When did I start writing?

Plot lines developed in my head years before I put them on paper, but the defining moment was when I was in high school. In my culture, soap operas dominate the evening broadcasts and both men and women rush home in order not to miss their favorite characters and their dramas. I began writing small dramas of my own, and my friends and boy band crushes became the characters. Each weekend I would write a chapter in my typewriter (yes, that long ago…) and when I came to school the next Monday, my friends would read where their adventures took them. 

Years passed and I kept writing for myself. Stuff that probably wasn’t too bad, but still I felt embarrassed to show to anyone. And then I stopped writing at all…

I had a new life in the Netherlands, with a lovely family but working in a busy unfulfilling job. For a long time, I felt odd, as if I was missing on something. I loved reading and during my long commute I devoured many books. It was then searching online for something new to read that I came across Wattpad, a fun social platform for readers and writers. I was hooked on their fan fiction stories and realized they weren’t much different than what I wrote in my teenage years.

I gave writing a go again, over four years ago, and it seems that all the energy and ideas I had saved in my head during the years I was inactive couldn’t wait to come out. Luckily, I’m now in a job I love and my manager and colleagues are my number one fans. The love and feedback from the community has been amazing and I’m so happy I can share my stories with them digitally and in print, just like I did with my high school friends and a typed stack of papers.

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What inspires me to write?

Of course, many things inspire me to write, but if I have to choose just one I would say that my family does. I grew up in what is potentially a very out of the ordinary tribe. And I’m not talking just about my parents and my sister, because when you come from a Latino family like I do, the extended family, neighbors and friends all make part of it. Most of these people were involved in one way or another with the arts, and I’m blessed to count musicians, singers, poets, writers, dancers and visual artists among them. Our house was always full when there was a jamming session or a bohemian night, and besides the ever present music, food and drinks would appear from everywhere.

From left to right: my father, uncles and aunt.

I found the interaction between my family members fascinating. They were so passionate that for an outsider, it looked as if they were fighting, when they were probably talking about a sport event. They were also often meddling with each other’s businesses and that would eventually end up in both parties not talking to each other for a while, and then delivering an apology note on paper which seemed the remedy to all situations. Family members have even raised children who are not their own, and have loved them the same. But my favorite, is how they were always warm and welcoming to new people; background, ethnicity, sexual preferences, it never mattered, you are family. 

I believe all the passion, the fights, the apologies, the acceptance, the warmth and the unconditional love have made it into my books in one way or the other, and hopefully will continue for many stories more.