Ask the Author: Cora Siré

What would you like your readers to know about you? 

I’ve written three books – two novels and a collection of poetry. Most of my work is about trying to make sense of where we belong in our fraught, complex world. There’s often a playful quality to my stories and poetry, because I believe that writing should also help transcend darkness. 

 

What is your book about for those who haven’t read it? 

My latest book, a novel entitled Behold Things Beautiful, is about Alma Alvarez and her quest to find out where she belongs. She returns to her home country in Latin America after a period of exile, and meets Gabriel. So, the novel is also a love story. 

 

What has been your inspiration for writing it? 

I set out to explore the power of words – how words can bring us solace in our toughest moments, but also how they can land writers in prison. In my novel, Alma is a lapsed poet who did suffer as a result of her writing, but who also experiences the healing power of words. 

 

What was your favorite scene or part of your book to write? 

I enjoyed writing about how Alma meets Gabriel, to explore how two people who are so different can find connection, through empathy, and how they wind up feeling a little less alone. 

 

What books or authors inspired you to become a writer? 

I was lucky to grow up in a house full of books. One of the first novels I read was by Charles Dickens and I loved his characters, especially the Artful Dodger! Later on, I was inspired by my discovery of female writers such as Jane Austen, Virginia Woolf and Doris Lessing. 

 

What advice would you give to aspiring authors who want to write a book? 

Writing a book and getting it published involves a lot of patience and persistence. These were never my strongest qualities, but I had to learn them. Also, once you’ve started a book, try to maintain momentum by working at it regularly. 

My website:  www.quena.ca 

Twitter: @cora_sire 

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