Interview with Brazilian author M S Fayes
© Jane Harvey-Berrick, 2019
Translation by author Carol Dias
With her incredible mane of thick glossy hair and enviable, hour-glass figure, Cristina Melo exudes the glamour of a fifties pin-up. If she was blonde, she’d be Veronica Lake. But she’s far from an icy movie star, instead warm and friendly—especially when it comes to four-footed friends…
Q When did you know you were going to become a writer?
Q Does your husband read your books? What does he think?
Yes, he’s read all of them. He always likes them, but when he doesn’t, he encourages me to do more. My mother reads them, too. With the first book, my mother was surprised because she wasn’t expecting that; she didn’t know I was writing. But she’s happy for me.
Q What do you enjoy most about being a writer? Is it your full-time job?
A Yes, I’m a full-time writer, but for 15 years I ran a pet shop.
Q What’s your favourite pet?
All of them! I have a cat and a dog. I used to have three dogs and three cats. If I could, I’d have more animals. My husband says if I have anymore, he’ll leave! If I had to make a choice… if he said it for real, I might choose the pets! Seriously, the animals can’t defend themselves. My ex-boyfriend left because I chose the dog.
[How awesome is this woman! It’s at times like this that I’m frustrated we can’t simply talk to each other. I HAVE to learn Portuguese!]
Q What do you like most about being a writer?
I can create a lot of lives in one story.
Q If you had to stop writing tomorrow, how would you feel?
My life would be over! I live and breathe writing, so the world would end.
Q Which book are you most proud of and why?
My first book because I wasn’t expecting to do this, and when I finished, it was really special and I was really proud of it. I didn’t think that I could put my thoughts on paper like that.
Q What are you working on now?
I’m working on three books: the last book of my Missão Bope series, a new book entitled Nunca Mais [Never], and also a secret project for The Gift Box!
Q Which famous book do you most wish that you’d written?
So many! I really like Nicholas Sparks.
Q If your book was made into a movie, who would you want to play the characters?
Channing Tatum to play Gustavo … um, I can’t think of anyone else. [Channing has that affect…]
Q What was your favourite book growing up?
Q What was special about that book for you?
It was about encouraging you to dream, never to give up, and I followed this advice in my life. I was 10 or 11 years old.
Q Describe yourself in three words
A dreamer, persistent, a fighter
Q Describe your ideal man – other than your husband!
I don’t care about looks, I like a man who would fight for his family, someone who has a good heart.
Q If he was really handsome, what would he look like?
Captain America! You don’t have to pay for your dreams!
Q What’s your favourite food?
Bacalhau – dried, salted cod.
Q What’s your philosophy of life?
Never give up, everything is possible.
Q Where do you see yourself in ten years?
As a writer with a lot of books, with my family, a stable life.
Q How do you choose your book covers?
I try to find something from the story. If I don’t like what the publisher does, I talk to them and they’ll try to find something we both like.
Q Do you read romances?
A Yes, Colleen Hoover is a favourite. Nicholas Sparks, Christina Lauren. As for classical authors, I had to read these at school, but I do like Brazilian author Jorge Amado.
Q What message would you like readers to take from your books?
I write about reality, so I like readers to see ways to deal with their lives.
Q What do you enjoy about a Gift Box event?
The way I can interact with readers and there’s no distinction between authors, we’re all equal.
Q Any final words to your readers?
Every day you have a chance to start again.