Q: First tell us something about yourself?
I was born and raised in Cali, Colombia and have lived in Florida for over 20 years. In Colombia, I worked as a kindergarten teacher for 10 years and one of the activities. I enjoyed most was reading stories to my students. I was always searching for stories to read and if I did not find the right book to teach a concept, I would invent it and draw it on the Board. This allows children to participate in interactive activities which enables them to understand ideas with ease. I studied plastic arts for a year in my hometown and I am always drawing or doing art projects, either in schools where I have worked or at home. I wrote the Ferocio book in Colombia when I was a college student and kept it in my memory drawer for a long time. Three years ago, I decided to make my idea a reality and create illustrations. I currently work in early intervention with blind and low vision children in Orlando, FL where I live with my husband Philip and two lovely cats, Harley and Nina.
Q: How and when your journey started as a writer?
I think my journey as a children’s story writer began many years ago when I created stories for my students to either amuse or teach. My journey formally started 3 years ago when I wrote and illustrated my book, “Ferocio the Last Dragon on Earth”. First, I tried to find a publisher who was interested in my book. I knocked on several doors and there was no positive response so I decided to self-publish and now I am writing a second book which is a sequel to the adventures of Ferocio.
Q: When did you write your first story? Is it published or not?
So far, I have only written two books, one that is already published and the other is a work in progress. I love writing fiction books and developing characters who have powers, creating places full of endless possibilities and delivering an unexpected ending. I also like characters who express feelings and exaggerate a bit; this helps children to identify and express their own feelings along with the character.
Q: Tell us something more about your books?
I have to confess that when I was taking a Children’s Literature class in college I was quite shy. I recall having to invent a book that we would present in front of the class as if we were storytelling to children. This was quite stressful and despite how difficult it was, after much effort, I ended up breaking the ice. This gave me the needed experience to become an expert storyteller. Reading books to children is my passion; their ability to be surprised, to express their feelings and to live stories as if they were their own is magical. Being a part of that moment is something that I would not change for anything in the world. For these reasons’ children are the best audience.
Q: How did these stories and characters come to your mind?
These stories sometimes come to my mind because someone tells me something that makes me think about a certain situation; sometimes stories are based on memories. There is no defined pattern. For instance, when I began writing Ferocio, I imagined an eight headed monster that had heads of different animals but I did not like the idea and I ended up with a dragon that had characteristics of several animals.
Q: Why do you choose kids as your reader ? is there any specific reason?
I have always believed that a good children’s book is one that is thought provoking, surprises, and makes a child eager to know the ending. This book was created with the intention of captivating children; I hope they enjoy my books as much as I have enjoyed writing them!