While making time during her daughter’s cheer practices, Tori Alvarez has written and published five full stories featuring strong Latinx characters, telling familiar stories that will twist your heart. All of her books are currently available in Kindle Unlimited.
A big supporter of her fellow indie authors and a fan of thrillers, Tori hopes to one day write a thriller of her own. With romance as her favourite genre, it’s no surprise that she started her writing journey as a romance author. While Tori believes she’s not funny enough to write a rom-com, I believe that she can create any kind of story she sets her mind to!
See what Tori had to say about her writing journey and what’s in store for us next!
What inspired you to write—was it another author or books you read as you grew up?
I’m a daydreamer, which is the easy answer. I have always had stories filling my mind. I was inspired to actually start writing them down when I read an interview on Colleen Hoover and how she started writing while her kids were at practices. I decided to start writing while my daughter was at her practices.
Why did you choose romance as the genre to write in?
I’ve been a romance reader for so long. It’s one of my favorite genres. I started writing what I loved. I do love a great thriller too and would love to try that genre one day.
Why did you choose to self-publish instead of going the traditional route?
To be honest I didn’t know what I was doing when I published my first book. I was at a point in my life where I needed to Do Something. So I cannonballed into self publishing.
What’s the best and worst part about being an indie author?
The best part is the freedom I have to write what I want. The story is completely mine. The worst is the little things. Frustration by the amount of work being an indie is—you are in control of every aspect of your book. But at the end of the day, it is rewarding knowing how much you have accomplished and learned. The pride in saying, “I did that!”
Do you write full time or is this something you do on the side? And would you want to write full time?
This is my side job/hobby. I’m a school counselor by day which pays the bills and all my book expenses. I do hope to one day write full time.
Other than writing, what is something you enjoy and are really good at?
I don’t really have another hobby. I tried scrapbooking but got bored with it. Not that I’m good at it, but I do enjoy jogging/walking and yoga. It always makes me feel better after. Oh wait… I’m great at binge-watching shows! Does that count?
If not romance/subgenres of romance, what genre would you like to write in?
Thrillers! I would definitely try writing a thriller one day. My daughter gave me an idea for one. Maybe one day…
What are some of your all time favourite books—ones that you recommend to people or can reread multiple times?
What are your top 5 tips or pieces of advice for aspiring authors?
1. Take your time and learn what you’re doing. I didn’t do this and I somewhat regret it.
2. Edit your book! This is IMPORTANT.
3. Find community. Ask questions. There is always someone who is willing to answer any questions you may have.
4. There could be so many more, but these I think are the most important.
Can you briefly tell me about the books you've published so far?
I have the Graffiti Hearts series with interconnected characters. Each can be read as a stand alone, but are so much better when read in order. They are new adult romances with each having their own trope. They are opposites attract, grump/sunshine, and slow burn. They have real, relatable characters that grow and learn about themselves, love and friendship.
Of your books, who is your favourite character?
I don’t know if I can answer this one. I love each of my characters differently for a myriad of reasons. Don’t make me choose!
What inspired your published stories? How and when did you come up with these stories and plots?
The first book in the Graffiti Hearts series came to me when I met a parent at the school I was working at many, many years ago. She was a self-centered person who didn’t care about her kids. I thought about creating a kid with a similar parent that made it. Succeeded in spite of her mother.
How much of yourself do you put into these characters?
I haven’t put much of myself in my characters. But I have put friends’ characteristics in my characters.
When you write these stories, what are you hoping your readers will feel?
I hope that they feel happy. I want them to enjoy the experience.
What’s next on the bookshelf for you? Anything you can tell us about a future project?
I organized an anthology titled A Series of Unfortunate Meet Cutes with 11 authors. All the stories have a disastrous meeting, but there will still be plenty of romance. I’m so excited for this project because we are including so many romance genres/tropes with each story. We will have sapphic, contemporary, paranormal, fantasy, etc… It will give readers a little of everything!
What are your most and least favourite tropes?
I love slow burn! My least favorite is YA spicy romance.
What are some tropes you want to write in the future?
I may try a rom com, but I'm not sure if I’m funny.
THIS OR THAT
Ebooks or audiobooks
Historical romance or romantic suspense
Single or Dual POV
Standalones or series
Music or silence while writing
Plotter, pantser or plantser
Tea or coffee
Cold or warm weather
Morning person or night owl
Illustrated cover or photo cover