I’m very honored that Lorraine Ladish of Vivafifty.com tagged me in the #WeNeedDiverseBooks blog relay! I’ve authored nine books to date, seven creativity books and two novels.
The idea of the #WeNeedDiverseBooks series is to show that as Latina/o authors, our work isn’t only meant to inspire our own community. We write books for EVERYONE to read, enjoy, and hopefully, remember. We are writers and book authors sharing our experiences – and we just happen to also be of Mexican, Cuban, Puerto Rican..and more… heritage. We want our titles mixed in with the mainstream, because our stories are mainstream and universal.
Before I go into my writing process, I’ll share why I think the #WeNeedDiverseBooks is so crucial. Recently Chipotle Mexican Grill launched a really cool campaign, Cultivating Thought. Ten writers were chosen to share witty commentary on printed Chipotle cups and bags. I was so excited, I love this kind of meaningful marketing. I adore the idea of spreading smiles and storytelling while we eat our food, especially for people like me who travel a lot and often eat alone.
The downside? Chipotle MEXICAN Grill did not include any Latino authors. I was shocked to see a cool company such as Chipotle totally miss the mark. Not that they have to have all Latino authors, but the fact that they are Chipotle Mexican Grill, you’d think they would at least include one or two. There are so many wonderful authors to choose from!
The Chipotle story is just one reason why campaigns like #WeNeedDiverseBooks is so important. Our world is a beautiful colorful place and we all have a story to tell. And bookstores are like airports for the soul! Buy a $10 paperback and you are transported to any culture, time period, tax bracket or age group. The more books we read by all kinds of authors, the fuller and wider and richer our minds will be. Reading is knowledge and knowledge is power!
*Steps off soap box* Thank you for reading through that! Now I’ll go on to my author process!
What are you working on?
I’m currently working on three fiction pieces. One is my third novel, about a Mexican bakery-turned-cupcake shop. I’m half-finished. The other two are flash fiction pieces – one is a short romance, the other is a new Dia de los Muertos story. I’m most excited for the cupcake book, it’s funny, sweet and has some tearjerker moments!
How does your writing process work?
If you look at the photo at the top of this article, you’ll see two of my stages (NOTE: It’s all changed since I wrote what you see in the picture!). First I brainstorm the story, the character arcs, and the setting. I use a blank journal and it often includes a lot of fancy hand lettering because I think while I draw. I try not to spend too much time on this part. I then write the outline. This is very freeflowing, I summarize each chapter so I have a sort of roadmap to follow, even if I don’t stick to it. Once I have the outline done, I send it to my neighborhood Staples and have them print it out, double-sided pages. I’ll go to a coffeehouse and read it, and add notes or changes. This is all prep work for a very long journey. Then I write the book. First draft, I let it pour out of me. I can’t sleep during this time because I’ll finish writing a chapter, then I stay up all night thinking about all the different ways it can go. All I can dream about is the next opportunity to write! After the first draft is finished, I send it to Staples again to have it printed. At this point, I read each chapter out loud to my husband and he helps me fine tune, edit and condense.
Why do you write what you do?
I have many reasons. First of all, I love it. My dad was such a wonderful storyteller and he passed it on to me. And I really want to share stories about all-American Latinas. I want to show characters who are aren’t always represented – Latinas in the creative arts. For my first novel, Waking Up in the Land of Glitter, I had three very crafty ladies, one of them blossomed as a mixed media artist, one a TV host, and the other as a speed crochet champion. In my second novel, Miss Scarlet’s School of Patternless Sewing, Scarlet Santana is a fashion and lifestyle blogger who is well known around the country, but not at all appreciated by her family. She teaches a sewing class to raise money for an opportunity, but ends up showing her students how to fully embrace their lives.
Authors I´m tagging in the blog relay are
1. Gaby Triana. She has authored a series of uplifting, comical YA titles that are great summer reads for any age. She is also a master cake decorator! Check out her YouTube page here and her blog here! Here are her books!
2. Sandra Lopez. Sandra wrote her first novel while still in college. She loves writing and sharing her experiences. She tours a lot – and you can see her schedule here! Here are her books. And here is her blog!
Thank you for reading this and supporting #WeNeedDiverseBooks – please keep buying books! Any books! ALL. THE. BOOKS!