A Letter Explaining the Reason Behind the Choice of Writing “Secrets & Lies in El Salvador” as Historically-Based, Rather than Historical Fiction

via A Letter Explaining the Reason Behind the Choice of Writing “Secrets & Lies in El Salvador” as Historically-Based, Rather than Historical Fiction

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A Note On Writing & Reviewing

Cyana,
I have now encountered four books that I promised reviews on. But I don’t believe in posting bad reviews so I never posted a review.
The last one I promised was so bad that my husband read the beginning and was laughing like a hyena. Sadly, as a fellow author I don’t find it funny. It is tragic that we put so much of ourselves out there, but don’t bother to make sure that our “baby” is ready.
But I also just read a book with a publisher and an editor and was surprised with all the issues in it. You can look for my most recent review here to see it.
Hiring a professional editor is the ONE thing you should spend your money on. I also know a woman who has six books out there. She spent money on a photographer and graphic designer, but her sister-in-law edited the book for free. She said that she’s a teacher so … I guess in her opinion that qualified her. I am a teacher. And I would never edit anyone’s book.
Editors are very special people with an eye for minutia. They have to read the book without sentimentality. Definitely not me. And not my friend’s sister-in-law either.
Also, like it or not, only with years of critiques of our work from professionals can we see all our silly mistakes. We can’t help but be sentimental about our own work.
May you have all that you want and more.
Sherrie

Sherrie Miranda’s historically based, coming of age, Adventure novel “Secrets & Lies in El Salvador” is about an American girl in war-torn El Salvador:
http://tinyurl.com/klxbt4y
Her husband made a video for her novel. He wrote the song too:

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Looking for Readers Willing to Review “Secrets & Lies in El Salvador”

The review only needs to be 2-3 sentences. If you are interested, email me at sherriemiranda1@aol.com. Let me know if you prefer a Mobi or a PDF.

It’s been a bit frustrating as I had three reviews recently that were NOT put on Amazon which is where many look for reviews even if they don’t buy from them. The reviews ended up in obscure places where they’ll never be seen.

The prequel to this novel “Crimes & Impunity in New Orleans” will be out in December.CoverEight_sherrie2015_33

Peace & justice for all,

Sherrie

Sherrie Miranda’s historically based, coming of age, Adventure novel “Secrets & Lies in El Salvador” is about an American girl in war-torn El Salvador: 
Her husband made a video for her novel. He wrote the song too:

An FB Connection tells me how much he loved “Secrets & Lies In El Salvador: Shelly’s Journey.”

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I can only hope he will post this on Amazon, as well as other places!                               Sherrie

Dear Sherrie,

I just finished reading your novel. I really enjoyed it. What a page-turner. I completed it in only 4–really 3+1/2 days. I continually had to discover what happened to the characters next.

Far from being mere mouthpieces, they were each real human beings with all a real human being’s combination of gifts and flaws. These, possessed more gifts, of course!

Rather than the two dimensional story we all too often learn of on TV or in the newspapers, you made the struggle in El Salvador truly come alive–both the land herself and the people living there.

You wrote a very lovely, poignant and memorable tale. Through seeing my gushy, purple words, you can tell I am absolutely sincere in my words of congratulations.

Warmest regards,                                                                                                                          Michael

Sherrie Miranda’s historically based, coming of age, Adventure novel “Secrets & Lies in El Salvador” is about an American girl in war-torn El Salvador: 
Her husband made a video for her novel. He wrote the song too:

2017 – Read the best of ADVENTURE Novel Stories from around the world:

Thanks Parajunkee.com for this Book Review Checklist! Now can we, Authors, get some reviews? Pretty please?

Book Review InfographicLearn the story behind: Publish “Crimes and Impunity in New Orleans.” and help us meet our goal. @indiegogo
https://igg.me/at/CrimesImpunityNOLAnovel/88562
Sherrie Miranda’s historically based, coming of age, Adventure novel “Secrets & Lies in El Salvador” will be out en Español very soon! It is about an American girl in war-torn El Salvador:
http://tinyurl.com/klxbt4y
Her husband made a video for her novel. He wrote the song too:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P11Ch5chkAc 😉

Secrets and Lies & Life: My Spanish professor (from 1985) read my novel!

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Hi Sherrie,

It’s taken a long time, but I finally got around to ordering your book from Amazon. Last night I read it in one sitting and I want to comment on it before my thoughts fade away–or disappear altogether.
First of all, it is compelling reading. The secrets and lies of the title are very well integrated into the general background of the story which presents a dismaying picture of want and occasional prosperity, normal life and life carried on in the midst of terror. Except for the protagonist the other characters, to my mind, are sketched rather than filled in. Shelly is a believable woman, but I thought that her attachment to José was presented too suddenly. In general, I think that what I would have considered the most telling scene in the story–Romero’s assassination– was given short shrift. Were you present in New Orleans when there was a huge turnout at the Canal Place Theatre in commemoration of his life and works?
I liked the emphasis on food as a metaphor for the love and nurture offered by Abuela, in particular. I also liked Shelly’s care for the plants at the Refugee Center.
Finally, I think that Shelly’s actions speak loudly enough for the political message you wanted to convey so that there is less need to explicate it, as you do at the end of the novel. The “social ” message, as I see it: newfound recognition of the bonds of family, I consider apt for Shelly. Not for me. I prefer ties that connect people outside the family circle. I know that you believe in a wider solidarity, but Shelly’s change of ideas and sentiments regarding family and religion bothered me.This reaction shows my strong bias as an unbeliever. I can’t deny that when family ties begin to look like tribalism, I am disturbed. And as for religion, Marx’s stand (Religion is the opium of the people) is a view I share.Objectivity in reading and trying to understand a work of fiction is not really possible. I guess you may know me well enough to recognize that I don’t value objectivity overmuch or consider it attainable unless it is a question of an historical account, Even then, it is very hard to achieve on the part of the author and readers reacting to the account.
Congratulations! You have certainly produced a gripping account of Shelly’s sojourn in El Salvador. I hope the the book on New Orleans will come out soon.
I hope that you and your family are well. I look forward to hearing from you again.
Abrazos,
WIN
Hello Win,
Thank you for ordering & reading the book. And thank you for your candor. I have a couple friends that normally speak candidly to me, but they have never discussed the book with me this way.

