Isabella never wanted to learn speak Spanish. But when her parents announce that they are moving the family to a predominantly Mexican-American neighborhood, Isabella becomes desperately afraid that she won’t be able to fit in and grudgingly agrees to start Spanish lessons with her abuela.
But the lessons aren’t easy as she thought they would be. Abuela is a strict teacher and the words are a lot more difficult to memorize than Isabella thought they would be, so at the goading of her best friend she decides to put a stop to them. Through a runaway adventure, a visit to her father in the hospital, and an introduction to a new kind of friend, Isabella comes to realize that Spanish may not be as bad as she thought, and that being able to communicate with people who share her heritage could be invaluable.
Tell us something about yourself.
I was born and raised in Houston, Texas.
I have been writing for three years.
What inspired you to write this book?
It is my goal to touch on the world of biracial children who may struggle as they integrate two cultural heritages into their lives. Some biracial children may be torn between two cultures and may choose to identify with one while denying the other. Of course, this may not be the case for all children who are biracial, but for those who struggle with this issue, it is my quest to, through my story, activities and worksheet, reach children who are struggling with identity and self-esteem issues. Hopefully, No Tildes on Tuesday, my future books, activities and worksheets will make positive and meaningful impacts and discussions regarding cultural awareness.
How did you choose the title?
Actually, my original title for this book was Call Me Biracial Not Bilingual. My publishing company sent my title through their “title storm committee” and suggested that I change my title to one of 10 that they suggested. No Tildes on Tuesday was one of the titles that I loved, so I had to tweak and give Isabella, the main character in my book, another script, but it was very easy to do.
What obstacles did you encounter in getting this book published? How did you overcome them?
I sent copies of my book to several publishing companies for the first two years (2007-2009), but to no avail. I spent lots of money on envelopes and stamps, but I did what I needed to do to obtain visibility. One day in October, 2009 a package arrived in the mail from Tate Publishing & Enterprises with a contract offer. I read the offer and became very excited, so I signed the contract. My book was scheduled for the production process in January, 2010.
How did you know you wanted to be a writer? How did you get started?
I have always had a way with words. One day I was thumbing through a “Parenting Magazine” and saw an offer from the Institute of Children’s Literature for prospective writers to take an aptitude exam if they felt they had the writing ability to enroll in their institute. Well, I took the challenge and passed the exam. They found that I had the necessary skills to enroll, so for 18 months I was one of their students.
Do you have any writing rituals?
I am a “morning person.” I think clearer in the early hours when there is serenity and peace. I have to have all of my supplies organized. When I am not in the writing mode, but think about important details that may give me added character lines, or actions, I try to jot them down at that moment so that I won’t forget them.
How do you come up with the names for your characters?
I love the name Isabella and felt that this name is befitting of a very clever and pretty girl.
Did you learn anything from writing and publishing this book? What?
Yes, planning ahead and organization are key factors. Reading, rereading, editing and reediting is so important. I have to read my book in sections with ideals in mind, and then reread the book again to look for other important details. My editing has to be categorized and tailored for whatever I am searching for during a task. For example, if I am looking for quoting correctly, I have to read my book and only look for correct quotes. Once that task is over, I can reread the book and look for other important details.
If you were doing it all over again, what would you do differently?
I would ensure that my book is thoroughly edited and have multiple experts read it.
Are you working on your next book? What can you tell us about it?
Yes. I am writing a sequel to No Tildes on Tuesday.
Isabella, the main character in my book, moves to a new neighborhood, but learns that her new school has more than just Mexican-American students. There are Caucasian and African-American students as well. The problem is they are all so cliquish. Isabella feels strongly that something should be done about this, so ………………
What is the best advice you could give other writers about writing or publishing?
Work closely with your publishing company. The relationship with Directors of departments (Conceptual editing, Layout Design, Cover Design, Marketing) will be your key to your success. Even if something goes wrong, you will be able to sort things out with your publishers if your relationship remains positive, and they realize that the success of your book is a win-win situation for all involved.
Who is the perfect reader for your book?
Students, Educators (Teachers, Counselors) and Parents.
Where can readers learn more about you and your book?
Readers can go to www.tatepublishing.com to order copies of my book from the Tate Publishing and & Enterprises on-line book store.
Or readers can go to my website: http://cherryevasquez.tatepublishing.net