The authors that will be featured on my blog this week are amazing, and I am absolutely delighted to have had a chance to work with them for this week’s interviews!! You can check out below how lucky I was and learn a little bit more about them.
Amparo Ortiz was born in San Juan, Puerto Rico, but she currently lives on the country’s northeastern coast. She holds a B.A. in Psychology, an M.A. in English, and a Ph.D. in celebrity gossip. When she’s not teaching ESL to her college students, she’s teaching herself Korean, on the constant hunt for pizza and Twizzlers, and writing about Latinx characters in worlds both contemporary and fantastical. Her short story comic, “What Remains In The Dark,” appears in the Eisner-winning PUERTO RICO STRONG, a comics anthology contributing to post-Hurricane María relief efforts (Lion Forge, 2018). Her middle grade graphic novel, SAVING CHUPIE, is forthcoming from HarperCollins in 2022.
Author of MUSE SQUAD. Called “a master storyteller” by Kirkus Reviews, Chantel Acevedo is the author of Love and Ghost Letters (St. Martin’s Press), winner of the Latino International Book Award; A Falling Star (Carolina Wren Press), winner of the Doris Bakwin Award, The Distant Marvels (Europa Editions), which was a finalist for the 2016 Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Fiction, and most recently, The Living Infinite (Europa Editions), hailed by Booklist as a “vivid and enthralling tale of love and redemption.” Her essays have appeared in Vogue and Real Simple, among others. MUSE SQUAD: THE CASSANDRA CURSE, is Acevedo’s new middle grade series forthcoming from Balzer + Bray. She is Professor of English at the University of Miami, where she directs the MFA program.
Author of WHERE ARE YOU FROM? Yamile (sha-MEE-lay) Saied Méndez is a fútbol-obsessed Argentine-American who loves meteor showers, summer, astrology, and pizza. She lives in Utah with her Puerto Rican husband and their five kids, two adorable dogs, and one majestic cat. An inaugural Walter Dean Myers Grant recipient, she’s also a graduate of Voices of Our Nations (VONA) and the Vermont College of Fine Arts MFA Writing for Children’s and Young Adult program. She’s a PB, MG, and YA author. Yamile is also part of Las Musas, the first collective of women and nonbinary Latinx MG and YA authors. She’s represented by Linda Camacho at Gallt & Zacker Literary.
Author of CEMETERY BOYS. Aiden Thomas is a YA author with an MFA in Creative Writing from Mills College. Originally from Oakland, California, they now make their home in Portland, OR. As a queer, trans Latinx, Aiden advocates strongly for diverse representation in all media. Aiden’s special talents include: quoting The Office, Harry Potter trivia, Jenga, finishing sentences with “is my FAVORITE”, and killing spiders. Aiden is notorious for not being able to guess the endings of books and movies, and organizes their bookshelves by color.
Author of INTO THE TALL, TALL GRASS. Loriel Ryon spent her childhood with her nose in a book, reading in restaurants, on the school bus, and during every family vacation. When she wasn’t reading, Loriel built volcanoes, made jewelry, rescued tadpoles with her siblings, and raised butterflies. Now an author of middle grade and young adult fiction and a nurse, she lives in the beautiful New Mexico desert with her husband and two daughters.
Author of THE DREAM WEAVER. Reina Luz Alegre lives in the Miami area with her family. She’s dreamed of becoming an author since the second grade, and grew up to work on various other professional dreams—including as a freelance journalist and lawyer—before debuting her first novel, THE DREAM WEAVER. When she’s not writing, Reina loves to read, sing, and salivate over baking shows.
Author of TASTE OF SAGE. Yaffa S. Santos was born and raised in New Jersey. A solo trip to Dominican Republic in her teenage years changed her relationship to her Dominican heritage and sparked a passion for cooking and its singular ability to bring people together. Yaffa is a graduate of Sarah Lawrence College, where she studied writing and visual art. She is a member of RWA. She has lived in New York, Philadelphia, Santo Domingo, and now lives in Florida with her family.
Author of EFRÉN DIVIDED.He is a 20-year veteran teacher currently serving the city of Santa Ana: the colorful but mostly dismissed section of Orange County, California. He teaches reading and writing to local students at an inner-city intermediate school.
He holds an English degree from the University of California, Irvine; a teaching credential from California State University, Long Beach; as well as a Masters in Fine Arts in Creative Writing from National University.
Author of RUNNING. She received a BA in Creative Writing from the University of Miami and now works as a freelance writer in Texas. Her work has appeared in the New York Times, Bustle, Catapult, Electric Literature, Latina magazine, McSweeney’s Publishing, and the Austin American-Statesman.
Natalia’s first novel, CHASING THE SUN, was named the Best Debut Book of 2014 by Latinidad. Her latest novel, EVERYONE KNOWS YOU GO HOME, won an International Latino Book Award, the 2018 Jesse H. Jones Award for Best Work of Fiction from the Texas Institute of Letters, and was named a Best Book of 2018 by Real Simple magazine.
Author of THE LAST 8. Laura Pohl is a Brazilian YA author. She likes writing messages in caps lock, quoting Hamilton and obsessing about Star Wars. When not taking pictures of her dog, she can be found curled up with a fantasy or science-fiction book. She makes her home in São Paulo, where she graduated in Literature.
When not writing, she likes reading science fiction and fantasy, and enjoys deep discussions about conspiracy theories and alien life.
Author of FIVE MIDNIGHTS. Ann is a novelist and Director of Recruitment for Vermont College of Fine Arts (VCFA). She has a B.A. in Latino Studies from Norwich University, an M.A. in sociology from UI&U and an MFA in Writing from VCFA. She also helped create VCFA’s winter Writing residency in Puerto Rico.
Ann’s first novel, SISTER CHICAS was released from New American Library in 2006.
Author of LOBIZONA. Romina Garber (RUSSELL) is a New York Times and international bestselling author. Born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and raised in Miami, Florida, Romina landed her first writing gig as a teen—College She Wrote, a weekly Sunday column for the Miami Herald that was later picked up for national syndication—and she hasn’t stopped writing since. She is a graduate of Harvard College and a Virgo to the core.
Author of GHOST SQUAD. Claribel A. Ortega is a former reporter who writes YA & MG fantasy inspired by her Dominican heritage. When she’s not busy turning her obsession with eighties pop culture, magic and video games into books, she’s filming videos for her YouTube channel or making GIFS for her small graphic design business, GIFGRRL.
I cannot wait to share the awesome things we talked about! Stay Tuned!