel, Emmy's Song is the one she is most proud of, because not many people believed she could actually write something that was good enough to be published. Even though she always wanted to write, she had trouble believing, herself, that she was a good enough writer to become published.
I asked her to tell us about Emmy's Song and Emmy's Heart.
"Emmy’s Song is a YA Paranormal Romance about a girl named Emmy who really has it together; she knows just what she wants and where she’s going. And then Cale Cruz comes to town. He really throws her whole life out of whack and she wouldn’t have it any other way. Did I mention he’s Maldito (half-human, half-vampire)? Oh yeah, good times. Emmy’s Song is the first of three books in the Maldito series. Emmy’s Heart has just been released on 2/15/2010 and Sarah’s Fate will be scheduled for a fall 2010 release."
Christy had befriended an author with Devine Destinies who had suggested that Christy query them with Emmy's Song.
"The rest," she said, "as they say, is history."
She loves writing books for kids and teens, especially, because she wants to be able to reach out and have people read her words and think, "Wow, how did she know that? How did she know that's how that felt."
Her response to that would be, "Because I’ve been there, baby girl. That’s how I know."
"I tried to commit suicide my senior year of high school. My true love broke my heart and I was a mess," she shared with me. "No one understood; not my friends, family or favorite teachers. I felt utterly alone. I often feel if I would’ve had someone to talk to, someone who had been there or at least gave me credit that I was actually in love, then it would have been easier to cope with the feelings. My books are always centered on young love and while, yes it is young, it is still love."
She wants her readers to know that no matter what they are going through, no matter how dark the times seem—the sun will rise again.
Along with working as a sales coordinator for a staffing firm, Christy is also working on the final book in the Maldito series, Sarah's Fate, as well as a shape-sifter novel called True North and a ghost story called Fireflies.
Her husband is supportive of her writing. He set up a corner of their den for her writing area and bought her a pink Dell laptop. They've been married for eight years and she said, "He is happy when I’m happy. He doesn’t really consider my writing a career, though."
The laptop was a great present, though, since Christy does all her writing on the computer—mostly because it has spell check and she's a horrible speller.
She has always loved books about the paranormal. The first paranormal she read was Wait till Helen Comes.
"It scared me to death," she admitted. "I loved it!"
As a young adult, her favorite series was The Vampire Diaries by L.J. Smith. The Twilight series have now taken over the top spot, but The Vampire Diaries are still a very close second. She credits both L.J. Smith and Stephanie Meyer as influencing her own writing.
The Maldito series is highly autobiographical and based, in part, on her own high school experiences. She even named the chorus teacher in the book the same as her own teacher.
"Emmy’s Song is unique as it takes the reader on an emotional journey, not only through the written word but also through the music that is constantly playing in Emmy’s head," Christy said. "These songs make up the soundtrack. The list can be found on my website."
This soundtrack is the first playlist on Christy's iPod.
Christy also told me that she's addicted to Twitter/Facebook/MySpace/Blogger. "I love to be online and meet new people," she said. "I get something different at each site and therefore could never give any of them up."
Finally, I asked Christy what advice she had for young writers.
"Don't stop!" she said. "Just write. Worry about what comes out later, but for now, just write. Then, put your manuscript away for at least a week before your proof it. Your eyes see what they want to see when you remember exactly what it's supposed to say."
Christy Trujillo was born and raised in a small town in Northeast Florida near Jacksonville and the Florida-Georgia line. As a child she loved books on vampires and the paranormal and has been heavily influenced by the writings of L.J. Smith. Christy currently works for a major staffing company, and dreams of becoming a full-time author. She resides in Jacksonville, FL with her husband, son, and two black cats that turned out to be anything but unlucky.