DLC: DIY Interview – Helen R. Davis

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Name: Helen R. Davis

What were your favorite subjects in school?
Spanish and French

Name a famous person, living or dead, you’d like to meet.  Why?
I really would like to meet Isabel Peron, one-time president of Argentina. It would be interesting to hear how it felt to walk and follow in the shadows of the trailblazing Evita.

What is your favorite hobby?
Cooking

What is the title of your current project?
‘Evita: My Argentina’

What is the genre?
Historical Fiction

Is this book a stand-alone or part of a series?
Stand-alone

What is the expected release date?
Spring 2017

How did you come up with the title?
I originally self-published it as EVITA: MY LIFE. I had it translated into Spanish and it was titled Evita: Una Vida Apasionada, which means Evita: A Passionate Life, but my publisher, Custom Books Publications, changed the title to EVITA: MY ARGENTINA to coincide with the musical and the famous song ‘Don’t Cry for Me, Argentina’

Please provide a book blurb.
Eva Peron- who was she? A saint? A tyrant? A feminist in an era in which independent women were an anomaly? All of these things? Or just a woman determined to make a difference in this world and have a place in history?

This novel tells Eva’s life in the first person. While it is a work of fiction, it is based on 2 trips to Argentina, one to Spain, and a large amount of research on both Eva Peron and her husband, Juan Peron, three times president of Argentina. Beginning at her birth when she is abandoned by her father, Eva traces her life back to her humble beginnings. She takes us through her entire life and we are left feeling as though we have lived her turbulent, doomed life with her.

Tell us about your main characters
Eva Peron— the one, the only, the First Lady of Argentina who is determined to make a mark on her nation
Juan Peron— Eva’s husband, the president of Argentina, and strongman of destiny
Dona Juana— Eva’s resourceful, loving mother, determined that her children will have the best in life, even though society says they are unworthy
Juan Duarte— Eva’s brother and one of her best friends
Francisco Franco— dictator of Spain, ally of Juan, enemy of Eva

Are your characters based on people you know, including yourself?
Not really. I tried to stay as close to the historical record of the people in the 1930s, 40s, and 50s as is known

What was the hardest part about writing this book?
I didn’t realize how difficult it would be to actually write this novel! I had done so much research on Eva herself that I thought it would come naturally, but it didn’t. It was very difficult for me to put myself in Eva’s shoes as her cultural and historical background were so completely different from my own. Ironically, even though Cleopatra was much further back in history, writing CLEOPATRA UNCONQUERED was much easier. It was easier to imagine a world long gone than one that is in some ways, still similar to ours.

Please provide an excerpt.
“I wasn’t always a great woman. I wasn’t always the Mother of the Poor, the wife of the Great General Perón, the First Lady of Argentina. No, I, too, was once as the poor are always, underfed, poorly clothed, and despised by their “betters”. My journey began in Los Toldos, at La Union ranch. Or at least, that’s what my mother tells me. She tells me I was born on May Seventh, 1919, at five in the morning, and that the woman who delivered me was an Indian. My mother also claimed that she was upset that I was yet another girl, but when the Indian woman assured her that I was very beautiful, my mother told me that she was resigned.

My mother was not beautiful— she was very dark complexioned with piercing black eyes and a plump figure, but she made herself beautiful by wearing elegant clothing and the use of too much perfume. She, too, was illegitimate. Her mother had been Petronia Nuñez, and she had been the mistress of a carter named Ibarguren, and she took his name for her own. But my mother called herself Juana Duarte, for my father.”

Do you have any other projects in the works? Tell us about them.
I am still working and trying to get a critical mass to sell ‘CLEOPATRA UNCONQUERED’ and release the three sequels, tentatively titled’ CLEOPATRA VICTORIOUS’, ‘CLEOPATRA MAGNIFICA’ and ‘CLEOPATRA TRIUMPHANT’.

I am also publishing a fantasy series set in the future called ‘ATHENA: THE WARRIOR QUEEN OF YAVDOLO’.

Are you traditionally published?  What publisher?
Yes, Custom Books Productions

Why are you publishing the way you do?
Self-publishing is a lot of work. Of course, being an author itself is work, but self-publishing really puts you out on a limb by yourself. I first self-published this, then I switched to traditional publishing. I prefer doing it traditionally, but I would never be one to knock those who self-publish.

Please list your published works, with dates, and where we can find them.
CLEOPATRA UNCONQUERED’ (2015) is available as an eBook on Amazon, and in print as well.  Click Here

‘EVITA: MY ARGENTINA’ is also available as an eBook in limited release on Amazon.
Click Here

Are you involved in publishing in any other capacity?
Editor

What books have you read recently?
I am reading the ‘Cursed Kings’ series, by Maurice Druon.

What book are you reading now?
‘The Strangled Queen’, the second in the Accursed Kings series

Who are your favorite authors?
My favorites are: Jean Plaidy, Michelle Moran, CS Lewis, and JRR Tolkien.  Maurice Druon is also growing on me.

Do you prefer print or digital books?
I like them both

What is your favorite book of all times?  Why?
I am not sure I can pick one particular favorite.

What is your favorite season of the year?
Summer

Where is your favorite vacation destination?
France and Israel

Look back, what one thing in your life do you wish you could do over?
I’m not sure that’s a wise question. If we don’t have painful experiences, we never learn and grow.

What’s the one thing you’d most like to accomplish in your life?
I would like to be successful as an author and also have a happy marriage.

Where Can Readers Find You
Website LinkedIn
Goodreads E-Mail

Author Bio

Helen R. Davis was born in Marion, Ohio and currently resides in Casper, Wyoming. She was educated at Ohio Northern University where she discovered her passion for foreign languages and leading ladies of other nations. Her first novel, Cleopatra Unconquered is the first in a series of books that imagines an alternate timeline where Cleopatra VII, the final queen of Egypt, and her second husband, Marc Antony, where they do not lose but instead are the victors at the Battle of Actium. The Author is currently publishing a fantasy novel, Athena, The Warrior Queen of Yavdolo.

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Would you like to read and review Logan’s Time?
Email me at Dayna@DaynaLCheser.com
I’ll provide a free copy for an honest review.

Read a Free Chapter HERE

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BOOKS by Dayna Leigh Cheser
‘Janelle’s Time’, ‘Moria’s Time’
‘Adelle’s Time’,
Logan’s Time’
Clarissa’s Time’ – 2018

Janelle’s Time’ (2nd Edition) – 2017

 

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