On May a group of 3rd grade Latino students critiqued my book My Shoes and I. You can read the critique here.
Muchas gracias niños and muchas gracias to maestro Rudy Garcia for your words and lindas palabras for My Shoes and I.
The students also sent me some questions. With mucho placer, here are my answers. :)
BryanG: How did you ever do this wonderful book?
Ever since I was trying to publish my first book, I wanted to write my story of crossing three borders. Yay! Now it is a book!
Have you gone through these things in your life?
This is my real journey from El Salvador to the United States. All the incidents in the book happened to me. I can still remember the dogs chasing me and discovering the holes on my shoes.
Nancy: What inspired you to do this book and how did you think of so many good ideas?
My journey to the United States was my inspiration to write this book. This journey and my life as a new immigrant child in the United States are my treasures of inspiration. Every time I want to write a new story, I look into my treasures and always find great stories.
Marianay: How did you come up with the story?
I lived the story. A famous Latin American author, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, wrote that you have to live in order to tell the story. Writing this book was like writing in my own personal journal.
Adal: Where did you get all this information?
I got the information while I was walking, taking buses and crossing borders. The journey was scary and exciting at the same time. Scary because you never know what can happen on the road and exciting because I was going to see Mamá and escaping war. Every moment was recorded in my mind.
Lesley: Did you really need to cross the border when you were young?
Yes, because we did not have the right papers to fly to the United States. My family was poor in my country and the only way to come to the United States was to cross three borders.
Questions from several kids:
Do you like sad or happy endings?
I like happy endings because at the end of every book, I want to know that the main character will be fine or that there is hope to accomplish his/her dreams, but sometimes sad endings teach us valuable lessons. We can always learn from positive and negative experiences.
Do you ever write scary stories?
Yes, I do! In college I wrote the short story Blood Tears. A group of theater students loved my story so much that they created a play. It was great to see my story in action.
Lesley: What made you interested in writing?
My mother’s uncle Jorge Buenaventura Laínez, a Salvadoran author, inspired me to dream that I could be a writer in the future. Also, every time I read a book, I am transported into a new world where anything can happen. Tío Jorge is the seed of inspiration and the books are the water that nurture my imagination.
Alan & Ruben: How did you become a famous writer?
Thanks for thinking that I am famous . I submitted my stories to many publishers. Some publishers said no, but I did not give up. Piñata Books said yes and published my first book, Waiting for Papá.
Alex: when did you start to write books?
I wrote my first poem when I was seven years old. In high school and college I wrote many stories such as Blood Tears. When I became a teacher, I started to write children’s stories.
Marianay: How does it feel being an author?
It is great to know that my books are reaching many hands and that entire families are enjoying them.
BrianC: Do you have a special writing room? Did someone help you write this?
My special writing room is always a library. I write better in a silent place and the library is perfect because I am surrounded by books. I write my stories but my editors help me to edit them when they are ready to become books.
Brisa: What do you like to read?
I love memoirs and books that are based on real stories. Also, I like to read fantasy and adventure books.
Sarahy: Did you ever treat something like a person, like the personifications in your book?
Yes I do! I always say beautiful things to my computer because I need it to write my stories. When I am looking for something, I always say “Beautiful and wonderful _________. Where are you? In this way, I always find what I am looking for.
René Colato Laínez