I was born and raised in Miami, Florida. When I was five, we moved to Puerto Rico for about a year then moved back to Miami. After finishing up at Miami-Dade Junior College, I moved to the Pensacola/Gulf Breeze area to attend the University of West Florida. I remained there until the move to Tennessee in 1990. I’m a mixture of Puerto Rican, Costa Rican, Czechoslovakian and Irish descent.
Tell us about your book? How did it get started?
I’ve been a daydreamer as far back as I can remember. I was twelve when we had a terrible thunderstorm in Miami. The lightning struck our aluminum awning over my bedroom window, causing the loudest noise. I was in bed at the time and started thinking of things, like: “What if a space ship crashed in my back yard?” “What if aliens were spirit beings and inhabited the toys in my bedroom?” Well, fast forward 24 years when I was a Campfire leader, driving home from the beach (in Pensacola), with my three kids, four kids from my group, plus a father of two of those other kids. I was driving my van (with no AC) and it was getting dark when an object lifted off the beach and flew over my vehicle. It hovered off to my left, but about twenty-five feet in the air for almost seven miles, without making a sound. I spoke to the father of the kids something about the Navy doing maneuvers on the beach in a helicopter, and he said, “I design helicopters for the Navy and that’s no helicopter.”
It wasn’t until I moved to the Smokies when I put the two incidents together and came up with “The Abduction.”
How do you create your characters?
I don’t really create them. They come to me in visions, like little snippets of movies. I see them interacting with other characters, hear conversations and just listen and take notes. Later, I go through my “Heroes & Heroines” book by Cowden, LaFever, and Viders, as well as “GMC: Goal, Motivation & Conflict” book by Dixon, or even “The Writer’s Guide to Character Traits” by Edelstein and make notations of what I think I’m getting from the “visions” and I flesh out the characters. Once I go through that, I try to “be” the character when I write, to get the dialog and thoughts right.
What inspires and what got you started in writing?
Well, daydreaming was a sign from the beginning, but I didn’t get it. Then, I always did well in school when it came to essays. It wasn’t until I read the book, “Goodnight Moon” by Margaret Wise Brown, to my kids that I thought, ‘I can do better than that!’ Well, I took a writing correspondence course and realized that writing for children was more difficult than people realize. There are different age groups to consider when writing, different reading comprehensions, etc. I realized after finishing the course that the stories that came to me were romances (and you can’t have those in a children’s book!). I struggled with a few stories, writing down what I could, but it wasn’t until the move to the Smokies where I met writers in SMRW (Smoky Mountain Romance Writers) and they introduced me to RWA (Romance Writers of America). I learned so much being a part of RWA. I later joined FF&P and Scriptscene-both chapters of RWA. Without them, I would never have completed my journey as a writer.
Where do you write? Is there something you need in order to write (music, drinks?)
I take notes of the “visions in my head” with pencil and paper (whenever and wherever I can). I like the tactile feel of the pencil against the paper. Later, I re-write with pen and paper (editing as I go). When I have enough notes, I start putting things in the computer. Oh, and lots of coffee!
How do you get your ideas for writing?
Like I said, the ideas or visions just come to me, but I get them from everywhere. Books, movies, headlines in the paper (or news programs), songs, people I’ve met. All these things just simmer in my brain until one pops out.
What do you like to read?
I like reading sci-fi, paranormal, historical romances,
contemporary romances, suspense, basically anything with a happy ending. I read non-fiction for research. I stay away from psychological thrillers or the occult.
What would your advice be for authors or aspiring in regards to writing?
- Write everyday or as often as you can
- Join RWA to get educated
- Find a local writer’s group to network and get educated
- Join a critique group to get feedback on your manuscripts
- Never give up. It took me 25 years to get my first book done from start to finish, but I let life get in the way. I didn’t have a goal. I didn’t look at it as a dream in the beginning. It was something that I had to do. I discovered that once I wrote (and completed) a story, the voices in my head would stop. But that was only temporary because some of the secondary characters started telling me their stories. If you feel that writing is something you might want to do, make a goal, make plans, then work your plans to reach your goal.
Anything else you’d like to share?
My first book, “The Abduction,” is available in ebook format at Amazon.com https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01EZLQXSC?tag=ammbt-20
and Smashwords.com. https://www.smashwords.com/books/search?query=The+Abduction+by+Ester+Lopez
The print book can be purchased from the publisher’s website at
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