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:
Maria Teresa Gomez is a full time Office/Accounting Manager, Mom and Wife by day and an author & confectionist artist by night. She creates gourmet desserts which include, chocolate caramel apples, cake pops, rice krispies dipped in chocolate and more! When she first started creating edible favors back 14 years ago, she was looking for a gourmet apples baking book and there was none. So, she decided to write the baking book she was looking for when she was a beginner and added a little twist. She added family recipes and stories. Maria Teresa has over 14 years’ experience. It all started as a hobby and self-care time.
What and when started your love for writing?
The love for writing began for me, when I met my mentor Davina Ferreira from Alegria Media and Publishing. I drove to Los Ángeles from San Diego to a one day writing course. I loved it so much that when she contacted me to take another writing class through zoom to write a book. I went for it. I was a little hesitant to take the class because I didn’t know where to start.
It was a dream and vision I had and my plan was, after I would retire in about 20 more years I would have time to write my book, but Davina convinced me to register for the class by telling me, we would only do 5 pages at a time. I am so grateful for the opportunity, my dream and vision came sooner than anticipated. A year and a half later my book was released this summer 2021.
Of all of the book genres, what drew you to write about yours?
What drew me to write about my book was, I wanted to include family recipes, stories and my dessert tables and I especially wanted to include my gourmet apples also known as Chocolate Caramel Apples. When I started creating chocolate favors there were no books about gourmet apples. I learned by trial and error. When I interviewed my maternal grandmother and my paternal mother, I learned so much of my family history and as far back as 5 generations, family members worked in bakeries in Mexico and Los Angeles, CA.
If you could meet your favorite Latinx/Hispanic author, who would it be and why?
My favorite Latinx/Hispanic author is Chef Marcela Valladolid. Chef Marcela has several cookbooks and she also just collaborated with Lil Libros for a children’s book. She was raised in Tijuana, MX and lives in Chula Vista, CA which is in San Diego county. My family is from Tijuana and we live in Chula Vista too. I would love to meet her because I love how Chef Marcela stays true to her roots and always stands up for what she believes in.
I am so proud to be Mexican American and I see that in Chef Marcela as well and that makes me like I personally know her. She tells her stories and shares those of others and I appreciate her transparency and vulnerability. She is a true inspiration and I admire her dearly.
How has your Latinx/Hispanic background and culture shaped what you write and how you write?
Learning about my Latinx/Hispanic background and culture during this process was amazing story telling with both my grandmothers. I learned, my maternal grandfather entered the United States through the Bracero Program and learned about the sacrifices both my paternal and maternal grandparents made to live the American dream. Doing the research and interviews really made me realize I had to add my family stories and baking recipes that brought so many beautiful moments in my life as a child.
What book do you think everyone should read is based (or inspired by) around Latinx/
The book I recommend is “Imperfecta” by Alejandra Ramos Gomez @aramosgomez It’s a bilingual poetry book that includes poems, dialogues and meditations. Also real experiences as women, daughters, friends, immigrants and latinas have gone through in real life. Alejandra Ramos Gomez is a poet, writer and bilingual educator from Juarez, Chihuahua. Her experiences growing up on the U.S.-Mexico border.
What makes your book(s)/writing special?
When I didn’t see the book I wanted on the bookshelves I decided to write it. I saw this quote and got me thinking…. Hey there are truly no books out there that talk about gourmet apples! I did some research and I literally couldn’t find one. I would find one specifically about caramel, another one specifically about chocolate and another one about candy apples but not gourmet apples.
That’s when I decided I wanted to write my first book “Gourmet Apples and More”. I wanted to add a twist and in my book not only did I include my gourmet apples and dessert recipes but I also included some of my family recipes and stories. For the love of my Mexican culture I added a few traditions that I grew up with and added some dessert table set ups as inspiration.
So…what are you working on now?
One of my projects that I am very excited to start soon is to start teaching online and in person baking classes. Ever since I was a little girl I loved working in the kitchen and always said one day I wanted to become a teacher. I didn’t know what I wanted to teach as a little girl but now with 14 years of gourmet apples and other treats experience that I have learned through trial and error and taking classes, I can’t wait to start and share my baking skills knowledge with the rest of the world.
Oh I would love to take an online baking class with Maria, her work looks so good. And Maria becomes the first cookbook author on the blog too! You can get in contact or connect with her through:
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Thank you all for reading and remember: