Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Character Interview with Pilar Alvarez!


Today I am interviewing the lovely Pilar Alvarez from IN NEED OF THERAPY by the incredibly talented Tracie Banister!

1.      Name a celebrity you’ve been told you look like.
I get Eva Mendes once in a while, which is really flattering, but I don’t know that we really look alike so much as we’re both curvy Latinas with long hair. 

2.      What one word would best describe you?

3.      If you were an animal, what would you be and why?
Maybe a horse? They’re strong and have minds of their own, but they’re, also, very social, sensitive creatures.

4.      What’s your family like? Any family drama you can share?
I could write a book on my family drama. Oh, wait, somebody else already did! ;) The Alvarezes are a big, loud Cuban-American-Chilean clan, full of very dynamic personalities. So, there are conflicts from time to time (more frequently when my wild child little sis, Izzy, is involved.) I’m the middle child and the most even-tempered of the women in our family, so I always end up playing mediator when there are squabbles. I don’t think Izzy is speaking to Mamá right now, or maybe it’s our older sister, Ana? Probably both. Izzy is always taking offense to something one of them said and accusing them of ganging up on her. She gets her persecution complex from our mother. The self-involved, melodramatic apple doesn’t fall far from the tree (I say that with love!)

5.      Do you think you've turned out the way your parents expected?

For the most part. My father always nurtured and encouraged my academic and professional goals. He’s very proud of the fact that I’m the first woman in our family to have not only gotten a degree, but become a doctor! My mother would have preferred to see me get married and start a family straight out of high school, like Ana, but I don’t think she was surprised that I chose a different path. And she’s still clinging to the hope that I will find a man and give her the granddaughter she so desperately wants (Ana has failed her in this regard, having birthed three grandsons in a row.)

6.      Tell us one of your most embarrassing moments.
Something happened recently involving a drunken confession of love and Twisted Pleasure condoms, and that's all I'm saying because I'm too mortified to relive the whole experience again. If you want to know all the embarrassing details, you'll have to read In Need of Therapy.

7.      If you had a free day, and your only mission was to enjoy yourself, what would you do?
Wow, a free day to do whatever I want – that never happens! I guess I’d sleep in, go get a mani/pedi with Sara, then park it by the pool at Ana’s house. No, wait, scratch that, her kids would be there and I don’t think being splashed by boys doing cannonballs all day would be very relaxing. So, I’d go to South Beach instead and find myself a nice spot where I could soak up some rays and read a good book. Maybe Nicholas Sparks has a new one out? I love a good, tearjerking romance.

8.      Tell us about your best friend. How did you meet?
My best friend is the gorgeous (Seriously, I’d hate her if I didn’t know what a wonderful person she was.), uber-talented swimwear designer, Sara Reade. She and I met Freshman year at the University of Miami (Go Hurricanes!) We sat next to each other in the world’s most boring Anthropology class. To keep ourselves entertained while the professor droned on and on about evolution and cultural dynamics, we would pass notes and drawings back and forth.  I’d make observations about the other students (Who had the hots for who, why the guy in the third row was acting twitchy, which girl had obsessive-compulsive tendencies.) and Sara would sketch out new wardrobes for everyone (Most of our classmates were in dire need of a fashion makeover!) We had so much fun together that we started to hang out after class and soon we were inseparable.  Sophomore year we became roommates at the dorm, and the rest is history!

9.      When you’re driving down the road, what music do you listen to?
I listen to the radio and switch back and forth between Miami Y100, which plays the Top 40 stuff I like (Pitbull, Katy Perry, Lady Gaga), and Mega 94.9, which is the Latino station. Nothing like a little Shakira to make my drive to work go faster!

10.  What is the quality you most like in a man?
A sense of humor. I love being with a man who can make me laugh.

If you'd like to read more about Pilar, be sure to pick up a copy of In Need of Therapy while the e-book's on sale for just $0.99! This special #ChickLitMay promo will last through Sunday (5/11.)

About In Need of Therapy...
Lending a sympathetic ear and dispensing sage words of advice is all part of the job for psychologist Pilar Alvarez, and she’s everything a good therapist should be: warm, compassionate, supportive. She listens, she cares, and she has all the answers, but how’s the woman everyone turns to in their hour of need supposed to cope when her own life starts to fall apart? 

While working hard to make a success of her recently-opened practice in trendy South Beach, Pilar must also find time to cater to the demands of her boisterous Cuban family, which includes younger sister Izzy, an unemployed, navel-pierced wild child who can't stay out of trouble, and their mother, a beauty queen turned drama queen who’s equally obsessed with her fading looks and getting Pilar married before it’s “too late.” Although she’d like to oblige her mother and make a permanent love connection, Pilar’s romantic prospects look grim. Her cheating ex, who swears that he’s reformed, is stalking her. A hunky, but strictly off-limits, patient with bad-boy appeal and intimacy issues is making passes. And the sexy shrink in the suite across the hall has a gold band on his left ring finger. 

When a series of personal and professional disasters lead Pilar into the arms of one of her unsuitable suitors, she's left shaken, confused, and full of self-doubt. With time running out, she must make sense of her feelings and learn to trust herself again so that she can save her business, her family, and most importantly, her heart.

My thoughts on the book...
What can I say? I really heart Tracie Banister. Not only is she an incredible writer, but she is a fun, wonderful person as well! Her approach to writing snagged me with her debut novel Blame it on the Fame and she did not disappoint with In Need of Therapy! I simply couldn't put it down. I enjoyed the family drama (and even related to some of it), and Pilar's relationship woes. A fabulous book that I will recommend to my friends and may have to read again... soon! 

About the Author...
An avid reader and writer, Tracie Banister has been scribbling stories since she was a child, most of them featuring feisty heroines with complicated love lives like her favorite fictional protagonist Scarlett O'Hara. Her work was first seen on the stage of her elementary school, where her 4th grade class performed an original holiday play that she penned (Like all good divas-in-the-making, she, also, starred in and tried to direct the production.) Her dreams of authorial success were put on the backburner when she reached adulthood and discovered that she needed a "real" job in order to pay her bills. Her career as personal assistant to a local entrepreneur lasted for 12 years. When it ended, Tracie decided to follow her bliss and dedicate herself to writing full-time. Her debut novel, the Academy Awards-themed Blame It on the Fame, was released in January, 2012. And she followed that up with the fun, Miami-set romp, In Need of Therapy. In her spare time, she blogs and co-hosts #ChickLitChat on Twitter, which is a popular group that meets online every week to celebrate and discuss the genre.   

Buy In Need of Therapy:

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