Q: Your book “Women, Work and Triumph: Interviews with Fascinating Women”. What was the most profound discovery or take away you had from your interviews?
In my lifetime (I am seventy-six), women have moved from traditional roles of wives, mothers, home-makers, caregivers and dependents to independent women in executive positions in education, entertainment, finance, government, law, law enforcement, medicine, military, politics, religion, science, sports and technology, and other male-dominated fields, professions and jobs.
While significant progress has been made thanks to the continued fight for equality by the Women’s Liberation Movement of the 1960s and 1970s, it has been my experience that change comes slowly; there is still a gender pay gap.
I had the privilege of interviewing twenty-six diverse women in twenty-six professions, many male-dominated and questioned them about their work with emphases on obstacles they may have had to overcome. The women were different in age, race, and country of origin. I interviewed women from India, Australia, England, Canada, and the United States. While none of my questions included sexual orientation, financial status, political affiliation, or marital status, many of the women candidly discussed such subjects which impacted their lives and informed their decisions. The most profound discovery was that they all have the same goal, the quest for acceptance and respect.
I am of the opinion that all voices need to be heard and it was my honor to work with twenty-six lovely, strong women.
Q: This year has had its challenges with the pandemic. How has it effected your time and ability to write? Are you writing more or less?
The pandemic has not affected my time or method of writing. I do not write every day but when I am entrenched in a project, I write constantly. I am lucky to have an understanding husband who is also a great cook!
Currently, I am focused on marketing and advertising my books and screenplays. I am not writing new material but will continue strengthening past projects beginning with my screenplays.
Q: What is on the horizon for you? Do you have any upcoming projects?
One of my screenplays is being considered as a project for a possible theater run. That would please me greatly.
Q: What inspired you to pick up the pen?
I wrote poetry as a child and was always awed by people’s stories. I earned a living as an administrative assistant to executive leaders in the profit and non-profit sectors. After early retirement, I took a course in screenwriting and wrote six screenplays. My novel, Concrete Wings was originally written as a screenplay and at the suggestion of two producers, converted to a full-length novel.
I fictionalized my husband’s experience as a naïve teen sent out of Cuba on the eve of the Bay of Pigs Invasion to retrieve smuggled family jewels and help his parents and other relatives find liberty in America. I am fascinated by his journey to freedom and all that he had to endure while respecting his family and their traditions and embracing and adjusting to the American way of life. I am impressed by his intelligence, courage, and devotion. I felt it was a story which needed to be told with the dignity and respect it deserved. The script placed in a couple of contests; the novel earned: Rent
2017 Literary Classic's Seal of Approval with a recommendation for school and home libraries
2017 The Readers’ Favorite Five Star Seal
2018 Florida Book Festival’s Honorable Mention
2017 New York Book Festival's Honorable Mention
It was my comedy screenplay, Rent Money that won the Golden Palm Award for Best Screenplay at the 2012 Beverly Hills International Film Festival. Rent Another screenplay, Unprotected Witness, co-written with Jack Knight, veteran actor of stage, screen and television also placed in a contest. I converted that script into a suspense thriller novel titled Soaring in Silence which earned:
2019 The Readers’ Favorite Five Star Seal
My third book, Women, Work and Triumph is my way of honoring women, especially this year when we celebrated the 100th anniversary of the passage of the 19th Amendment which granted American women the right to vote on August 18, 1920. However, African American women were still denied the right to vote in some states because of racial discrimination. It would take another forty-five years for that to be rectified thanks to civil rights activists Diane Nash, Fannie Lou Hammer, Ella Baker and others who continued to battle for voting rights for all, which resulted in the Voting Rights Act of 1965. If we don’t know our history, we are bound to repeat the mistakes of the past.
Q: You’ve written three very different books; how would you categorize yourself as a writer?
My screenplays and my books are of different genres which include coming of age, drama, family drama, comedy and suspense thriller. Therefore, it is difficult to categorize me. As a writer, I like a good story with interesting characters placed in unusual circumstances. All my heroes and heroines understand that success is not always measured by what one becomes, but often, by what one overcomes. I enjoy the journey and hope my readers do as well.
Twitter https://twitter.com/ @BevGandara