Welcome to another Author Spotlight! These spotlights are for showcasing author’s (predominantly women and people of color) writing talents and published works. As you may or may not know, I do themed weeks of prominent holidays/events throughout the year on my site. Every time I do these I always feature other authors (usually ones of color and women). And for Latinx/Hispanic Heritage Month I am trying to feature authors who have Latinx and/or Hispanic backgrounds. So without further ado let’s get on with the Author Spotlight!
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About the Author:
Maira Hernández is an award-winning author for her book titled “Aventura, Amor y Tacos.” Straddling the best of both worlds from fiestas in México to meetings in the boardroom she helps people reconnect with their roots in order to use the lessons from their cultural heritage to empower themselves to be badass individuals in every part of their lives.
What and when started your love for writing?
My love for writing really started with reading. I remember the first book I read for fun was Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants. That book opened up the world to being entertained and exploring stories through the pages of books. I would go to the library to borrow so many books at one time. Writing for me really only started when I studied abroad in college and I wanted to remember the details of my trips. Though recently I found my journal from elementary school which reminded me that writing has always been a part of my life.
Of all of the book genres, what drew you to write about yours?
Out of all of the book genres I wrote a travel memoir mostly because I began to question why all these adventure books were written by white women. I had been surrounded by friends and family many of who are women of color and who also have extraordinary stories and I knew there needed to be a reflection of that in the pages of a book.
So I went on a grand adventure myself, I quit my job, spent 6 months in México, and discovered a more authentic me through an experience that changed my life, and I decided to write about it to show other women of color that it was possible for us too!
If you could meet your favorite Latinx/Hispanic author, who would it be and why?
If I could meet my favorite Latina author it would be Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor. Her book My Beloved World was the first memoir I read that really reflected a life similar to mine, the bicultural experience, the first-gen experience in college, the career and so much more. She was such an inspiration in her storytelling and to see her hold a seat in one of the most important places in the U.S. government, having come from a similar background as mine, reminded me that anything is really possible.
How has your Latinx/Hispanic background and culture shaped what you write and how you write?
My Mexican culture has shaped every part what and how I write. On one end, my writing really began by exploring my own culture and identity and in order to stay true and authentic to it I decided to write in Spanglish— in the case of my book it’s mostly English with Spanish words and dialogue sprinkled through out to stay authentic to my Mexican-American upbringing and life experience.
I wanted my book to be one that stayed tru true to the way I talk with friends and family who are bilingual, but also a story of authenticity for those wanting to explore and discover more of the Mexican culture.
What book do you think everyone should read is based (or inspired by) around Latinx/
One book I think everyone should read that explores Latinx culture is Like Water for Chocolate by Laura Esquivel. This book does such a good job in exploring culture through food and family dynamics which is true of many latin families.
What makes your book(s)/writing special?
What makes my book and writing unique is that I come from an authentic and rooted bicultural experience. I’ve spent enough time exploring the differences and similarities between both my American and Mexican culture. Most people who are Mexican-American or who share a bi-cultural experience, if they haven’t spent long periods of time in their motherlands, especially as adults, it is easy for them to loose sight of some of the important values and to stay truly rooted in the culture.
Mexican and American cultures and values are very different and I connect the two and bring them together in a unique way where the reader can learn to value all parts of their identities.
So…what are you working on now?
Currently I have been writing a lot about life in the workplace as a woman of color. Being at the bottom of the wage gap as women of color isn’t easy. I’m exploring many of my experiences and those of friends to form a story of empowerment for women of color. Besides that I am also branching out and exploring children’s books to bring these stories to a younger audience.
Maira your book sounds empowering! I can’t wait to see where your writing takes you ! You can get in contact or connect with Maira through:
Live. Love. Laugh.
Thank you all for reading and remember: