I am pleased to share that SUN NIGHT has been accepted into the state of Florida, Orange County Library System book collection, specifically the e-book collection called ePULP. The book can now be checked out by visiting the SUN NIGHT page, here. You may also visit ePULP to review frequently asked questions for borrowing e-books and to learn more about the library e-book lending platform.
Readers' Favorite, the fastest growing book review site on the Internet has given SUN NIGHT a 5-star review on September 20, 2018. Read the review below:
Reviewed by A. L. Peevey for Readers' Favorite
Sun Night by E.H. de la Espriella is a memoir, telling the story of two boys, Santiago and Sebastian, brothers connected by an exceptionally tight bond. The older one, Sebastian, is sensitive, pensive, and artistic while the younger Santiago is outgoing, athletic, and boisterous yet protective of Sebastian. Taking refuge in nightly conversations helps them sort through their experiences at school and at home, answering questions about life. These bedtime talks often become journeys across the world, imaginative and illustrated by the sun and clouds and other aspects of the heavens, to such diverse destinations as China, Italy, and Spain, and into space itself. But, the two brothers learn the difference between imagination and the realities of life as they are faced with parental discord and, ultimately, death itself.
The language of E.H. de la Espriella’s Sun Night is often lyrical, showing us scenes as if through a kaleidoscope, evoking wonder yet still profound. Just as often, the language is plain spoken, describing the boys’ and their parents’ interactions and conversations matter-of-factly. Written in the third person, this allows readers to enter the minds of various characters. This book is much like a travelogue, though equal parts fantasy and reality. It also affirms the truth that loved ones who are no longer with us continue to affect our lives and not just through our grief at their loss. Finally, young readers can discover new truths and identify with the boys’ experiences while older readers can rediscover misplaced childhood wisdom and answers to forgotten questions. This book is well worth the read!
When I started to work on the cover for SUN NIGHT about a year ago, I designed about 10 different versions. I knew that the collage would be the most important part of the design, and that the typeface used would lay over it. In the end, there were two versions that I really liked and shopped around, one with a traditional serif font and another with a script typeface. In my mind, it was important to me to express the serious themes of the story, reason for going with the serif font. I never felt completely sold in my heart on this version but I launched the book with this cover option to stay on schedule.
Now that the book has been released for six months and have been honored with the recent book award from the Florida Authors and Publishers Association, I felt it was time to explore new cover options, at least when it came to typography. I went back to the drawing board and started the long process of searching for typefaces and played around with different elements and effects. I narrowed it down to a hand drawn typeface that contains some childlike and playful features, and kept it in white so that it would stand out from the collage. Some minor effects have been added to help the typeface stand out, there is a light radial glow in yellow plus a drop shadow.
The book with the new cover is now available from Amazon on both Kindle or print version, as well as from the iBook store.
Lake Buena Vista, FL (8/6/2018) – The Annual 2018 Florida Authors and Publishers Association President’s Book Awards recognized SUN NIGHT: A Memoir by E.H. de la Espriella, in the category of Autobiography/Memoir, as a Silver medal winner.
Hosted by the Florida Authors and Publishers Association, this prestigious national award is open to books published between 2017 and 2018. The judges for this national competition are librarians, educators, and publishing professionals.
“The FAPA President’s Book Award exists to promote excellence in the publishing industry by recognizing talented contemporary authors who put both heart and soul into their work. FAPA is proud to be a champion of authors and publishers going the extra mile to produce books of excellence in every aspect.” said Jane R. Wood, Past President of FAPA.
SUN NIGHT: A Memoir is a non-fiction book, published by Blurb.com, which follows the lives of two brothers growing up in Panama in 1976. The boys are very close and protective of each other. They keep strong by stories they tell each other when they go to sleep at night. Sebastian creates a collage of the sun for a school project which prompts his brother to ask, "Where does the sun go at night?" This is enough for Sebastian's imagination to take them as far away as possible from their reality. The tales are symbolic yet incredibly fantastical and visually imaginative.
Medals were awarded at the annual FAPA President’s Book Awards Banquet held this year at the Hilton Orlando Buena Vista Palace in the Disney Springs™ Area of Lake Buena Vista, Florida.
“We are proud to announce this year’s winners who truly embody the excellence this award was created to celebrate. Their works are representative of the creative storytelling, bold concepts and innovative ideas which makes the President’s Book Awards so well respected by librarians and those in the publishing industry. This year was no exception as we had a record number of nominations! We salute all of our winners for their fine work.” said FAPA’s President, Angelina Assanti.
The Florida Authors & Publishers Association is an organization for authors, publishers, illustrators, editors, printers, and other professionals involved in the publishing industry. It focuses on providing the highest quality of information, resources, and professional development to members and others interested in the writing and publishing profession.
July 4, 2018 – I just received notice that the Florida Authors and Publishers Association (FAPA) has recognized my book SUN NIGHT: A Memoir as a medalist in their President's Book Awards. All medalists will be honored at an awards banquet on August 4, 2018.
The process of giving pseudonyms to real characters in SUN NIGHT was actually not as easy as one might think. I knew deep inside that the names used while writing the manuscript would not be the ones I would end up keeping. They just didn't fit the mold the characters were made out of.
To be honest, I was not sure what names to use for the boys, the protagonists, and I went back and forth with different options. A possible pair of names included Sandro (Botticelli) and Pietro (Perugino), in honor of my favorite artists of the renaissance. I finally landed on Santiago and Sebastian. It was not just accidental, as I originally had thought. My subconscious constantly plays games with my present mind. "It" has guided me throughout all my creative visual career to make design decisions based on its vast library of experiences. In the same way, "It" has also guided me through the process of writing this book and the naming of the characters as I came to find out later.
The reason I tell you this is because when I named the boys Sebastian and Santiago, my present mind was telling me that they were similarly sounding names, three syllables long, both starting with the letter S. No connection to anything in my past, I thought. A few days later, my present mind finally caught up with what my subconscious was trying to tell me about these names. They actually came from previous deep rooted past experiences. Some of the most beautiful and lasting memories I have, come from vacations I have taken with my spouse throughout our 23 years of marriage. We are avid cruise travelers. For my 49th birthday, we went on a wine cruise where we were able to visit Santiago de Compostela and San Sebastian in Spain among other places.
San Sebastian actually has a much deeper meaning to me because it was one of the places I traveled at 18 years of age, my first trip ever to Europe. The famous shell shaped beach in San Sebastian was empty, after all it was winter time, but seeing such a beautiful place left a huge subconscious memory burned in my brain forever.
Santiago de Compostela came to mean a little more to me as I grew older when I was able to appreciate the meaning of the pilgrimage to this place. The medieval architecture and presence of the cathedral that is believed to hold the remains of St. James, also carved a place in my long list of important memories. I named my brother Santiago to honor the Catholic religion we grew up to believe in.
Another interesting name story I'd like to share with you is our mother's name in the book. When I started writing the manuscript, I had an innate need to name her Elle. Not sure why or where this was coming from, but trusted my subconscious would allow me to understand this later. As I wrote the final chapters of the book, I felt that calling my mother Elle was not correct because she is not Anglo-American. The only idea I could connect it with is that she was an English teacher. It took several months until I was wrapping the final pages of the book that I had the Aha! moment. When my brother and I were little, our parents opened a little gift store called "Regalos Michelle". As a child, I really didn't understand or question some of the why's behind things, so it never occurred to me or my brother why our parents would name the store Michelle. It was not until a few years later, that I came to find out that Michelle was the name my mother would have wanted to name a child if she ever had a daughter. Sadly, she wasn't able to have any more children after my brother was born, her wish of having a daughter never came true. To honor her dream, I've named her Michelle.
Beside character names, I also took some liberties with character development. Aunt Justine, for example is not one person alone in my real life but a combination of family members and stories. Cousin Camilla in the book is one of my closest cousins in real life. Granny Blanche is probably the closest name to reality in the whole book. My real grand mother's name was Blanca, a popular Spanish name. My grand mother always gave me the feeling of being a world traveler because of her personality, therefore I named her Blanche to give her more of an International flare.
When my brother and I were young, we used to be very creative around our entertainment options. We didn't have smartphones or tablets to play with all day, or even video games to play in front of the television set. A transistor radio was a huge technology back then. I even remember when the Sony Walkman came out. That was a big deal. For us, creating our own games became a pretty usual habit. One of them was the 12-Step Jump. Have you heard of it? This one is actually quite dangerous so I would not recommend anyone pursuing it and this is why we were always getting in trouble.
