Chewing the fat with . . . author Jeff Rivera

I hope everyone is enjoying their Thanksgiving weekend.

I recently chatted with author Jeff Rivera. Jeff is the author of Forever My Lady from Grand Central Publishing (formerly Warner Books). Here's some biographical info on Jeff:

Once homeless and living in his car, award-winning novelist Jeff Rivera writes passionate stories of those often forgotten and neglected by society. He believes even in the eyes of a gang member, even beneath the soiled clothes of a bag lady or behind the tears of a lonely kid in the back of the class, there lies a common thread that links us all, the universal human story. He has made it his personal mission to help change the way the world thinks in a positive way through his stories. Mr. Rivera currently lives in Miami, Florida.

Here's the interview:

Bettye: Jeff, Can you give us the plot overview of Forever My Lady?

Jeff Rivera: Sure, Bettye. Forever My Lady is about a kid named Dio who all he wants is to be loved. He's been rejected by everyone even his own mother and finally finds someone who truly loves him, a girl named Jennifer. They promise to stand by each other no matter what but as Dio gets older he finds himself in prison boot camp but promises to turn his life around for Jennifer and that one day they'll be married and have kids. She promises to never leave him but when he gets out he discovers she's getting ready to marry someone else.

Bettye: Wow. Talk about rotten timing. That makes me real curious about what happened in the interim, so I guess I'll have to read the book to find out! Jeff, this novel was originally self-published before being purchased by Grand Central Publishing (formerly Warner). Was it re-published in the exact same form (not counting editing), or did you do any out-and-out re-writes on it?

Jeff Rivera: Actually, believe it or not, it was kept exactly the same; they just cleaned it up a little. Well, a lot, 'cause the copyediting in it before was awful. We wanted to keep it raw and real in the first version, but I agreed that the Grand Central version looks a lot better.

Bettye: It's a very eye-catching cover. Your protagonist is rather young at the onset of the story. Who would you say is the target audience in terms of age group?

Jeff Rivera: It's funny, 'cause I know you're not supposed to say everybody, but so many people find themselves in this story no matter what the age. But if I'd have to pick one, hey, why not Young Adults.

Bettye: Why not? Time for the personal question: Your information page says you hate most vegetables. Are there any vegetables you like? Do you ever eat salad?

Jeff Rivera: Well, that's one personal question I don't mind answering! I do eat salads, thank you very much! I like broccoli, Brussels sprouts, potatoes, tomatoes (if they're in spaghetti sauce), lettuce, cabbage, um ... what else? Cucumbers, well . . . only if they've been turned into pickles and on rare occassion I'll even spring a radish or two, but only rare occasions.

Bettye: Your website says your next novel will be independently released. Does that mean you are returning to self-publishing? If so, why?

Jeff Rivera: I may very well. I think I'll be the type of author who will go back and forth. There's so much freedom in doing in independently, but it's nice to have the support of a major publisher. We'll have to see how it goes . . . .

Bettye: Oh, I'm a big believer in that! Thanks, Jeff, for answering my questions. Readers, if you’d like more information on Jeff, please visit his website or pick up a copy of Forever My Lady at bookstores everywhere, or at Amazon.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend!