Sunday, April 19, 2009

Multi-Talented Mayra Calvani!

Today I'd like to welcome Mayra Calvani! She is so incredibly involved and busy with more sites than I can even imagine. Her dog, Amigo, had to chip in and do one blog for her!

So without further ado, may I present Mayra!

Tell us a little about The Slippery Art of Book Reviewing...

The Slippery Art of Book Reviewing was written not only with the aspiring reviewer in mind, but for the established reviewer who needs a bit of refreshing and also for anybody-be they author, publisher, reader, bookseller, librarian or publicist-who wants to become more informed about the value, purpose and effectiveness of reviews. I’m happy to say it has garnered great reviews and has been nominated for 3 awards, including the Foreword Book of the Year Award for Nonfiction. More information can be found at:

You have several other books as well - and they are very different! Tell us a little about each one...

Lately my passion is writing children’s picture books. I have 2 out (plus 3 others coming out later this year):

Crash is about a little boy and his first puppy, and how he learns to care for it as well as find a perfect name. Readers may find more about this book at I’m donating 50% of royalties for this book to Almost Heaven Golden Retriever Rescue and Sanctuary. This one seems to be popular with young kids and I’m having lots of fun doing school visits and readings.

The Magic Violin is a Christmas-theme book about a little violinist who runs into trouble while learning to play Vivaldi’s “Winter”. It is about self esteem and the importance of hard work and discipline. For more information, readers can visit my children’s books website, I have trailers of both books there as well.

I also have two supernatural thrillers, Dark Lullaby and Embraced by the Shadows.
For blurbs, reviews, trailers, etc., reader may visit my main website:

You manage several blogs & websites - tell us about them...

The first thing I’d like to say is that they’re very time consuming!

These are my websites: (children’s books)

These are my blogs: (children’s books)

I recently became the National Latino Books Examiner for and my column there is at:

I’m also a regular contributor to Suite101:

What got you into doing reviews and interviews?

Besides writing, reading is my passion and reviewing is a way to get free books. I also review as a way to promote my name out there and share my opinion about books with others. I’ve been reviewing for about 10 years. Interviewing authors, on the other hand, is relatively new. It started about 3 years ago along with blogging. Informative interviews make good blog content. I also like finding out about new authors and books.

Did you envision all you now do when you began this journey?

To be honest, when I started writing seriously in my twenties, I didn’t envision that the publishing world would be so tough, or that there would be so much competition.

Tell us a little about home...

Hmm. I really wonder where home is. After leaving my homeland, Puerto Rico, when I was 18, and living in various different countries, I feel more like a citizen of the world. I guess right now my home is Belgium. It rains a lot and the sun doesn’t come out often. This is sometimes depressing, but the advantage is that this weather is perfect to get those creative juices flowing.

We can't do an interview without asking about Amigo! (He might be offended...)

You’re right! He won’t look at me for days if I don’t mention him. Amigo is my 3-year old golden retriever and he has his own blog where he interviews authors’ pets. The blog is called Pets and Their Authors, He loves visitors and especially comments. I’m afraid fame has gotten badly to his head.

And the last word, Mayra...?

Blogging, reviews, interviews, freelance articles… all these are very time consuming. In order to keep producing books, I have to keep myself focused and I have to prioritize. I never do any of these things unless I have worked on my current work-in-progress one hour a day minimum. It’s easy to get distracted by emailing and blogging, so it’s important to stay focused in order to keep writing and producing new work.

Thank you, Mayra! Please visit her sites and blogs for more information - and be sure to tell Amigo hello!


Mayra Calvani said...

Thank you so much for inviting me to your blog, Diane!

Anonymous said...

Mayra is certainly very versatile in the world of literature. I relate to her advice on prioritizing - you can lose days at a time getting nothing really important done in your career if you do not compartmentalize your day.

Jane Kennedy Sutton said...

Enjoyed the interesting interview. What a busy and eclectic writer.

Jane Kennedy Sutton

Connie Arnold said...

Thanks for sharing this, Diane. Mayra, it's nice to learn a bit about you and your books. Since I have small grandsons, I'm very interested in your book Crash!

Mayra Calvani said...

Thank you all for your kind comments!

To be honest, I never give much thought about how much I'm doing. I just assume everybody's doing the same.

It's important to slow down sometimes... :-)

Beth Blair said...

Writing a book about book reviewing is brilliant! I enjoyed the interview.

Helen Ginger said...

I noticed you didn't ask Mayra about her sleeping habits since apparently she doesn't have time to sleep!

Hello Amigo, from Ruffles.


Katie Hines said...

It's nice to see a book on reviewing out, and to finally meet Mayra. Hope you sell lots, Mayra!

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Okay, no one tell Amigo he's not getting ALL the love here!

Magic Carpet of 16x Books said...

Diane, great interview. I love learning new things about Mayra - such a multi-talented lady!!

Margot Finke

Manuscript Critiques - My Books!
BUY any Autographed Book from my website, and
receive a FREE LINK to me READING that story!

Anonymous said...

U r a busy and talented woman. I keep toying with the idea of starting another blog. The one blog I have & writing books keeps me too busy already.
The Differently-Abled Children's Author
J. Aday Kennedy

Morgan Mandel said...

Hi Mayra,
I do believe you are even busier than I am. I love your Crash cover, also your animal blog. One of these days Rascal will have to go over when Mom gets through with her latest project.

Morgan Mandel

Carolyn Howard-Johnson said...

I recommend Mayra's book often. For one thing, reviewing is a great way to network!

Carolyn Howard-Johnson
Author of the multi award-winning The Frugal Book Promoter

Mayra Calvani said...

My sleeping habits? What sleeping?

Thank you all for stopping by and leaving a comment!! :-)


Donna McDine said...

Hi Diane and Mayra...terrific interview. I always enjoy learning more about authors. Mayra, very good point about writing first and then getting on the Internet. One can certainly get lost in cyberspace.

Best wishes,

Kit said...

Looking Good Girl-