She researched it and I had vicarious experiences as I traveled through her characters’ stories in the this novel. She agreed to do the following interview. I currently live in Chicago and it brought back a lot of memories for me in both place and song.
Q. 1. How did you research the Chicago landscape since you have never been there?
I work with a group of Historians and Curators full-time, so I have lots of books and online databases at my disposal. I have also interviewed several people who are from Chicago between the ages of 40-60.
Q. 2. What helps you visualize your characters as you get into their personalities?
Selena: Once I have an idea in my mind of what they may look like. I search online images and try to find pictures that closely fit what they may look like, and I saved them into a folder. This also helps me to describe them better.
Q. 3. Why did you choose to write about life in the housing projects?
Selena: I wanted to show people that no matter where you live we are all humans who face the same problems everyday. I also wanted to show that just because someone is financially poor doesn’t mean they lack morals or intelligence. In fact, many of my friends growing up were from the projects and they were some of the brightest students in the class. Lastly, I wanted to show that if you’re a person living in a low-income environment with high crime, it doesn’t mean you’re hopeless or helpless. My main character was able to rise above her circumstances.
Q. 4. Do you write in longhand or on a computer?
Computer. I used to write both ways, but that was too much work. LOL.
Q. 5. How do you get into the mood or zone as you put words on the page?
I write whenever the mood captures me or if an idea comes to my head.