In the mid-70's, our parents made renovations to the house we lived in by increasing the size of the master bedroom and adding an en-suite bathroom that was as large as their bedroom. For the construction, they ordered a huge mound of sand that was dropped off by the side of the house in front of a tiled stairwell that lead to the side patio. The sand dune was huge.
One day, my brother and I bet each other we could jump from the top of the stairwell all the way to the sand hill. It was about a 12-step jump. First went my brother, he jumped from the fifth step down to the sand. He made it. I wasn't as convinced that I could do it so I jumped from the seventh step down, closer to the mound. I made it too. It wasn't that bad and quickly lost my anxiety. We took turns starting further back until we jumped from the very top of the stairwell, 12 steps away. We had to run from the back of the patio to be able to jump the 12 steps in front of us to reach the sand. The feeling of flying was intense, something we had never felt, and we wanted to fly longer every time we did it.
Jumping off from the very top wasn't enough. Once we were comfortable enough with the length we needed to jump, we then bet each other we could jump the furthest away. My brother won of course, and ended up full of sand as if we had been rolling at a beach all day. There was no choice but to take another shower after that.
Looking back, I now value this experience with my brother even more for what it meant in other layers besides just the pure enjoyment of a game. These were the learning years where the foundations of brotherhood, love and friendship began to form within us. We didn't fight or felt bad because one of us lost in the game, we just enjoyed the experience and moved on to the next. We didn't judge each other or utilize put-downs to make the other feel bad just because one of us won or lost. After all, it was just a game. But was it? Isn't this what life is about? It is not about winning or losing but doing what is right with respect for one another.
My parents shared their love and admiration for the world of art through classical music and their collection of decorative arts. I can very vividly still see the encyclopedias, art vases and other artifacts that inspired the sun journey stories in Sun Night.
There is a story in the book that I wanted to use to pay homage to my family name. This is the story of the sun when it arrives to Spain. A few years ago, I traveled to the Asturias region of Spain. I had never felt such an electric connection to a place on this earth. The blood that runs through my veins came from this place. For this reason, I used the Gulpiyuri beach near Villahormes where my family origins have been documented to come from, as the setting for the story. I won't give it away, as you will need to read the book to experience it, but this is truly a spiritual and unique place on earth like none other.
Learn more about playa de Gulpiyuri.
I didn't believe it when I first learned that once a book is released, it is picked up by stores everywhere from the Ingram catalog. A few days ago, I decided to go into Barnes & Noble to check if the book would show in their catalog and was pleasantly surprised. I couldn't believe it. It's everywhere. Check it out here.
Now the real work begins. How do I market this thing? In the last month, I have been posting updates on my Facebook page. Since I announced the book release on January 30, I sold out of my initial inventory and had to rush another order to fulfill the latest orders. I am hoping to start receiving book reviews soon to start building more interest from new readers outside of my Facebook and LinkedIn circle.
A good friend of mine just recommended I check out GoodReads.com. They help with some marketing, so I signed up right away and have been researching the best options for this book. I hope to post an update with how this one goes.
The book finally released on January 30, 2018. Ahh! What a good feeling this is. It is an internal satisfaction that is hard to describe. In the days prior to releasing this project to the world, I had the expected feelings of insecurity, of failing. I felt vulnerable. What kept me going was the fulfillment that I told a story from a very deep corner of my heart and with the guidance of my brother, everything would be fine. After that, I felt a huge sense of relief and accomplishment. I wrote and released my first book. I did it! Now, I am just enjoying the moment, a very special moment!
About three years ago, I literally embarked on a parallel journey; a cruise crossing the Atlantic from New York to Cork, Ireland with the purpose of initiating the tour of my past to write Sun Night. Three years later at another Atlantic ocean crossing, this time from Ft. Lauderdale to Lisbon, I typed the last few chapters, the most difficult to describe. Within these came Reflection, the last chapter where my most profound feelings were translated into words. It is the reflection of light that my brother shined on me to guide me throughout this whole process.
Today, I begin carving a new road, a blog titled Reflections, in which I aim to share the latest news about the book, to inspire, and to share stories and the art inspired by Sun Night. I invite you to share your childhood memories and the moments that made you who you are today. If you are interested in sharing your stories, contact us and tell us about it. I look forward to hearing from you.