My 3 Answers

THE QUESTIONS posed to me by the good folks at the book festival I’m attending in October:

  1. We heard you based your book loosely on your grandmother’s life. What prompted you to write her story?
  2. If you were guaranteed an answer to one question, what would it be?
  3. What book have you read that you’d like to see on our official “Read Everything” booklist for the 2017 conference?


  1. Since I was a little girl, I knew my Abuelita (Grandmother) and her large family fled northern Mexico during the Mexican Revolution. Her family owned a ranch on thousands of acres. If they stayed, they would have suffered greatly or even been killed at the hands of Pancho Villa and his band of rebel soldiers. That information alone was enough to fire up my curiosity and imagination. But, more importantly, I wanted to portray a regular Mexican family full of tradition, compassion, loyalty and determination in a challenging time. I grew up in a Mexican-American home surrounded by the most beautiful people you can imagine. Evangelina Takes Flight is a love letter to them. The book’s message is more important now than ever.
  2. I’d be too afraid to ask! What if I didn’t like the answer, and how would it affect my life? Besides, I believe the best way to predict your future is to create it (lifted from Stephen Covey), so every day, I try to visualize and sculpt my life and the legacy I want to leave, without the answers to life’s big questions.
  3. One of my very favorite books is The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver for the way it takes me to a place and time I never would have imagined on my own. It weaves a fascinating story (told from multiple points of view) of a preacher and his family in the Congo as the Congolese people rebel against Belgian rule. For a teen book, I would say, “Speak”, by Laurie Halse Anderson. What a powerful message about incomprehensible hurt, healing, hard-won transformation and finding your own voice.
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