We Are Eternal

When Bianca Orellana was eight years old, her love for writing began and her dream to become a published author was just that, a dream. However, it is not a dream anymore, it is a reality.
Orellana published her first book, , in 2018 and is now working on her second book.
She began writing her book in 2014 and completed the first draft in no time, but did not begin editing the book until 2017, leaving it completely untouched for three years.
“That was when I was still part-time and I was about to get married and I had no kids. So, I had a lot of time to write,” Orellana said. “Then I got married and I had a child right after that. So, I wrote the book and it sat in its first draft for maybe two years and then I finally picked it back up and started looking at it again in 2017. And that’s kind of when I started editing it.”
Even though it looks like it took over five years to write the book, in reality it did not take her that long to write the book in its entirety.
“It was my first endeavor into publishing and it was a very small publisher. I knew that it was a first step because I published within what’s called an Indie Press,” Orellana said. “I knew that I wanted to traditionally publish at some point. I really wanted this story out there because it was the story of my heart at the time and I still really love it. I was really proud of it and I said, ‘the story needs to be published.’”
The reason she went through an Indie release instead of a traditional release is because she knew it would be challenging to get a book traditionally published for the first time without having her name on a published book. She published with a small publisher in Arkansas called Wings ePress.
“It’s mostly electronic distribution and they’ll print on demand physical copies and sell them through Amazon,” Orellana said. “So, that’s what I’ve done. That’s what I did with this first one because I’m a nobody in the publishing world, nobody knows my name yet. To get into traditional publishing right away is very hard. You have to get a literary agent typically.”
The biggest challenge of writing this book was that her first draft was very different from what she ended up publishing. This is because when she originally wrote the book, she had just finished reading The Fault in Our Stars by John Greene.
“I just kind of ended up writing a story that the style was a lot like that book,” Orellana said. “Then when I stepped away from it for a long time and then trying to come back to it, having all of a sudden, a full-time job and a child and a mortgage when I didn’t have those things before was probably the biggest challenge of it, but it wasn’t really the writing. It was not having a whole lot of time to write.”
Once she came back to writing the book, she printed out the entire manuscript and edited it by hand, line by line. During the editing process, she finally was able to better understand her own voice and how she was going to tell the story.
The title of the book, We Are Eternal, comes from Dutch philosopher Baruch Spinoza.
“He basically had this idea of the fact that even though we die, the impact we’ve made on people and the things we do and the energy we leave behind makes us kind of go on forever,” Orellana said.
The inspiration from the book came from being close to her dad, as well as her interest in writing young adult romance.
“I’m very close to my dad, so I just kind of got this idea of the girl who loses her dad in a car accident and how she’s devastated about it,” she said explaining her book. “But his heart lives on in a boy from her school who experienced heart failure at the same time. It’s just kind of fate brought them and their two families together. But she thought she knew this boy, she thought he was just some snotty rich kid. She ends up getting to know him just because of a heart transplant and then ends up realizing he’s a much deeper person than she thought, and she falls in love with him.”
Orellana was born and raised in Winston-Salem and obtained her English degree from the University of North Carolina Charlotte in 2011. She moved to Kernersville in 2016 and has been working at the library for eight years.
Orellana and her husband, Ricardo, have two children, Ricardo Jr. and Santiago.
Her love for the art of storytelling began when she was very young.
“I always loved to read,” she explained. “My dad would read to me at night before bed and my mom was a huge, avid reader and had boxes and boxes of books from when she was in college and would sit with me and read to me as well and help me practice my letters and get good at writing. So, it just came from loving stories and then wanting to tell them. That was about eight years old, I thought, ‘I can express myself this way.’”
When Orellana writes her stories, she shared that she is more of a fly by the seat of your pants kind of writer. This is because she dislikes when her writing feels restricted and she would rather write what stories her brain comes up with in that moment.
“I want it to take me somewhere. I’ll kind of get an idea. I’ll have the characters because characters are very important to me and I am very character driven when I write and what I read, if I don’t care about the characters, I have a hard time finishing a book. The most planning I will do is for a character. I know them down to their personality type.”
Because she published her first book with a small publishing company, she decided to use a literary agent, Leah Pierre with Ladderbird Literary Agency, for the book she is currently working on. As her agent, Pierre will pitch Orellana’s book to what is called the Big Five including: Penguin/Random House, Macmillan, Hachette Book Group, Harper Collins and Simon & Schuster.
Her next book is not a continuum from We Are Eternal but is another young adult romance book.
“It’s a different story altogether and it’s very different from the first one and the dynamic between the two main characters. It’s still a love story,” Orellana said. “The dynamic is different and the culture is different. It’s a Hispanic boy and a black girl. You don’t see that pairing a whole lot in romance and my husband is Hispanic and I’m Black.”
Even though the story may be different, she wanted to discover the world of two people exploring each other’s cultures and what that looks like in romance.
As of right now she cannot disclose the name of her next book, but she is hoping for it to be traditionally published in the near future.
Orellana’s book We Are Eternal can be purchased online on Amazon and Kindle or checked at from the Kernersville Paddison Memorial Library. To learn more about her and her work, go to www.biancaorellana.com.
with her publisher Leah Pierre from Ladderbird Literary Agency.

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