Interview with Author Rolando Calzada

My guest today is Rolando Calzada.  Hello, Rolando!  Welcome to Writing in the Modern Age!  It’s such a pleasure to meet you.
Can you tell us a little bit about your latest book? When did it come out? Where can we get it?

Marie, my latest published novel, Pieces of Ten, is a story of resurrection. Regardless of what the world throws at us, we are all gifted, although in varying degrees, with zeal to persevere and rise like a phoenix from the ashes. My book came out in eBook format in September of 2014 and it is now available in print. It is available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble, but actually on more sites than I can mention. I’m looking forward to my first book signing at the Barnes & Noble at the Carolina Place Mall in Charlotte…sometime in June.

That's great! 

Is there anything that prompted your latest book?  Something that inspired you?

Marie, I was born to be a writer. It is often said that when one door closes another opens. After having closed my business I was finally afforded the time to pursue my first love. There is no greater reward than to follow your dream; Pieces of Ten is a dream come true.  

I agree. The feeling after you publish your first book is just beyond words.

So, when did you know you wanted to write?  Or has it always been a pastime of yours? 

Writing is a much a part of me as the air I breathe; without being able to express myself on parchment, I would be simply a shadow of myself.  

I know what's that like!

Do you have any favorite authors? 

Yes, I’m an avid reader…I love the poetry of William Blake. I’m inspired by the works of Edgar Allan Poe. I read the works of James Patterson and Maya Angelou…too many to mention in their entirety.  

I know what you mean.

So, do you write in a specific place? Time of day?

Yes, I write at home in the wee hours when most folks are dead to the world.

Are there any words you'd like to impart to fellow writers? Any advice?

Being that I pursued my love of writing at a late age, I say, “Follow your dreams and never bow down, but allow the rhetoric from naysayers to be the fuel that propels your engine.” A quote from Pieces of Ten, says it all…What I have discovered is that everything is preordained and that much of what we do or accomplish is about being in the right place at the right time or choosing not to be there at all.  

Comments from Rolando and other readers about his book, Pieces of Ten:

Pieces of Ten is my first traditionally published novel. First I will say that after a life, which has been filled with wonder and intrigue, Pieces of Ten is the culmination of a dream put on hold. 

Many have praised my writing style, but I believe none have hit the mark quite like a fellow author who exclaimed, “Rolando you are truly a poet that writes novels."

I’m usually not one to self promote, so I will echo the words of Kathie McGuire…"Casting an illuminating light on prejudice, interracial romance, and police corruption, author Rolando F. Calzada delivers Pieces of Ten —an immigrant family’s fall from prominence on the shores of a new land.
Calzada’s latest work, Pieces of Ten, is a triumph of the heart; it is a story built from the stalwart and resolute character of a Cuban expatriate. Novelist Rolando F. Calzada delivers a credible and remarkable story of strength, courage, and ultimately...transformation."
Thank you so much for stopping by to visit us today here at Writing in the Modern Age.  It was such a pleasure having you.  :) 
Readers, here is the blurb for Pieces of Ten:  Resurrection.

Pieces of Ten is a fictional story in the backdrop of an inner city war zone.

The culprits are all the usual suspects. Corruption abounds and a poignant but yet too vivid look of inner city reality is revealed. Juan, whose nickname is Houdini, struggles mightily but succumbs to his deepest fears after he is inexplicably beaten and robbed at an underground poker game. While trying to recover lost dignity, he falls prey to the dark and unpredictable nuances inherent in all men and adopts a skewed sense of morality. We are all flawed, each of us an imperfect component of an organism that thrives on cruelty and satisfaction.

The tale chronicles the rise to prominence and the fall from grace of an immigrant family far from the shores of their native Cuba. Juan attempts to absolve himself of a grisly act but becomes mired deep in the abyss that is his alter ego Ike. While facing his inner demon,s he realizes that everything is preordained and much of what we do or accomplish is as much about being in the right place at the right time or choosing not to be there at all.

The road to redemption is littered with the lives of many and a specter from the past revisits by way of nightmares, and Juan calms a mind in turmoil with paper and pen. Through his strife and altered state of consciousness, he is comforted by his soul mate Serena. Serena is part of a lineage that has stood the test of time. She is a vessel filled with nectar that should be savored slowly because, though in moderation it may provide some levity, if consumed without prudence would ultimately intoxicate. 
Here is an excerpt from the book, a poem Rolando calls "Ode to a Mother."

Sometimes we forget that the life of a child is a precious commodity. It’s not a commodity traded on Wall Street like the shares of a company, but I’ve often thought that a woman without a child remains incomplete.
Though shares are traded, without discretion, I believe nothing can replace one sole possession. It’s a possession that you nurture and sacrifice your sexy figure for. It’s a possession that occupies a space inside you, makes you crave and sometimes collapse, from fatigue, on a kitchen floor.
At the moment of copulation you close your eyes. You then invite me to invade and plant my flag on fertile ground. In that moment of victory, in that brief moment in history, I release my seed and make a tortured sound.
The moment of conception has arrived and my platoon of soldiers surge forward, each one, in search of an elusive prize. It’s a prize that gave rise to an enflamed libido and a thirst for sexual pleasure. Serena, you asked if I still love you. Please be assured that I don’t simply love you, I consider you my treasure.
I pray to the heavens above, to keep you free from harm. It may sound self-pleasing, but I also pray that the Lord keep us forever-bound arm in arm.
I hope that I haven’t ruined a surprise that you were saving for my birthday, but I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised that for you I grow continuously thirsty. You also asked what I like about marriage. What’s there not to like? A lifetime with you has been like a leisure stroll in the park, or even better, like the gentle constant peddle of a bike.

Author BioAuthor Bio

I was born in Cuba in 1961 under the most credible threat of nuclear war that the world has ever known, the Cuban missile crisis. I’ve been gifted with an entrepreneurial legacy and stories, which resound the voices of three generations bound to a struggle. We arrived on the shores of the US in 1969 and although no longer needing to overcome political oppression, we needed to bare the weight of racial inequity. 

My course of study was electrical engineering. I was a crewmember of the aircraft carrier Midway. I’ve known wealth and I’ve known poverty. I have never been in a better place than where I am right now. I’m looking forward to my 30th anniversary, with my lovely wife Sue and I’m very proud of my three beautiful daughters.

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