Profound grief and finding joy in simple pleasures are the dominate theme in Martinez author Yadira V. Payne's first novel, Out of the Rain.
Released last month, Out of the Rain is a collection of 12 short stories and two poems that Payne, 31, has been working on for the better part of a decade.
"They were written through the grieving process back into life," Payne said. "Some are comical. Some are serious or sad. Like the grieving process - some days are good, some days are bad."
Though not autobiographical, most of the works from the book allude to the death of Payne's mother and her struggle to overcome that devastating loss.
One of the book's stories, Rain, is about a young woman whose mother dies on her wedding day. Another story, Peace, Like Death, One Day in My Life, is the first-person account of a depressed woman who finds solace sitting next to a fountain.
Yadira Payne is an author who recently opened a publishing company. Her first book, Out of the Rain, is a collection of 12 short stories and two poems. Many of the works allude to the death of Payne's mother and the author's experience with the process of grieving.
Photo by Jim Blaylock
Out of the Rain also is the first book published by Payne's publishing company, which she founded less than two months ago.
"I need to get my voice out, and I wanted to take charge," she said. "Originally, my intent was to send a manuscript off to regular publishers, but after doing research, I realized that the percentage of books they publish is so minute. It has nothing to do with the quality of the work. They want that one percentile that will make them millions of dollars right off the bat."
Although she has received no manuscripts yet, Payne said she has received several letters, one as far away as Puerto Rico, from authors requesting information on the fledgling company.
Currently, she is working on making her novel available through online book carriers like Amazon and preparing for a Spanish-language version of Out of the Rain to be released in February.
"Of the books I author, they will be published in both languages," she said. "I may spend most of my time speaking in English and live in an English-speaking country, but I cannot deny the fact that my first language is Spanish. My culture is Spanish. The Hispanic community is growing intensely."
Born in Puerto Rico and raised in Europe and Japan, Payne said she intends to seek works that celebrate diversity.
"Even though people are the same no matter what country you're in, there are subtle difference that can really make a huge impact in how you deal with people or how you understand them," she said.
Out of the Rain retails for $12.95. Copies are available by calling 414-9566 or e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
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