Please tell us a little about yourself.
I was raised in Yonkers, NY after my father’s discharge from the Navy, but moved to Omaha, NE a few years ago to be near my son and his family. I am very involved in the lives of my grandchildren, supporting their endeavors, and can be found in the audience during my granddaughter’s dance competitions, and in the stands during my grandson’s sporting events.
After my retirement from the University of Nebraska Medical Center, I was able to pursue my dream career, becoming a published author, and I have also been able to devote more time to my volunteer commitments. I have been involved with Soldiers’ Angels since 2007, which supports deployed men and women in the US military. In addition to Soldiers’ Angels, I also work with a Marines support group that provides weekly letters and care packages for the men and women stationed aboard ship for the duration of his/her deployment.
As a member of St. Charles Borromeo Roman Catholic Church, I participate in many ministries and volunteer at fund raising events and other services that support the parish community.
When I was in the fourth grade, I wrote a poem that impressed my teacher. She encouraged me to continue writing, which is what I did. I discovered I have a God-given talent to be able to put the reader “into the scene,” to have the reader “hear and smell” in addition to “seeing” the “action,” which is an important part of storytelling.
Who or what inspires you to write?
I have always wanted to write a story about Erik the Viking after having spent my Saturday afternoons at the Matinee enjoying such Hollywood blockbusters as “The Vikings.” One might say that Hollywood inspired an impressionable child to consider writing a novel that could one day end up on the “big screen.” However, it would take years before Erik’s story hit the bookshelves.
Since I am a history buff, I have always wanted to breathe life into the people that lived the history we studied in the classroom. I wanted to “get into their heads,” to understand why they did what they did, and thought, and felt. We are no different from our ancestors, and that’s the point of my writing. No matter the century, people experience the same emotions and conflicts, the only thing that changes is the technology.
What project(s) do you currently have published?
“The Briton and the Dane” trilogy was completed when the third installment was published earlier this year. The novels are entitled:
“The Briton and the Dane”
“The Briton and the Dane: Birthright”
“The Briton and the Dane: Legacy”
“The Briton and the Dane: The Complete Trilogy”
“The Briton and the Dane” novels bring to life the tumultuous ninth century when the formidable Vikings terrorized the civilized world. The epic adventure runs the gamut of deception, treachery, intrigue and betrayal during a time of war and conquest in Anglo-Saxon Britain.
Since I am thoroughly engrossed with Ninth Century Anglo-Saxon Britain, my next project is: “The Briton and the Dane: Concordia.” Even though Concordia is a “little one” in the trilogy, she is insisting on her own story and, naturally, I need to comply with her wishes. Yes, it’s true, characters tend to have a mind of their own, which is why many an author’s original story was changed during the writing process. However, Concordia will be of age when you meet her in her novel, which I plan to launch next year.
If you could give fellow writers any advice, what would it be?
First and foremost, you must enjoy writing, you must have fun, and you must write for yourself. If you do not like your story, no one else will. Your passion should be evident when you discuss your work, and this passion should be contagious.
It is also important to remember that you can’t please everyone and that there will always be the naysayers who need to be ignored. Don’t let anyone rain on your parade. Keep at it, but enjoy what you are doing lest your love for the written word becomes a chore!
Thank you for taking the time to talk with us Ms. Bernal. Please feel free to stop by again any time.
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The Literary Underground