It’s time for our Latino Virtual Book Tour!
Today I have the pleasure of introducing you to Raul Ramos y Sanchez. After you get to know a little bit more about Raul through this post, please feel free to leave a comment or question for him. He will be visiting this blog and answering your questions. Raul has offered an autographed book as a giveaway to a randomly chosen winner from those who leave a comment or question for him on this blog up until midnight tonight PST.
A long-time resident of the U.S. Midwest, Cuban-born Raul Ramos y Sanchez is a founding partner of BRC Marketing, an ad agency established in 1992 with offices in Ohio and California. Besides developing a documentary for public television, Two Americas: The Legacy of our Hemisphere, he is host of MyImmigrationStory an online forum for the U.S. immigrant community. Ramos began writing America Libre in 2004, with the input of scholars from Latin America, Spain, and the United States. After five months as a self-published edition, America Libre, was acquired by Grand Central Publishing (formerly Warner Books). The revised version of the novel by Grand Central Publishing was released July 29, 2009. Grand Central Publishing also acquired El Nuevo Alamo, the sequel to America Libre. El Nuevo Alamo is slated for release in 2010.
IN HIS OWN WORDS (excerpt from Raul’s web page, posted with his authorization)
“January” is the first English word I ever learned. I read it on the calendar thumbtacked to the wall of our apartment in the Bronx. Han-noo-a-ree, I pronounced it. That was in the winter of 1957. My mother had just divorced my father and moved us from Havana to New York City. My father was busy trying to overthrow Batista and my mother thought her prospects for raising a seven-year-old son looked much better sewing sequins on evening gowns in the midtown garment district than in a Cuban prison. Thanks, mamá. You made the right call.
Since mastering that first English word, the power and joy of words have become my life. I not only love words, I’ve made a living from them. First, composing them into pages as a graphic designer, and later arranging them into sentences as an advertising writer. After twenty-four years of creating the fiction commonly known as advertising, I decided to start telling my own stories.
America Libre is my first novel. The idea came when the producer I was working with on a public television film said, “You should write a book about this.” The film was a comparative study of the political and racial landscapes of the U.S. and Latin America. Despite the project’s impressive collection of international scholars, we were struggling to find funding. Inspired by the producer’s idea, I began to write while waiting for the foundations to respond. Soon, the characters came to life and took the story far beyond the original scope of the film. The longer the foundations took, the more I wrote. Seventy-five thousand words later, I realized this piece of fiction had expressed the message of the film in a much more compelling way. I’m still waiting for the funding on the film.
You can read the first chapter of his book here. Please don’t forget to check all the August participating bloggers to learn a little more about Raul (see list below)