Saturday, November 20, 2010

Un vistazo of undiscovered literary works

Dear editors & agents del mundo,

As a writer, I've worn a self-made button to writing conferences that reads: "Willing to work for serendipitous editor or agent." I inevitably get comments and once got an agent to ask me what I was pitching. He didn't take me on as a client, but the button did its job, one time.

In that spirit La Bloga provides this feature column with the message: Héchate un vistazo, which means take a peak. Here we're letting editors and agents, and all Bloga readers, get a peak at book-length stories hungry for an audience, and patron.

These will only be never-published works--novels, novellas, poetry collection, novelettes, screenplays, other collections, memoirs, children's books, anthologies--written by our contributors, complete and just itching to lock in your interest.

Consider this a service to our contributors as well as to publishing magnates out there. In the future we may give La Bloga readers a chance to feature their MSS here, so if you have one, send a 150-word pitch of your obra and a 25-word publishing history, as well as a way for people to contact you. Include the word count, genre, a photo and at least a working title for the story. If you want to include the opening 3 sentences of the story, we'll include that, too. Send to (ala) BEWARE: yes, your idea may be stolen because nothing is sacred nor secure in the Internet world.

Even if you're not an agent or editor, you may know one who one day writes you a big fat finder's fee for bringing one of these works to their attention. At least, we can imagine so.

Two MSS lead off today's parade. Who knows? Maybe this will do the job as well as my button and one day an editor/agent will call. BTW, if anyone should luck out, you MUST let us know.

Nine Days Dead a novel
by Lisa Alvarado

Florinda Cienfuegos, daughter of Oya and owner of a Chicago botánica, has dreams about criminals getting murdered and visions of a man flashing a detective's shield. Last night, she finally sees a name on the badge--David Ortiz, and tries to tell the police what she knows. When she's laughed out of the local precinct, she's overheard by Det. Naftali Gonzales. Gonzalez doesn't think it's a laughing matter. He had the same disturbing dreams; David Ortiz was his partner, killed in the line of duty nine days ago. What happens against a backdrop of Chicago's Puerto Rican and Mexican neighborhoods is a tale of the supernatural, crime/noir and two people drawn together to find out who or what has pierced the veil to exact justice.

Publishing bio: Lisa Alvarado is an educator, poet, novelist, and journalist. She is founder of La Onda Negra Press, and author of Reclamo and The Housekeeper’s Diary, originally a book of poetry and now a one-woman performance. Her first novel, Sister Chicas (written with Ann Hagman Cardinal and Jane Alberdeston) was bought by Penguin/NAL, and released in April '06. Sister Chicas is a coming of age story concerning the lives of three young Latinas living in Chicago and won 2nd place Best First Novel in English (Latino Literacy Nov. '07). Her book of poetry, Raw Silk Suture, is a recent release by Floricanto Press, and was reviewed by Rigoberto Gonzalez. Lisa is the recipient of grants from the Depart. of Cultural Affairs, NEA and the Ragdale Foundation. Contact her at: alvarado2004 (ala) or lisa (ala)

The Girl with Kaleidoscope Eyes a novel
by tatiana de la tierra

Set in Colombia, this is the story of Leidy Diana Botero, a teenager in El Libano, a small mountain town noted for its coffee plantations, guerrilla movement, agriculture and close proximity to one of Colombia’s most powerful volcanoes, El Nevado del Ruiz. Leidy is a domestic worker for a wealthy coffee plantation owner; her fascination with English culture fuels the fantasy that she will one day be relieved of her underclass status. She becomes an unwitting adventurous protagonist who is kidnapped by mistake, survives alone in the jungle, is rescued and taken in by a funky guy from a town downriver from El Libano, and eventually works at the serpentarium, where she is surrounded by an international community of scientists.

A 35-k novella, The Girl with Kaleidoscope Eyes is about a teenager coming of age in the Colombian mountains as well as about the political climate, myths and popular culture of the time. The novel takes place in 1985 when two episodic events in Colombia’s history occurred—the burning down of the Palace of Justice and the eruption of El Nevado de Ruiz, which buried alive some 30,000 people. Both events altered Colombia’s history, as well as the fate of the protagonist.
tatiana can be contacted at: tatiana (a la)

Publishing bio: Colombian writer tatiana de la tierra authored the books: Xía y las mil sirenas ('09); For the Hard Ones: A Lesbian Phenomenology/ Para las duras: Una fenomenología lesbiana ('02); and various chapbooks, including Píntame una mujer peligrosa ('04); tierra '10: and poems, songs and a little blood ('10). In the 1990s de la tierra co-founded and edited the Latina lesbian publications esto no tiene nombre, conmoción, and la telaraña. Her writings have been published in journals and anthologies since 1987. She currently resides in southern Calif. and envisions a writers’ eco-village in the mountains of Colombia.

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