Digital Book Tour: Kathy Cano-Murillo’s Miss Scarlet’s School of Patternless Sewing
Today is a very special blog post: Kathy Cano-Murillo’s Digital Book Tour is here!!! Her book Miss Scarlet’s School of Patternless Sewing was released this week and we’re so excited to get another peek into the mind of the Crafty Chica. Read on for a review of the book, a Q&A with Kathy, and (drum roll please) a giveaway! That’s right, just leave us a comment and you’ll get a chance to win a free copy of the book. You can get another chance to win by linking to this post and letting us know about it (info at xicoinc dot org).
About the Book
Miss Scarlet’s School of Patternless Sewing is Kathy Cano-Murillo’s second novel (the first was Waking Up in the Land of Glitter) and as the publisher describes it “Scarlet Santana is never happier than when creating fabulous fashions for women of all shapes and sizes. Now, after years of hard work, she finally has the chance to live her dream and study under the hottest designer in New York. To raise money for her move, Scarlet opens an after-hours sewing school in a local record shop.”
The book is really anchored by its characters; I expected Scarlet to jump off the page any minute and start giving me fashion advice. The setting in Glendale, AZ also plays a big role in the book. Locals will have a lot of fun spotting familiar landmarks. This is a great book to read with your friends because you’re going to want to talk about it afterward (plus you’ll be want to try a few of the crafts mentioned).
Q&A with the author:
1. Since we’re a nonprofit organization that promotes cultural heritage, I have to ask: how does your heritage influence your art?
It is a part of everything I am and everything I do. But I try not to force it, I do my best to let it happen naturally. Whatever I make or whatever I write about comes straight from my heart with love, so when people see my culture reflected, they can see how passionate I am about it, I don’t have to tell them, I show them! I’m a third-generation Mexican-American and I grew up as an all-American chica, celebrating both cultures with warmth, joy, and lots of glitter!
3. I know you’re involved in the Phoenix Fridas, will any of them recognize themselves in your characters?
No, I’m saving that for a future book, lol!
5. What has been your experience working with Xico and other organizations to get your work out into the community?
I have a long relationship with Xico, dating back to the Dia de los Muertos fiesta in Mesa every year. I loved the tightness of the community, the way everyone supported each other, a spirit that still lives on today. It has been wonderful to see the evolution of the organization. I suggest that all artists connect with a local organization to share and grow their career. We have so much to learn from each other!
6. Can we get you to share some top secrets to a successful crafts/arts enterprise?
- Think of your enterprise as a brand, like a real business. Get a web page, choose a color story that compliments your work, write an interesting bio, post good pictures and tell your story. This will show your work far and wide.
- Appreciate and get involved in your local community. Check out arts organizations like Xico, and see what they have to offer.
- Give more than you take, support your fellow artists, and work together with other creative types you know. Work together to help each other, even if it is just liking a Facebook post of theirs. If you want people to support you and your work, you have to support them!
- Keep it fresh. Don’t get stuck in rut by making the same things over and over. People will say “Oh, I bought something from them already.” You have to keep them surprised by unveiling new styles and techniques and it will broaden your expertise and creativity as an artist.
- Learn all you can! Take workshops, either locally or online. Push yourself to learn about emerging trends that you can give your own spin to. Check out artist panel discussions and ask questions.
- Create art because you LOVE it, not because you want to make money or become famous. The magic ingredient to success is the love you put into your work, it will radiate and attract people.
7. What’s next for the Crafty Chica?
I’m moving ahead on outlining my third and fourth novels, praying they follow suit and are published as well!
There are two ways to enter to win a free copy of the book: leave us a comment on this post or link to this blog and let us know about it (info at xicoinc dot org).