We had the good fortune of connecting with Raquel V. Reyes and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Raquel V., what habits do you feel play an important role in your life?
Consistency. Writing a full-length novel while juggling family life and a regular paycheck job is not easy. Keeping my writing time sacred has been the key. I write for 1-3 hours every morning. Some days I only get 100 words on the page and others 1,000, but drop by drop it makes a full book.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I am a mystery writer. I’ve loved reading mysteries since I was a teenager. But I rarely saw a main character that looked like me. Representation matters. I remember finding Carolina Garcia-Aguilera’s Lupe Solano series (set in Miami!) and identifying with Lupe, the Cuban-American PI. But then there were no other series or authors with Latina leads that I could find. That is when I knew I needed to write the books I wasn’t seeing on the shelf. I love cozy mysteries. They are usually character-driven and the mystery is more puzzle than grit and gore. I was determined to write a Cuban-American protagonist with a Miami setting. It took a while to find an agent and a publisher but I finally have a full-length novel coming out 10/12/21. Mango, Mambo, and Murder is the first in the Caribbean Kitchen series.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I love playing tour guide to Miami. When friends and family come to town I usually give them a tour of Calle Ocho, Miami Beach, Wynwood, and the Biscayne Corridor. Then I ask them what their interests are and give them a list of options. Authentic Cuban food is always on their list. There are so many little cafes that it depends on where they are staying as to which one I’ll suggest. I recommend folks go to the PAMM and the Frost Science museum. It makes for a fun day and the views of Biscayne Bay are priceless. If they are staying for a week, I suggest a trip to the Everglades and a drive to The Keys.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I’d like to shout out to the Florida Chapter of Mystery Writers of America. ( https://mwaflorida.org/)
For years they have been my in-person network of writers. The chapter sponsors SleuthFest an annual writing craft conference. I’ve learned so much from the speakers and faculty at the conference.
I’d also like to shout out my virtual support group. Crime Writers of Color. (https://www.crimewritersofcolor.com/) This group has been incredible and much needed. It is a safe space where beginners to bestsellers help one another navigate what can sometimes be a hostile and brick wall industry.