Wednesday, July 6, 2022

Summer Lovin’ 2022! Interview With Rebecca Carvalho!

Hi, everyone! Today I'm happy to present an interview with Rebecca Carvalho, the author of Salt and Sugar, which releases in November!

Would you please tell us a little about your book, Salt and Sugar?

SALT AND SUGAR is my bakers-to-lovers— I mean enemies-to-lovers YA rom-com debut. It takes place in Olinda, Brazil, and it follows the grandchildren of two rival families who need to come to terms with their multi-generational feud in order to save their bakeries from a predatory supermarket… and in the process start developing feelings for each other. 

What was the inspiration for the book?

Bakeries…or, rather, my childhood routine of going to a bakery every day to purchase a batch of bread, or a few coxinhas, a cream-filled sonho. It was a key element of my childhood growing up in Brazil. That’s something I miss a lot as an immigrant in the United States, and it made me want to write a book about bakeries, though for a long time I was too scared to give it a try. Writing about home is too intimidating. I wanted to do it justice. I didn’t want to mess up.

Bakeries are literally at every street corner in Brazil, so when I was ready to write, I wondered what it would be like if there was a rivalry between a family of bakers, and what would happen if their children fell in love. My imagination ran wild. 

A lot of grief is at the core of SALT AND SUGAR, too, and that was the biggest push toward finally writing this story. I was mourning my mom’s passing and I wanted to reconnect with childhood memories, so I knew I had to write my bakery book and process some of my feelings through this story.

Random Question! What’s your favorite word?

Discombobulated. It’s the sort of word that sounds clumsy and confused like it’s tripping over its own syllables. 

If you’re able to talk about it, what are you currently working on?

I can’t say a lot about it yet, but what I can say is that it will involve more Brazilian characters.

What are some of your favorite Romance books? And what are some you’re looking forward to reading?

When it comes to romance books I always recommend Ashley Schumacher’s books. They’re filled with characters experiencing first love or unexpectedly finding love and friendship while searching for their safe place in the world. Amelia Unabridged, her debut, is set at a super whimsical bookstore and these two bookish main characters find a way to each other—when they’d previously been so closed to the world—while dealing with grief. This book will always have a special place in my heart.

I’m currently reading XOXO by Axie Oh and I love EVERYTHING about it. The cover is stunning. I love stories that show characters stepping out of their comfort zone. In XOXO, the main character is a classically trained cellist trying to be a better musician, but while she cares about music, and nobody can deny she’s very competent and well rehearsed, something is keeping her from reaching a higher level as a musician. Her feelings aren’t showing in her music. And right away her quest is clear. She’ll have to explore, live different experiences—in this case, even falling in love with a K-Pop idol—and let it all guide her music. I love that the book is set in South Korea, so it’s great to be able to experience through reading a place I’m looking forward to visiting one day.

I’m looking forward to reading The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han. I watched the first two episodes of the show, which made me curious about the book series, so I read a sample and I was so invested in this summer romance right away!

Thank you to Rebecca Carvalho for participating in this event! :)

Author Bio: Rebecca Carvalho is a Recifense writer based in Berkeley, California. She loves crafting stories filled with close-knit neighborhoods, Brazilian food, and telenovela-esque settings. When she is not writing, you can find her with her camera, gaming with her husband, or watching Star Trek for the hundredth time. Rebecca has a bachelor's degree in English from Lawrence University. Salt and Sugar is her debut novel, and it was inspired by her life in northeastern Brazil.

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