How did you get into writing?
It all started when my daughters got into private schools, and my youngest daughter realized she was different!
Like many young kids standing out did not feel good. She was very aware of the fact that she stood out in so many ways.
She wanted to be just like her friends, who had cute short blond hair, and vanilla skin. One day she asked me if we could please take matters into our hands, dye her hair blonde, cut it short, and blow dry it straight.
I still remember those big brown eyes, with her puffed updo hairstyle, tugging my hand for us to do this right away! In her mind, there was no time to waste.
I remember freaking out inside because I remember this feeling of wanting to be like everyone else so well. I couldn't help but think of my desperate cry for help with my mother when I was young. I remember asking her what did I have to do to get her bright green eyes? She had tricked me into believing that if I ate all my vegetables, my eyes would turn from coffee to green in no time. Later in life, I realize that no matter how much vegetables I ate, my eyes did not turn from brown to look like my mother's bright green eyes.
That day I convinced my daughter she was beautiful and didn't need to dye her hair blonde.
The next day when I dropped her off at school, I spoke to one of her teachers and confided in her how my youngest was feeling. The teacher encouraged me to show my daughter's pictures of family members and important historical figures that look like them.
I started a new bedtime routine, by showing the girls pictures of all their family members. My late grandmother, grandmothers, aunts, cousins, and telling them stories about their families. I then started showing them pictures of historical figures from Harriet Tubman, Mirabal Sisters, Celia Cruz, Mrs. Obama, and the list goes on! You can say that bedtime turn into storytelling about everything but most importantly people that look like us and share our stories.
My children curiosity led them to know if my husband and I were anything like them when we were little and had similar experiences, although one of their parents grew up in a different country.
My first children's book Pequeña María/ Little María, was born out of this curiosity and why I became a writer.
Does your daughter still want to be blonde?
I am happy to share that she loves her hair and the skin she is in!
Do your kids know they are the reason you created your books?
Yes! My children know that they are the reason I started writing, and they inspire me every day.
I want to be a writer; how do I become one?
Right on! I am so happy for you that you will embark on this creative journey.
You will have many challenges that many writers face, but I promise you that it will be worth it.
Make sure to get in the habit of reading and writing regularly. I also heavily recommend getting into social media author/writers groups, listening to writers podcasts, and lastly, but most importantly, get into the habit of telling everyone that you are a writer.
I got in the habit of telling people I was a writer even before writing my first book.
I want to read one of your books or play in class one of the animations. Do I have your permission to use it?
Go for it! If you can, make sure to cite me as the author and tag me on social media handles.
Why do you use college interns to promote literacy and education through social media?
In the pandemic, I saw a need for educational content that affected many families struggling to keep young ones entertained. I also found that many teachers/educational facilities were scouting for content that they can recommend using inside and outside the classroom.
I wanted to do something to help our families and our teachers/educational facilities, so I created a virtual internship.
The college interns promote literacy and education to all! They give book reviews from authors of colors, art projects we can try at home, fun science experiments, and math strategy.
The student gains experience by promoting literacy/educational content. As well as helping them learn business skills that they can use for future internships and employers.