Liza Treviño hails from Texas, spending many of her formative years on the I-35 corridor of San Antonio, Austin and Dallas. In pursuit of adventure and a Ph.D., Liza moved to Los Angeles where she compiled a collection of short-term, low-level Hollywood jobs like script girl, producer assistant and production assistant. Her time as a Hollywood Jane-of-all-trades gave her an insider’s view to a world most only see from the outside, providing the inspiration for creating a new breed of Latina heroine. Website: lizatrevino.com
Book description with link to book:
Alexandria Moreno – clever, sexy, ambitious and, at times, self-destructive – blazes a path from Texas to Los Angeles at the dawn of the 1980s to make her dreams of becoming an A-list Hollywood film director come true. She and her best friend arrive in Los Angeles with little more than hope and determination to make it big. Alex, her beauty as dark and mysterious as her scarred heart, stands at the bottom of the Hollywood mountain looking up, fighting for her chance to climb to the top. Will her quest to live fast and take no prisoners on her way to the top destroy her in the end?
All That Glitters is a women’s fiction Jackie Collins-type saga that introduces a strong, driven Latina heroine at the center of a rags-to-riches story spanning a decade of action. Along the way, Alexandria walks the fine line separating ambition and self-destruction and discovers that some sacrifices will cost her everything.
Click to Buy on Amazon: All That Glitters
1) When did you decide you wanted to become an author?
I’ve always been a reader and a writer, since I was a kid. I loved – love – all kinds of genres: horror, suspense, romance, but Jackie Collins, in particular, always held a special place in my heart. I adore her work and all Hollywood fiction. I gobbled it up when I was a teenager. Eventually, I was re-reading one of my favourites of hers while I was in grad school in Los Angeles, and it hit me. Where is a Latina Lucky Santangelo? I wanted to read about a badass character like Lucky Santangelo, but I wanted her to be Latina. And that’s how it started for me. I began thinking about the popular stories I liked to read and decided I was going to create those kinds of stories but put a Latina at the center of the action. That’s definitely something I wanted to read. I couldn’t find it, so I started writing.
2) Did your book require a lot of research?
Yes and no. Since a lot of this book takes place in settings that I’ve been around for school and work, I really just had to draw on my experiences in a thoughtful and specific way. But, since this story takes place in a specific era in 1980s, there were things I had to research so that the story, settings didn’t come off anachronistic or too contemporary. That was probably the hardest part. I mean, it’s unlikely that a young twenty-something in 1980 would call a guy hot. No, she’d say, ‘he’s a fox,’ for instance. So, having to think about those kinds of things and go digging around into earlier eras for culturally appropriate expressions and activities did require some research time. But that was a lot of fun, too.
I’m always afraid that I’m going to ‘forget’ how to write or that I’ll run out of inspiration.
4) When writing, what themes do you feel passionate about?
I set out to write about relationships. In this book, there are three key relationships, and each of the relationship highlights different but complimentary themes that overlap. Themes that include the redemptive nature of loyalty and friendship, the destructive power of giving into your worst impulses, facing your demons, learning to love yourself, self-acceptance and trust. But, I’m most intrigued by the idea of free will vs. fate. Do we have free will or are things set before we even take our first breath? How in control are we of our life journeys? Is there some pre-determined destination that all of our little, everyday decisions ultimately leads us? Or, is it all just chaos? And, if it is chaos, then how do we account for certain repetitions in life? I suppose I’m quite taken with that theme because I see it played out and the questions come up again and again in different stories I’ve written.
5) What is the best writing advice you’ve ever received?
When looking to edit or revise, a good question to ask, ‘does this scene move the story forward?’ If it doesn’t, then it can be marked for the cutting room floor. And ‘moving the action forward’ can mean a lot of different things; it’s not just about one plot point to another. Action can happen even when nothing is really happening. How narrative momentum occurs, and at what pace, also works in tandem with the genre you’re working in. Literary fiction ‘action’ can be very different from ‘romance’ or ‘mystery.’
6) Do you have a website/blog where readers may learn more about you and your work?
Yes, at lizatrevino.com, you can learn more about All That Glitters as well as find my blog that provides resources for Latino writers, as well as my point-of-view.
7) Do you have another book on the works? Would you like to tell readers about your current or future projects?
I’m currently working on a follow up to All That Glitters. And, I’m currently shopping another book that is a romantic comedy set at Christmas in San Antonio.
8) As an author, what is your greatest reward?
When you finish and the ending feels right. It literally feels like a weight has lifted and the story is out of me and into the world. And, the satisfaction that I did it.
Of course, placing my first novel on my bookshelf is pretty awesome, too.
9) Anything else you’d like to say about yourself or your work?
My inspiration for writing this particular story and for creating Alexandria Moreno was that I wanted to read about someone like her. I didn’t see why characters like her weren’t all over the place, and I just hadn’t found them yet. When I didn’t find what I was looking for, that’s when I decided to start writing. And now, it exists.
It’s been a long journey to get All That Glitters published. The best thing is that this book and its main character, Alexandria Moreno, now live beyond my imagination. Alex is out in the world for anybody and everyone who’s looking for a Latina anti-heroine to find. That’s definitely the best part of this entire process.