I Need Your Help with 2 Questions

idea loading imageI’ve been invited to attend a book festival in October. My publisher just sent me some questions the folks at the festival want me to answer by the end of this week. How would you answer these? Your ideas will get my brain in gear!

  1. If you were guaranteed a true answer to one question, what would it be?
  2. What book have you read that you’d like to see on our official “Read Everything” book list for 2017? (Appropriate for kids, ages 11-18)
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Whirlwind Tour Through Texas

I had two author events in the past week, both of which went swimmingly! Here are some favorite photos. Special thanks to everyone who helped out – Renee at the Laredo Public Library, Anna, Judy, Amparo, Russ and the kids (okay, so they’re adults), Kay at Barnes & Noble and my parents, Arturo & Belinda. I also appreciated the support of Marina Tristan from Arte Público Press at the Houston event.

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Laredo Public Library Teen Advisory Board & ETF Named a Junior Library Guild Selection

Laredo Public Library 7.11.17

So pleased to have met members of Laredo Public Library’s Teen Advisory Board at the event held on July 11, 2017. I had a chance to speak with some of them, all of whom had completed reading the book or were part way through. Here are some of the comments I heard when I asked, “What was your overall impression of the book?”

  • It represents my culture.
  • It makes me think about what some of my ancestors had to go through when they came to the US.
  • It describes some of the things we know about, but people don’t usually talk about (discrimination against immigrants).
  • I like that the main character is a female and a Latina.
  • I don’t normally read this kind of book (historical fiction), but I loved this one!
  • My favorite scene was the Town Hall meeting (note: that’s one of my favorite scenes, too).

The Teen Advisory Board is having a book talk on July 20 to discuss the novel. I look forward to hearing how it goes. Thanks to Renee LaPerriere, Librarian for the Joe A. Guerra Public Library’s Luciano Guajardo Historical Collection for arranging the event.

OTHER NEWS – Evangelina Takes Flight was recently named a Junior Library Guild Selection – a huge honor!

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KGNS Laredo TV Interview

KGNS Morning Program Interview 7.11.17Enjoyed my short time on this morning’s KGNS Laredo morning news program. I was given a few minutes to talk about my book and promote the book signing event tonight at the Laredo Public Library from 6-7:30. Yesterday, I did a 20-minute radio interview with Sammy the House, a popular morning show DJ. Such a wonderful reception in the town of my birth. Thank you Laredo!

You can see the newscast here. Link: http://www.kgns.tv/video?vid=433852993

 

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Everyday People in Puerto Vallarta

I’ve been in Puerto Vallarta for 6 days now, and I can’t stop thinking about “the wall”.  Sure, a few Mexicans have joked with us about it, like the waiter who said after the wall is built, they’ll use a “trumpoline” to get over it, but mostly, it’s just reinforced the need to share a different perspective.

What I’ve seen here are hardworking people trying to eek out a living (vendors on the beach as you see in the photos), bricklayers, waiters, beauticians, grocery store clerks, hotel staff, craftsmen, etc.), families walking together on the boardwalk, a teen in the center plaza training his dog to do tricks, lovers holding hands over a candlelit dinner table, a dad guiding his tiny daughter through the ocean waters with  inflated water wings around her arms. Ordinary people. Some vacationing, some working, some just hanging out.

One 70+ year old man who caught my attention crouched on the edge of a cobblestone street near our villa, with a pointed gardening tool in hand. With eyes covered by a film of grey clouds, he dug at the weeds between the stones and occasionally pulled one up and set it in a pile on the sidewalk. I can’t say if someone had paid him to do it, but it hardly seemed practical, to pull weeds between stones on a road pummeled by car tires all day and night. But, the man was trying to provide a service, in the hot sun, with little to no eyesight. We walked past him twice, and neither time did he ask us for money.

One woman approached us on the beach with her little son, perhaps 4 years old. I wanted to buy a small embroidered purse from her. Her price: $25. But, all I had was $21 in cash and a credit card. Of course, she did not take credit cards. Ultimately we settled for the $21 cash and a Sprite. We’d started a tab at the bar adjoining the beachside hotel, so we just added a Sprite to it. When it arrived, the woman found a seat under a beach umbrella behind us, shared the Sprite with her little boy and thanked us before heading off to sell more purses.

No one that I’ve seen so far seems to fit the description of a “bad hombre.” No one in my family or circle of family friends does either, and every one of us is a descendent of someone who came here as a Mexican immigrant generations ago. Most Mexicans are proud, hardworking, compassionate and loving, many of the same descriptors you’d use for born and bred Americans, or Danes or Poles or South Africans or any other human beings.

The idea of “the wall” should be an insult to every American who is the descendent of an immigrant, and that’s nearly all of us.

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PNWA Literary Contest Finalist for Call Girl

In February, I entered the Pacific Northwest Literary Association’s literary contest. As instructed, I mailed in the first 3 chapters of Call Girl, my new women’s fiction and recently learned I’m a finalist. I will attend the writers’ conference July 21-23 and find out if I win 1st, 2nd or 3rd place at a banquet on the 22nd. Taking hubby with me to that. Can’t wait! Feeling grateful for all the good things in my life, especially my health, since I was in bad shape earlier this year. With good health, you can imagine your BEST life, spread your wings and soar!

https://www.pnwa.org/?page=finalists2017

Now, if only I could get Evangelina Takes Flight to everyone who ordered the book online. There’s been a delay, but it’s temporary, I promise! I appreciate your patience.

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Join Me @ The Texas Book Festival in Austin, November 4-5

Texas Book Festival

Things are moving quickly now, and all in the right direction! I’ve just been confirmed as a presenter at the Texas Book Festival in Austin, Texas, November 4-5. I’m told I could be on a discussion panel, but we’ll see how it all works out.

What a great reason to travel to Austin, quite possibly the hippest city in Texas. Here’s more information about the festival from their website.

One of the largest and most prestigious literary festivals in the country, the annual Texas Book Festival features 250+ nationally and critically recognized authors, 20+ venues including the State Capitol, 80+ exhibitors, live music, local food trucks, family activities, and countless opportunities to meet authors and fellow book lovers. Founded in 1995 by First Lady Laura Bush, the Festival has hosted thousands of notable and award-winning authors over the years, including Margaret Atwood, Robert Caro, Sandra Cisneros, Salman Rushdie, Cheryl Strayed, Walter Mosley, Molly Shannon, Frank McCourt, Ziggy Marley, Liz Carpenter, Doris Kearns Goodwin, and many, many others.

The 2017 Texas Book Festival will be held November 4-5, 2017. The Festival runs from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. on Saturday and 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. on Sunday. The Texas Book Festival Weekend is free and open to the public and takes place in Austin, Texas, at the State Capitol and surrounding grounds.

http://txbookfest.wpengine.com/festival-intro-page/

 

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