PLAYING "SECOND LIFE" IN BRAZIL: Without a computer or an avatar, author Steven Carter is living a dream life (again).
SOME MIGHT CALL IT LUCK, SOME MIGHT CALL IT TALENT, AND SOME MIGHT CALL IT TIMING, BUT THIS AMERICAN AUTHOR IS WATCHING HIS PUBLISHING DREAMS COME TRUE IN THE LAND OF FOGO, CACHACA, AND CAIPIRINHAS.
Twenty years ago Steven Carter was almost a household name. With five appearances on Oprah, six appearances on Donahue, and seven national bestsellers to his credit, including the New York Times bestseller “Men Who Can’t Love,” Carter was living the American dream. In 2001 Carter retired from writing after completing his 20th book, and made his way back to a more academic life. But this year a very special letter arrived – a letter with a $60,000 check inside. It seems that two of Carter’s old books were suddenly taking Brazil by storm, outselling authors like J.K. Rowling and Barack Obama. Carter was about to learn that his creative life was having a second life in Brazil.
Steven Carter’s work is white hot in Brazil right now. “What Smart Women Know”, his self-help bestseller, logged an amazing 103 weeks on Brazil’s top ten bestseller lists in 2007 and 2008. “Men Like Women Who Like Themselves”, landed on the lists last March right next to its sibling. Carter has been to Brazil three times this year to visit his new second home. And this ’second life’ is just getting started. In April 2009 Carter’s most successful title, “Men Who Can’t Love”, will debut on the shelves of bookstores throughout Brazil. Still more titles are in the queue.
The Los Angeles Times recently published a feature story on Steven Carter’s Brazilian fantasy-come-true. The complete article can be found at: http://www.latimes.com/features/books/la-et-self26-2008jul26,0,2920383.story
Carter’s success is not as enigmatic to his Brazilian publisher Marcos Pereira, co-founder of the self-help and spirituality publishing company GMT Sextante. Pereira knows how strongly Brazilian women are now responding to well-written books with a psychological slant. “The role of women in the Brazilian culture or economy has evolved,” explained Pereira, “If you think of the U.S. 20 years ago, I think this is happening now in Brazil. Women are rethinking their roles, enjoying their independence, embracing their success.” For Pereira and Carter, that success is translating into book sales.
Steven Carter is currently studying Portuguese, hoping to make future media tours thru Brazil a bit more seamless (he has already committed to making eight more visits). But the language gap does not seem to throw him; he believes that the messages in his books are not lost in translation. After all, Carter was the writer who introduced the phrase ’commitmentphobia’ into the popular vocabulary twenty years ago – he understands how words can often cross barriers so effortlessly. “Men Who Can’t Love” has already sold almost four million copies worldwide, and has yet to reach the shores of Brazil where it could easily sell one million more.
Noted Carter, “There is a sea change in the culture of Brazil and other parts of South America and my words of support seem to be fully connecting with book buyers. The country is embracing growth, both economic growth and emotional growth. With that growth comes change.” “This is both scary and exciting,” adds Carter, “Scary because no one knows what this brave new world will look like. But exciting because there is something very healthy and universal about the desire for emotional independence and the chance to find lasting love.”
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