This Week’s Featured Author Interview with
Devi Di Guida
Hi, Devi Di Guida, welcome to the Indie Publishing Group website. Introduce yourself to us. Tell everyone who you are, where you’re from, what do you enjoy doing, hobbies and interests.
I was born in a little village in Guyana, the only English speaking country in South America. I now live in Montreal, Quebec – the only French speaking province in Canada, North America.
When I was in my early twenties, I left my little village to study French at McGill University in Montreal. Later, I studied Creative Writing and Journalism. For the last 15 years, I have been working as a Technical Writer writing ISO documentation and Research & Development papers.
I still live in Montreal with my husband and three children. I love to travel and experience new cultures and their cuisine. I have this crazy dream of seeing all the continents in the world. So far, I have seen only four.
When did you start writing and why?
My first language is Patwah – an English based language spoken in The Caribbean. English is my second language. I began to write short stories in English when I was in my early teens. It was more to practice writing in English.
Which is your favorite book you have written and what gave you the idea for it?
The Cayman Hustle is my debut novel. The premise is the journey of a deaf college graduate. There are a sequence of events that inspired me to write this novel with a deaf protagonist.
It started on a cold winter day in Montreal when a 6-year-old boy rang my doorbell. His hands and fingers were moving in all directions. I tried to have a conversation with him and he continued with more hand movements, all the while smiling. I misinterpreted this unusual visitor as a rude child and so I waved him goodbye and closed the door. He returned five minutes later with his voice –his older brother who explained that they had just moved into the neighborhood and his deaf brother was looking for friends. He wanted to play with my children. This deaf child was a constant visitor and an absolute joy to our household until his family moved away.
I never forget him nor that day I was so judgmental.
On a very hot summer day on a beach in The Cayman Islands, I met a twenty-five-year-old deaf college student whose field of study was Neuroscience. He and his friends were having a reunion. For a week, I observed the camaraderie that they shared and how the friends were always looking out for the well- being of this deaf man. And I think again of that deaf boy in Montreal. The Cayman Hustle was born on that beautiful beach. But it is my deaf sister who cannot function without a hearing aid in each ear who truly inspired me to write a novel with a deaf protagonist.
How did you come up with the title for your book?
I was in a writing retreat in Vermont, USA with some very talented writers. We were all brainstorming to find a name for this novel. Several names were thrown around. We all liked The Cayman Hustle.
Who helped you with the cover? Or did you design it yourself? What was your inspiration for your cover design?
The cover was designed by a graphics company in New York. It has a seascape look which fits the story as it unfolds by the Caribbean Sea. When word got around that I was donating profits to furnish hearing aids to children in underdeveloped countries, the female model and the photographer contributed their time freely.
What are some of the themes of your story?
There are two themes in this story. The first is the hustle of a deaf college graduate to find employment and the second is multiculturalism. It is also a multi-genre, contemporary fiction with suspense, romance, and intrigue. Although it is fiction, the novel itself is educational in its content as it introduces the reader to the hearing impaired world and many cultures. What I would like readers to grasp is, “Do not be judgmental of people who are disabled or different.”
What’s your process when you sit down and decide to start writing a book? What is your process and do you have a system?
I start with a draft and basic structure. I have to admit I am a pantster and once I start on a chapter, I write down the characters and five important points in a building block style. I do this for all the chapters I think I may need. From this, I continue in what some writers refer to as sandwich writing, adding sections to different chapters.
Who are some of your favorite characters and why?
In this novel, all the characters are important because of the multi-cultural theme. Kaman Colioni, the deaf protagonist, and his hearing device Om-7, will always be my favorite characters. Why – Kaman depends on Om-7 who is his nemesis and his mimesis and his conscience all wrapped up in one. Their conversations vary from serious to silly and at times are just hilarious.
Who are some of your favorite authors?
Shakespeare. Isabelle Allende, Philippa Gregory, Stephen King. V.S. Naipaul, J.K Rowling, Paulo Coelho and so many more.
Have you got anything you’re working on now?
I am working on The Chakra Stone which is a sequel to The Cayman Hustle. In this sequel, Kaman and his best friend, Ten-squat-away, (nicknamed Engine) a Mohawk Indian will both take the lead.
If you could have any superpowers what would they be?
Super-woman. I just want to spin around a few times and have super powers to stop global warming.
If you could travel to any location in the world where would you go?
Alaska was at the top of my bucket list. I just visited a month ago on a cruise, and do some research for my next book. It was sad to see the glaciers melting. I witnessed a big chunk of ice falling off a glacier while I was there. I wish I had taped it.
Where do you hope to be in 5 years’ time?
I hope to be writing. I have so many more stories to tell.
Thanks so much for taking the time to do an author interview, Devi Di Guida! Take a minute and check Devi Di Guida out on the links below. Devi Di Guida’s book, The Cayman Hustle, is available now on Amazon!
Devi Di Guida Amazon Author Page
Devi Di Guida Author Facebook Page
Devi Di Guida Instagram Account
Devi Di Guida Linked In
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Devi Di Guida Goodreads Author Page
Devi Di Guida YouTube Author Page