Flor M. Salvador in Lima: the Mexican woman with more than 100 million reads on Wattpad, who lives for the “love cliché” and will have her own movie with “Boulevard” | INTERVIEW | LIGHTS

Back to Peru. the Mexican author Flor M. Salvador arrived in Lima last Friday, on the eve of its presentation at the 26th International Fair of A book from Lima. The creator of “Boulevard” is thrilled by the long-awaited meeting with her native readers, who have since expressed all their support for her through social networks.

SEE: They are twenty years old, writing literature and being read by millions: the Peruvian stars of Wattpad

in conversation with Commerce, Flor (23) admitted that she started her love of reading with the Harry Potter saga, written by the British Joan Rowling. Also, contrary to what his followers believe, his favorite literary genre continues to be fantasy-fiction, even for romance. However, his favorite book at the moment is Hush Hush, which combines love and fantasy in its pages.

There is a secret behind “Boulevard”. If not for the supportive messages from his readers, the story would have been removed from Wattpad entirely. When I was transitioning to Chapter 11, Flor decided to back up the history of the platform. However, some girls asked her to reactivate it, and thanks to this small boost, the Mexican decided to continue with the work that is the leader in sales in Peru. Learn more about her, her Wattpad success, and some Boulevard trivia here.

— You are a success story in youth literature. Was it your childhood dream to become a writer and travel the world signing your books?

Nothing of the kind. It never crossed my mind to say “oh, I want to write books like that too. Maybe when I grow up I will.” No. It wasn’t until I was 15 years old that I said to myself, “I’m going to write something.” But it was more for my own amusement, to hang out. It wasn’t until recently that I said “yeah, I really like writing, I’d like to dedicate myself to that.” At the age of 14 I started writing poems, I like them very much. The first one was called “Honey” and it was on the platform for two months, so I deleted it.

— So, writing was present from a very early age. How was the story you tell in “Boulevard” born?

Boulevard was born in 2015 because when I started learning about Wattpad, I started reading the fanfictions. I said “I’d like to do something like that” with my favorite artists. There I start writing “Boulevard”, simply because I wanted to do something like the others on the platform. I create stories with my favorite artists, which at the time were One Direction and Five Seconds of Summer. I chose 5SOS lead singer Luke Hemmings. Luke from “Boulevard” was inspired by him. I was also inspired by Green Day’s song “Boulevard of Broken Dreams”.

The Mexican author began writing “Boulevard” in 2015, and years later Penguin Random House decided to publish it in paper. (Photo: Hugo Pérez for El Comercio) / Hugo Perez

—Wattpad gives you different alternatives, did you choose to write the whole story in your personal repository or did you go through chapters on the same platform?

I went through chapter by chapter. In fact, I used to not write in Word, but in front of the platform from my mobile phone. Or sometimes when I was on vacation I would write some scenes, chapters and so on and upload them. Around chapter 11 I took it off the shelf, put it in drafts until some girls told me “continue the story”. Thank God, I continued with “Boulevard”.

— Did receiving comments from readers on Wattpad affect the flow of the story? Or have you planned everything?

I already knew how it would end. The weird thing is that when I was thinking about what “Boulevard” was going to be like, I knew how it was going to end, I didn’t know how, but I had to get to that end (with the Hasley and Luke story) because that’s what I wanted.

— Flor, you mentioned that you write stories that you would like to read, but there were several romance stories already published on Wattpad, what is that magical touch that you decided to give to The Boulevard?

Sometimes we read a story but every reader says “I wouldn’t want it to end like that” or “I wouldn’t want him to make that decision”. So that’s what we’re getting at. If you think there was another course or that there was another option, it’s fine to write something of your own and say “I would have done it this way.” There we started writing according to our tastes. When I started Boulevard, I said I wanted to write something sad, I wanted to get out of the pink endings and do something tragic and dramatic.

— Why has “Boulevard” – from your point of view as an author – become a phenomenon in different countries of the world?

Really I do not know. Sometimes when my constituents get to the signatures I ask them what they like about The Boulevard and they say Luke. I guess (much of the success) is due to the main character. I also try to make my characters have my essence, feel real. For example, Luke has my likes and also experiences the problems I had. I guess that’s what made a few people like her as much as the book made them feel.

—Stories with clichés have become a permanent fixture in YA romance, do you like clichés? Do you think Boulevard is in this category?

I love the cliché, I adore the cliché, I live for the cliché. I love stories about the good girl, the bad girl, and the boy who changes because of her too much. I’m his fan. And yes, I feel like The Boulevard has its own cliché (which is reflected in the relationship between Hasley Weigel and Luke Howland).

