It Takes A Village: Miami Shores Writers Make Their Mark

The Egret’s Senior Columnist Raquel V. Reyes explores a timely – or timeless – topic of interest to the greater Miami Shores community. Enjoy!

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Miami Shores despite its small geographic size has a large pool of literary talent. Within our 3.7 square miles, we have quite a few authors. I’m highlighting them in this issue because two of our local authors had book signings at Brockway Library recently. Susanne Sir’s was in November and mine was in October.

During the question and answer part of my library talk, I was asked about my writing process. Being as I write both fiction (mystery) and topical articles/essays, the process is different for each. With articles and essays, the subject matter is often decided by the editor or publication, as is the length. But in fiction it all must come from the writer’s imagination. There are two kinds of fiction writers- plotters or pantsers. Plotters plan the action, plot twists, and storyline ahead of time. Pantsers, on the other hand, just sit down and write letting the story take them wherever it may go. I am something of a hybrid, a plantser. My process is to build a plot skeleton with major actions and twists then I let the story and characters lead me into the details.

In my mystery novel, Jeweler’s Mark, I began the writing process with knowing the setting (Miami), the crime (counterfeiting and a murder), the romance (a handsome police detective), the protagonist (a pair of Latina best friends), the villains (the Russian mob) and the resolution. (Sorry, no spoilers.) The details came as I developed the characters’ backgrounds. Case in point, Gigi, jewelry designer and main character, has to run away from danger in one scene. Her pursuer should be able to catch her as she is in high heels but, I needed her to just barely escape. The idea came to me that if she’d been a track star in high school then running fast in heels would be probable. That eureka moment led me to Gigi having an engraved silver whistle which led to a humorous scene that was not in my original story skeleton.

If you would like to purchase my book, Jeweler’s Mark, it is available at The Shores Shop. The Chamber’s shop has fiction and non-fiction books by other local authors, as well. Suanne Sir has two books in her Murder in the Shores mystery series, The Fortune Cookie and We Clean Up. Bob Williamson’s The Seriously Pink V is there, too. Our resident and renowned historian, Seth Bramson has several titles on Florida’s unique history. Books make great gifts. Stop by the Shores Shop for your holiday shopping to pick up a few.

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Raquel Reyes is a writer living in Miami Shores. Check out for more information about her.

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