I welcome Nancy Arroyo Ruffin to my blog. Her passion for life and writing are inspiring! The message here is that you can’t keep it unless you give it away!
What are your genre and your intended audience?
I have self-published two poetry books (Welcome to Heartbreak and Letters to My Daughter) and I’m expanding into the fiction genre in the near future. I know this may sound broad, but my books are geared towards parents. I write a lot about my experience as a new mother and most of writing includes cultural themes about pride and identity. It is important to me that our children have a healthy appreciation and love for themselves and where they come from. I am a firm believer that love is taught and pride is instilled. My writing reflects that.
What are you currently writing?
I am currently working on a coming of age novel about the trials and tribulations of 2 sisters growing up in Brooklyn, NY in the 1980s.
When do you make time to write?
I have a 17 month old daughter so my writing time usually happens when she’s sleeping. Either early in the morning before she wakes or late in the evening after she’s gone to sleep.
What would you have done differently in your writing life? If anything at all?
I have always had a passion for writing. I’ve been writing since elementary school. As I got older, and once I went to college, I strayed away from my passion for writing. Primarily because I was always encouraged by my parents to focus on getting a “good” job. So instead of majoring in English or Creative Writing I majored in Accounting and Health Care Management and got a “good” job in the health care industry. If I had to do it all over again I would have majored in Creative Writing. I now know that when you pursue your passion the Universe provides all that you need to ensure your success. I will always encourage my daughter to go after her dreams, whatever they may be.
Tell us about your marketing strategy.
As a self-published author I rely heavily on social media networks and my established connections to get the word out. I’m on Twitter (www.twitter.com/msnancybk), Facebook (www.facebook.com/nancyarroyoruffin), and Instagram (www.instagram.com/msnancyruffin). I also have a personal website (www.nancyruffin.net) where I sell and promote my books. Most recently, I’ve started to schedule book readings and signings in non-traditional venues. For example, last month I had a book signing at Nail Lounge in Washington Heights, one of NYC’s trendiest and most popular nail salons. Sometimes people can’t make it to book signings so I’m bringing my books to them.
Does your spiritual or political life influence your writing? If so, how?
Most definitely. I get inspiration from everywhere. And my books reflect that. I try not to limit the creative process so I am always open and aware to what is happening around me. Sometimes a news story will inspire me or I’ll read something from another writer and get inspired. In my first book Welcome to Heartbreak I have a poem entitled Public Service Announcement that addresses our flawed judicial system.
What would you like to see in your literary community?
I would really like to see more events that include children. It is so important to introduce them to reading and the arts while they are young. Help them to develop a love for reading from an early age. Personally, I will be focusing a lot of more on creating events where children can attend, get involved, and be more engaged.
Are you working on any new projects?
I actually do have a couple of projects that I’m working on. On May 3 from 6-8pm, I will be having a book reading and signing at LaCasa Azul bookstore in Spanish Harlem. I also I have recently partnered with a local school in the Bronx to work with their 4th grade class on a book project after they wrote their own versions of Donde Vengo Yo, one of my poems which appears in Letters to My Daughter. Their poems were inspired by my poem. I have collected their poems and am in the process of editing them so that I can publish them and give each student a copy of the book. It is my gift to them to encourage them to follow their dreams whatever they may be. I am also trying to raise money to help fund a computer lab for the school. Anyone interested in learning more about the project or interested in making a donation should visit the campaign website. No amount is too small and every dollar counts. https://fundly.com/christthekingfundraiser
Author Bio: Nancy Arroyo Ruffin is a New York City born Latina of Puerto Rican descent. She is a mother, wife, and author. As a performance poet and writer, Nancy has used the written word as her outlet to inspire, educate, and empower. She has facilitated writing workshops for aspiring writers and has performed at various venues in her beloved New York City. Nancy has featured at the legendary Nuyorican Poets Café and El Museo del Barrio. Her first book Welcome to Heartbreak: A Collection of Prose & Poetry was published in 2011. Most recently, her work appears in Joy, Interrupted: An Anthology on Motherhood and Loss published by Fat Daddy’s Press. Letters to My Daughters is her second collection of poetry. For more info visit www.nancyruffin.net