Flor Salvador admitted to El Comercio that her favorite literary genre is fantasy, although she also likes clichés in youth romance books.  (Photo: Hugo Pérez for El Comercio)
Flor Salvador admitted to El Comercio that her favorite literary genre is fantasy, although she also likes clichés in youth romance books. (Photo: Hugo Pérez for El Comercio) / Hugo Perez

But it also has its opponents…

I feel like it’s very repetitive at the same time, and maybe they’re fans of something that’s more of a cliché or that doesn’t repeat itself as much. That’s why I always tell them that if they don’t like the story they’re reading, sometimes it’s good to create what you want to read. However, I sense that many are fans of the cliché but don’t want to admit it.

— Not only did you manage to have the physical book, but you’re preparing a film adaptation of Boulevard with Wattpad Webtoon Studios, how does it feel to achieve this at such a young age?

A lot of emotion indeed. Sometimes it seems surreal because I didn’t start writing because I wanted to get something in return. I just wrote as a hobby to see if I could also be a part of the Wattpad platform. That was my only goal. My goal then was to get into college and that’s it. So everything that happened to me was very surprising. It’s been almost unreal, I keep saying I’m surprised by everything that’s happened, the way my readers keep getting the second book. Some who were with me from the beginning are with me now and it’s nice to grow with them. They are watching something grow that they have also seen being born.

— Almost six years have passed since the creation of “Boulevard”, how do you think you have developed both as a person and as a writer?

As a person, I think I have learned to understand a lot of things that happen in life. Whereas as a writer I love to learn. Right now my writing interests are different, I’d like to try other genres, get out of romance. I don’t want to be mean. I would like to try something else because sometimes it’s good to try something different and see how it goes.

— In the vein of Anna Todd, creator of the After saga, do you consider yourself a Wattpad star?

I feel like someone who writes for other people. I feel I am growing with many readers accompanying me. Maybe I feel like a star or an important figure on Wattpad, but not yet. Maybe at some point. So far I still feel normal, I feel that nothing has changed since the girl who wrote on Wattpad and that she continues to do so, only that she continues to learn.

— Do you think you could connect with readers if you published directly with a publisher?

I do not think. I feel that Wattpad has given me the tools to be more intimate with my readers. They are also people who follow me from before and I can chat with them. For example, on Wattpad I wrote a few messages at the end of the chapter asking how they are and we can talk in the comments. Instead, in the physical book, you can’t do that. The connection I would have with my readers would not be as intimate as through Wattpad.

– This is the second time you are here in Lima and you arrive to present “Boulevard after him”, how do you experience this opportunity? How do you feel about the atmosphere of your arrival at FIL?

I am very nervous because last time there were trifles (quarrels) and the situation was tense. I was too surprised. Now I hope everything will be calmer, more orderly and I will have time to get to know everyone present. To leave with a good memory. I will accept them with a smile, sign them, and leave with a good taste in my mouth, as I do.

Last year, Flor M. Salvador was also in Lima to present her work Silence at the Metropolitan Book Fair, but there were some off-site incidents after the author's arrival.  (Photo: Hugo Pérez for El Comercio/Capture Canal N)
Last year, Flor M. Salvador was also in Lima to present her work Silence at the Metropolitan Book Fair, but there were some off-site incidents after the author’s arrival. (Photo: Hugo Pérez for El Comercio/Capture Canal N)

— More than 300 people signed up to get an autograph at the Lima International Book Fair…

It makes me cringe and it scares me, but it also makes me very excited because I keep saying that I find it very surprising that the book or I, I don’t know which, makes readers want to come. It’s beautiful, but it still scares me (laughs).

— And finally, what do you recommend to all those young people who, like you, want to start their way in writing?

I have always said that they write what they like, what they want. Don’t get carried away by the comments, because in the end you are writing about yourself. The point of writing is not to please others if you don’t like yourself. If you like it and do it from the heart, be sure that others will like it and connect with them through what you tell. It’s normal to have insecurities, but the smartest thing is to know how to control it and say “I’m the one who controls my emotions and decides what to do.” You have to dare because if it doesn’t work, you keep the experience; but if it works. You don’t have to stick with “would” or “maybe.” So go ahead. I hope that everyone who wants to make their dreams come true or has one in mind will do so. I may not be there, but spiritually I will and will celebrate.

Lima International Book Fair 2022

Flor M. Salvador

The Wattpad author will be at FIL Lima 2022, presenting her book Boulevard. After him”.

The book signing will take place this Saturday, August 6th and Sunday, August 7th. The activity is managed by Penguin Random House.

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