Interview with Carolina Dias/Carol Dias
© Jane Harvey-Berrick, 2019
Carolina Dias is one talented woman: a writer, a graphic designer, an amazing singer who sings with her church, and she has serious moves on the dance floor (even though she totally failed to get me dancing samba, despite two trips to Brazil, but here’s hoping!). She also speaks English fluently, among her many achievements, and is always smiling and laughing.
In the UK, we’d call her ‘a pocket rocket’, a petite woman with bags of energy and a sense of non-stop fun. She’s like sunshine wrapped up in a person.
Q You’re a writer, but you’re all part of the Gift Box Publishing team. In the UK, we’d say that you’re both ‘poacher’ and ‘gamekeeper’. Is it hard being on both sides of the publishing process?
It’s quite hard. I like working at the Gift Box, but I also love writing, so it’s hard to find time for both. I love both of my professions. Gift Box is a full-time job, so my writing is at the weekends and in the evening. I probably spend about two hours a day, so maybe ten hours a week writing.
So I guess it takes me one month or six months to write a book! It really depends.
Q What is other jobs have you done?
I graduated as a marketing professional, so I worked with an agency on publicity and social media, but I was also in sales promotions. At the Gift Box, I do the cover design and all the social media.
Of course, my favourite cover model is Manu Yanes! He’s been on my books.
Q Can you remember where and when you were when you started to write your first book?
I can’t! I was really young when I started my writing. My sister was really inquisitive; she’d always be asking me, what are you doing?!
My first published was in 2015, Cliché, and I wrote three other books with that publisher. They’re all New Adult romances, like my books now.
Q How many books have you written, and which are you most proud of?
I’ll have to count! Four books, plus one in an anthology. I’m most proud of the last one, Wait For Me/Espere Por Mim. I wrote this two years ago, but I put it aside because I wasn’t happy with it. But then Roberta [Teixeira – the Gift Box Publisher] asked me if I wanted to publish it. I looked at it again. It was hard, but I feel like I’ve improved it so much, I’m really proud of it.
It’s about an MMA fighter who has a girlfriend, but he’s a violent person, although not with her. She discovers that she’s pregnant, but when he beats up another guy, she gets scared, afraid that one day he would be violent with her or the children.
When she leaves him, he turns his life around.
Q What is the most rewarding part of being a writer?
To meet people! I can meet readers and become friends with them. I love meeting new authors, too. They become part of my life, and I’ve accomplished a lot of things as a writer. I’m so happy.
Q What is the hardest part of being a writer?
To be a publisher and an author is difficult. Being a writer takes a lot of time—to write, to promote, to go to events. But at the same time, I have to be responsible for other writers at the events. It’s hard.
Q Do you ever get writers’ block? How do you cope with it?
Yes! When I was writing, Espere Por Mim, for the first time I had writer’s block. I was also finishing my final project at college, and trying to write at the same time. I was so furious that I couldn’t write! It was the biggest block of my entire life. But other times, maybe a block lasts just a day or a week.
When I was feeling blocked before, I used to try and write something else or do another creative project, like a book cover because I’m a designer. But now, sometimes I’ll just relax and watch a movie—and it gets better.
Q If you had a child and they said that they wanted to be a writer, what would you say?
I’d be happy because I know how important it is for me and for my life. It was important to go after my dream—I’d try to my best for the child.
Q What do you want to achieve as a writer?
One is to be a full-time writer without another job. The other is to have one of my books turned into a movie or shown in a theatre or as a TV series.
[Jane nods, very much agreeing with those goals. Dreams are free!]
Q What is your favourite reader experience, either in messages or at a Gift Box event?
One time at a book fair here in Brazil, I went had to leave my table for a minute, and when I came back to the stand, a friend told me, “Oh there was another reader who came here to buy your book but you weren’t here! She says she’s going to come back.”
When she came back, she started crying! She was so sweet. It’s a moment that always stays in my mind.
Q What is your philosophy of life?
Let me think. Hmm.
Stay true to yourself because when you start to feel that you’re not yourself anymore, you start to lose part of yourself. So stay true to yourself.
Q Describe yourself in three words.
Oh, jeez, Jane!
I think, um, creative, happy, and … decisive.
Q How would your best friend describe you?
I don’t know! That’s difficult. Probably something like … loyal, because I am. Happy, because I’m happy with my best friend. Also, somebody who’s always on time, never late. Yes, I’m punctual.
[Jane nods. I’m the same. I HATE being late! I have a chronic dislike of keeping people waiting or being late to arrive somewhere.]
Q If you were an animal, what would you be?
Probably a fish because I like to swim! I could swim for my whole life.
Q Most likely to say…
Let me think…
Justo! It means ‘fair’, ‘fair enough’, ‘that’s okay’.
Q Least likely to say…
Something that might offend someone. I try not to offend people. I’d rather find a way to say it nicely, more politely.
If I say something that offends someone, it’s not because I want to!
Q What is your favourite colour and why?
Purple! My room is purple! I have clothes that are purple, too.
When I was a kid, my mom always gave me pink clothes and I got fed up wearing pink. The stores had some purple clothes for girls, so I started wearing that instead. It became one of my favourite colours.
Q When you’re having a bad day, what cheers you up?
I like to listen to music that makes me dance, and then I’m not in a bad mood anymore. Or my best friend, she always knows the right things to say to me to cheer me up.
Q What would be your ideal day? Where would you be? Who would you be with?
I think I’d be writing on a beach and drinking! Or reading a book, something like this. My friends would be there, too.
In real life, I can’t have anyone talk to me when I’m writing, but this is my perfect day so it would be okay.
Q Mountains and snow, or beaches and sunshine?
I live in Rio! So the beaches are right outside. I don’t like feeling cold. I’d rather have sunshine—although it’s 40oC outside right now and sooooo hot. But if I’m at the beach, I can swim in the sea or be under an umbrella.
Q Do you think writers are different to other people? Are we observers? Creators?
We’re all different. And writers are different other writers, because we all have our own way of writing. But we observe more and use other people’s stories, perhaps. We’re the kind of people who are always looking for new stories, or the reactions of people to give to our characters.
Q Have you ever written with a friend? What was the experience like? How did it differ from writing by yourself? What were the pros and cons?
I did once, but it wasn’t a great experience. I was finishing my college degree and I had no time to write, so when I had a little bit of time and I sat with her, I thought I could be studying or doing my final project. It felt like something I had to do.
But I’d probably consider it in the future. I have a friend who’s really talented and I want to write with him, but I don’t have time yet, maybe later this year.
His name is Marlon Soua, he’s also a romance writer.
Q Where do you see yourself in ten years’ time?
Probably with a family. I don’t know if I’m going to get married, I’m leaving this to God! But I do want kids. I’ll definitely still be a writer!
Q What message would you like to give to the people who read your books?
Thank you so much! Every day if I think about giving up, I remember you, and I remember that my stories can touch you. So thank you for reading my books and staying with me.
At just 22 years of age, I think this lovely lady is going to go a long way. Watch this space! This firecracker is going to fly high.
Find Carol on Instagram