I was in Rochester when Romero was killed, at the beginning of my road toward activism. CISPES had put together a slide show about Romero’s assassination & the ensuing repression. Since my protagonist’s stay in ES was only about a year, the characters had to be sketchy (I think). My initial ideas for this novel started in NOLA. J’s sister, G, told me about her friend who’s father was a union leader & how hard it will be for her to become a doctor. (She is a doctor today!) G is also a dr. but she came to New Orleans after the earthquake in El Salvador & lived with us. She actually told me she couldn’t write a review because the novel is about her family! I don’t think it is, but there are hybrids of real people in the novel.
Right now, G is fixing the terrible translation done by a young Salvadoran who never lived in an English speaking country! I hired a company to do the translation. G says my mistake was saying I wanted it translated by a Salvadoran. She’s probably right because initially K hired an Argentinian to do the translation with help from a friend who is Salvadoran.
I had the formatting done already when I was looking through it for minor mistakes. That’s when I started freaking out as there are mistakes even in the title.
Since G is a doctor, it is taking her a while to get through it all, but she has promised me that it flows much better. I am grateful for that.
I believe I had some sense of your atheism (if that’s what you call it). And certainly Catholicism enters into your issues and concerns with the Spanish conquest.
I was an agnostic most of my life. After 9/11, I found a place called Agape International House of Worship. At that time, Rev. Michael followed Science of Mind. It is a fascinating belief system! No hell or devil & they combine the beliefs of the 7 major religions of the world. Many there are practitioners or studying to be practitioners so Rev. Michael does not consider himself the be-all, end-all of his church; in fact, he once told the audience (~1-2,000 twice every Sunday) that he hoped they would take the ideas back to their home church. Many of the practitioners were past & present activists. 
SOM1 was a course I took after the Newcomer course. It was very healing. Most of my past has been healed so I was able to be kind & loving to my parents, as well as accept their deaths which was something I had always believed was going to tear me apart. I hardly cried when my dad died. I guess because we had plenty of time to talk after my mom died. Because of my mom’s & my difficult relationship, that was harder to come to terms with, but I now see that I am a peace activist because of her influence.
As a teen, I went with a friend to a Catholic mass. At the time, I wished I had been able to confess my “sins.” I had done some dumb stuff as a child and in my mind, it made me a bad person. If I had been forgiven, I wouldn’t have carried around that guilt most of my life.                I met several priests & nuns in New Orleans, including Father Roy Bourgeois & Sister Helen Prejean. They have continued to do great work: Father Roy, organizing against the School of the Americas; Sister Helen, ministering to those on death row & actively working to have the death penalty outlawed in this country.                                                                                                            Being aware of the work Catholics priests & nuns were doing in El Salvador & going to funeral masses for the many priests that were killed in El Salvador helped me to see that there were many in the Catholic Church (albeit the lower echelons) who were very good & loving people, people who gave their lives for the poor they tried to help.
In the end, I consider myself spiritual, but definitely not religious. I have gotten a couple messages from my mom after her death when I felt I couldn’t go on.
Also, I don’t know if you knew that I was a teacher, full-time, for about 13 years, plus subbing when I moved back to San Diego from LA where I taught kids from many countries. At Venice High School, there were a lot of Oaxacans. We had a few teachers from Spain. Those kids, whose 1st language was an Indigenous one, were angry at the Spanish, not the Americans, as groups like MEChA are.
There have been many difficulties I have put myself through and finding that I had a belief system that fit with Spiritual Thought helped me get out of my funk of finding people to save and allowed me to save myself and finally be ready to spend the rest of my life with a kind, loving man like Angelo.
Not sure if you wanted to know all this, but there it is anyway! Hugging face 
Peace,

P.S. Because of all the mess with translation, my New Orleans book is on hold, but I will try to attach the cover so you can see it.

CoverEight_sherrie2015_33.jpg

Learn the story behind: Publish “Crimes and Impunity in New Orleans.” and help us meet our goal. @indiegogo
https://igg.me/at/CrimesImpunityNOLAn…
Sherrie Miranda’s historically based, coming of age, Adventure novel “Secrets & Lies in El Salvador” will be out en Español very soon! It is about an American girl in war-torn El Salvador:
http://tinyurl.com/klxbt4y
Her husband made a video for her novel. He wrote the song too:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P11Ch… 😉