First Love & Angel in Disguise
Click to listen to Violeta Barrett's interview with BlogTalkRadio's Patricia Raskin
Click to listen to Violeta Barrett's interview with James Lowe-Radio Station KJAG
Click below to listen to Violeta Barrett's interview with award-winning talk radio show host Rhett Palmer - Part One
Click below to listen to Violeta Barrett's interview with award-winning talk radio show host Rhett Palmer - Part Two
INTERVIEW on Dr. Barry Show Koco Radio 101.5 FM
INTERVIEW on Ed Tyll Talk RadioX Show
INTERVIEW on Rick Anthony Show (Arizona)
INTERVIEW on Phyllis Hall Show Station KXLO (Montana)
INTERVIEW on Rose Polombo Show, Blog Talk Radio, Freedomizer Channel
INTERVIEW on Women's Radio Network, (Bohemia, N.Y.)
INTERVIEW wITH VIOLETA BARRETT, author of FIRST LOVE - JUNE 15, 2012 Mayra Calvani, (Brussels, Belgium)EXAMINER.COM
Thanks for this interview, Violeta. Would you call yourself a born writer?
What was your inspiration for FIRST LOVE?
A dream. The story is about my first real love. The title just came to me. I didn't need to think twice about it. On the other hand, the subtitle came later. I began working on my Spanish book even before my English book was published. I remembered the title of our love song, Solamente Una Vez, and the words I had inscribed in a cigarette case I had given to Jorge for his birthday, Solament Una Vez en la Vida (which translates to "Just Once in a Lifetime"), and decided to add those words as a subtitle to both books. My hope was that somehow Jorge, if he is still alive, would see it and would recognize them.
What themes do you like to explore in your writing?
In this story...true love; to love and to be loved; what is real and important and what is not; the moral imperative. Numerous other themes in my other writings.
How long did it take you to complete the book?
About a year. First I sent the narrative to an editor to get his opinion and grammatical corrections where needed. I had only intended to have two copies printed, one for me and one for Jorge, the male protagonist of my story. When the editor told me "It was the best thing he had read all year," it was then that I decided to incorporate the letters to make it a book and publish it. Time was consumed getting copyright permission to use the love song; then seeking copyright permission from Mexico to use the images on some of the love letters which wasn't possible. So a graphic designer/ friend offered to make representations of the original images, and a lawyer/friend in Mexico assured me that would work. Otherwise, the book literally wrote itself.
Are you disciplined? Describe a typical writing day.
Extremely disciplined. I wrote and researched from 8:00 a.m. until midnight, 7 days a week. Except for taking time off occasionally for lunch or dinner with friends, an occasional movie or concert, and a winter vacation, I spent the balance of my time working on my books.
What did you find most challenging about writing this book?
Writing the love scenes. I have always been a very private person.
What do you love most about being an author?
Knowing that my words have affected people emotionally and touched their hearts.
Did you go with a traditional publisher, small press, or did you self-publish? What was the process like and are you happy with your decision?
I self-published with iUniverse. It is a very stressful process and very expensive depending on the quantity pf packages you purchase. You want your book to be a success so you keep moving ahead as far as your budget will allow. Your work never ends as you have to do most if not all of the promotional work and some of the packages are not worth the expense. If there had been a choice, I would have preferred a traditional publisher but the chances of that happening these days without the right connections, are few and far between.
Where can we find you on the web?
STORYTELLER'S FIRST LOVE - Interview with Violet Niggl aka Violeta Barrett, June 16, 2012
HOW TO TELL A GREAT STORY Aneeta Sundararaj (Kuala Lampur)
Every so often, I receive a request from people asking to be interviewed for this column and I am happy when this happens because these people tell me stories that are fascinating. Still, like many, I, too, have my favourites. And I am very sure that Violet's story is one I'll remember for a long while. Without further ado, let me introduce you to Violet Niggl aka Violeta Barrett.
Aneeta: Violet, thank you for agreeing to the interview.
Violet: Thank you, Aneeta for giving me the opportunity to present myself and my love story to your readers.
Aneeta: Let's start with something about you: where were you born, where did you grow up, what do you do for a living and where do you live now?
