Reese's Book Club x Hello Sunshine discussion

Next Year in Havana
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Next Year in Havana > Questions for the Author

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Hello Sunshine | 58 comments Mod
After reading what do you want to ask Chanel? Any burning questions, post em here!


Debbie | 13 comments Who is the author? When I looked up the book several books appeared with the title Hello Sunshine


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Sophie | 1 comments Debbie wrote: "Who is the author? When I looked up the book several books appeared with the title Hello Sunshine"

Hello Debbie
The author is Chanel Cleeton.


Debbie | 13 comments Thanks! I figured out what was the selection for July.


Moonkiszt (moonkisztgmailcom) Hello wrote: "After reading what do you want to ask Chanel? Any burning questions, post em here!"

I did/do worry about the grandma, and family members left behind. . . .wouldn't they suffer and be punished especially if Luis continues to blog?


Sarah | 2 comments I am curious about Pablo’s life. We get a shorthand history of his story but it would be interesting to delve into his story and see his perspective about fighting in the revolution and more detail on all the times he tried to contact Elisa. Maybe how he met his current wife? How he disassociated himself from the government?Has the author ever thought about writing a book from his perspective?


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Kathleen | 4 comments Hi Chanel Cleeton what inspired you write this book next year in Havana and how did you go about the writing process when it come to it?


Cori (clp412) | 8 comments Hi Chanel, I can tell that Cuba is near and dear to your heart and thank you for taking us readers on an adventure there with you. (My entire Book Club LOVED it, thank you for an amazing night of conversation!)
What is something that instantly or unexpectedly reminds you of Cuba, is there a specific smell, sound, taste, etc?


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Chanel Cleeton (chanelcleeton) | 8 comments Moonkiszt wrote: "Hello wrote: "After reading what do you want to ask Chanel? Any burning questions, post em here!"

I did/do worry about the grandma, and family members left behind. . . .wouldn't they suffer and be..."


That's definitely something that stuck with me as I was writing the book. One of the most powerful things about the revolution and its aftermath is the amount of personal sacrifice that families gave in order to ensure their children had a better life, so the actions of Ana and his mother were so in keeping with what many Cuban families have gone through. I wanted to honor their strength, courage, and love. I also left Luis' story a bit open ended because this is a time of change both in Cuba and with Cuban-American relations so I am interested (and hopeful) to see what the future holds for him and his family. Thanks for reading Next Year in Havana!


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Chanel Cleeton (chanelcleeton) | 8 comments Sarah wrote: "I am curious about Pablo’s life. We get a shorthand history of his story but it would be interesting to delve into his story and see his perspective about fighting in the revolution and more detail..."

I haven't thought of writing a book from Pablo's perspective, but I am thinking of writing a novella about the characters and getting his perspective would be really interesting. I'll keep it in mind :) Thank you!


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Chanel Cleeton (chanelcleeton) | 8 comments KathleenShevenell wrote: "Hi Chanel Cleeton what inspired you write this book next year in Havana and how did you go about the writing process when it come to it?"

Hi! The book was inspired by a story my father told me of a night before my family left Cuba in 1967 when they all met under the cover of darkness and buried a box of their most beloved possessions in the backyard of their home since they couldn't take those items with them. The story stuck with me, and the Perez family was born. I wanted to examine my Cuban heritage and honor my family's history.

I started writing the book in the summer of 2016 and it was such a special experience for me. I got to bring a lot of my grandparents' memories of Cuba to life and learn a great deal about my heritage.

Thanks!


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Chanel Cleeton (chanelcleeton) | 8 comments Cori wrote: "Hi Chanel, I can tell that Cuba is near and dear to your heart and thank you for taking us readers on an adventure there with you. (My entire Book Club LOVED it, thank you for an amazing night of c..."

Thank you so much! I'm so glad you all enjoyed it. Food and music are two very nostalgic things for me. The sound of the Buena Vista Social Club always makes me think of my grandparents. My grandmother also cooked Cuban food daily, so Cuban food like paella, merenguitos, black beans and rice, tostones, and more always feels like home.


Riley | 2 comments Hi Chanel,
I love this book so much and enjoyed reading the story of Elisa Perez. I read in a response above about Luis’s story remaining open ended for a reason. As time passes, do you think one day you might write a book with more detail into Luis’s history and his future?


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Chanel Cleeton (chanelcleeton) | 8 comments Riley wrote: "Hi Chanel,
I love this book so much and enjoyed reading the story of Elisa Perez. I read in a response above about Luis’s story remaining open ended for a reason. As time passes, do you think one ..."


Hi Riley,

Thank you so much! I definitely could see myself returning to Luis's story in the future. Right now, I have a few other ideas that I'm working on, but I'd love to revisit his character. Thanks!

Best,

Chanel


marita lazarus (literatidivas) | 6 comments Hi Chanel

I just wanted to say thank you. As a cuban american whose parents left the island in the 60s and who has never gone, your book to me was very personal. I loved the story and sharing our culture with me.

Thank you
Marita


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Chanel Cleeton (chanelcleeton) | 8 comments marita lazarus wrote: "Hi Chanel

I just wanted to say thank you. As a cuban american whose parents left the island in the 60s and who has never gone, your book to me was very personal. I loved the story and sharing our ..."


Hi Marita,

Thank you so much. That means a great deal to me. So glad you enjoyed it.

Best,

Chanel


Chelsea | 6 comments Hi Chanel,

What authors or books had the best effect on you as a writer? What books do you consider to be a “must read”?

Thanks!


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Chanel Cleeton (chanelcleeton) | 8 comments Chelsea wrote: "Hi Chanel,

What authors or books had the best effect on you as a writer? What books do you consider to be a “must read”?

Thanks!"


Hi Chelsea,

One of my favorite questions to answer :) I love Beatriz Williams' writing (especially Along the Infinite Sea), The Bronze Horseman by Paullina Simons, The Map of Love by Ahdaf Soueif, The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger, and Fortune's Rocks by Anita Shreve. Some of my other favorite authors are Rhys Bowen, Tana French, Sue Grafton, Karin Slaughter, Sophie Kinsella, and Judith McNaught. Growing up, I was a huge Nancy Drew fan so that probably sparked my first love of reading and writing.

Thank you!

Chanel


NikkiGirl (nikkigirl04) | 2 comments Hi Chanel! I loved this book, it was exciting and adventurous from beginning to end. I saw that "When We Left Cuba" is soon to be released, is this a sequel, or the point of view of Beatriz? Either way can't wait to read! :)


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Chanel Cleeton (chanelcleeton) | 8 comments Nicole wrote: "Hi Chanel! I loved this book, it was exciting and adventurous from beginning to end. I saw that "When We Left Cuba" is soon to be released, is this a sequel, or the point of view of Beatriz? Either..."

Hi Nicole,

Thanks for reading Next Year in Havana! So glad you enjoyed it. When We Left Cuba starts in 1960 after the Perez family has arrived in the U.S. and is told entirely from Beatriz's perspective as she lives through the 1960s and the tumultuous Cuban-American relations of the time period. It was so fun to write and I can't wait to share it with you! Thanks!

Best,

Chanel


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