Violet; I was born in Brooklyn, N.Y. of Italian ancestry. Until my mid-thirties, I lived there up to the time I met and married a Canadian and moved to Canada where I lived for 37 years. After my husband's death in 1993, I moved to Ft. Myers, Florida where I reside today. Currently I am a retiree after a forty-two year career in both the public and private sectors where I held executive positions in both sectors. But since I don't believe that upon retirement, one should retire from life, I am now an aspiring author.
Aneeta: Through Mayra, I know that you've written a book called FIRST LOVE. Please describe it.
Violet: FIRST LOVE is the embodiment of a dream which I had two years ago. It is a memoir of a first real love that I had in 1956. So vividly did the details return to me that it felt as though I were in a time machine. I had met Jorge while on a trip to Mexico, where I had gone to escape and recover from a painful, failed marriage. Jorge was my tour guide and we fell in love. A forever love. When our tour ended and I returned to N.Y., we wrote to each other. I saved all his letters...76 of them, and it was through those letters that we kept our love alive. Friends asked why I would have kept the letters. They were too beautiful to destroy, and ultimately, as life has shown us many times, there was a reason for keeping them, for without them I could not have written my book.
FIRST LOVE is a compelling memoir, a nostalgic and emotional journey where principles, love and obligations collide and force unexpected decisions. Energized by the Mexican culture and Jorge's charm, I was soon caught up in the joy of being loved. But before long I had to return to my obligations, leaving Jorge behind. For the next few years, we shared a forbidden passion--until the forces of morality prevailed.
Nearly fifty years ago, Jorge and I fell in love, changing our lives forever. Our heartfelt story, relived through a dream, proved to me that "true love never dies." It is not affected by time. It is ageless. It is eternal.
Before my English version of the book was completed, I was encouraged to translate my book into Spanish in the hope that if Jorge was still alive, he might see it. The Spanish title is PRIMER AMOR. That was when I decided to add the sub title Just Once in a Lifetime, which in Spanish is: Solamente Una Vez en la Vida. This was partially the title of our love song, (Solamente Una Vez ) and the addition of "en la vida," which was an inscription I put in a cigarette case I gave Jorge for his birthday.
Aneeta: Why did you use a penname?
Violet: My first name is actually Violetta. Jorge spelled it wirh one "t" and so I wanted it written that way. At first I wanted to hide behind a pen name because I had always been a very private person...until now. So I chose the maiden name of my favorite woman poet, Elizabeth Barrett Browning. Now I just believe it fits well with the title, with the cover, with the story.
Aneeta: How did you go about publishing this book?
Violet: Initially, it was a short story. I had no plans other than to have two copies made; one for me and one for Jorge, if I could find him. But when I sent it to an editor to review and proofread it, he said, "This is the best thing I've read all year. You must make this into a book and publish it." With that kind of unexpected comment, I began to rethink my idea. By adding the love letters, it became a book. I searched the internet for a publisher and as they say, the rest is history.
Aneeta: I'm sure that there are elements of storytelling in your book. As you know, this website caters to storytellers. So, what aspects of storytelling did you focus on when writing your book?
Violet: The oral tradition was alive and well in my family. My dad was a great storyteller and did improvise and embellish his stories of his travels around the world. If FIRST LOVE were a work of fiction, i would have probably done the same. But this story is a true memoir, exactly as it happened, (plus I have the letters to prove it.) So the elements of storytelling could possibly be my descriptions of the sensory effects Mexico had on me, the charming Mexican images I used from Jorge's letters that I believe enhance the book, and the occasional use of Spanish words that hopefully embellish the writing.
Aneeta: Violet, this is all I have to ask. Is there anything you'd like to add?
Violet: Storytelling eventually advanced to films and TV movies. That is the dream for FIRST LOVE. To be able to tell my story not only in writing but on the silver screen. Our world needs love more than ever before. My message is clear: there is nothing more important in life but to love and be loved. All else are "things."
Furthermore, it is my belief that to write a good story...a great story, one must be inspired. Jorge's letters were my inspiration. Only now do I fully understand how deeply I was loved and how that love enabled me to open my heart.
Aneeta: Violet, thank you very much, once again.
Violet: Thank you, Aneeta for giving me the chance to express my thoughts and feelings in such an unbiased fashion to your readers. I truly appreciate it.