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Author May Torres
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Monday, April 5, 2010

The Story Behind The Story

My first novel was basically written with my teenage daughter in mind. Over the past year or so she picked up on her reading. Before she would basically read what she needed to satisfy school requirements. After I read the Twilight saga I enjoyed it so much, I gave her the books. She read the books with such enthusiasm and was pretty much done in record time. From then, she was never without a book to read. I was at a place where I needed to do something to change my life financially. The business that I run was not allowing me to be financially secure and I was in a bit of hot water. The economy being what it is, did not help. It caused me to lose some clients. I was trying to come up with ways to make some extra cash, so I picked up on my writing. I had started a story some years ago but never followed through. The time was crucial so I continued with the story not having any real idea where it was heading. In my mind, I thought maybe I could submit this short story and earn a little money from it. I read so many articles on things you can do to bring in extra cash. The most important point was, to use your talent or hobby to bring in income. I'm not a good artist, singer, or talented dancer to teach lessons on such things, so I was at a loss. I read the stories of J.K Rowlings and Stephenie Meyer and they basically turned their writing into mega million dollar successes. With my daughter truly loving the books she was reading, I thought maybe I could do what these other authors did, and create something my daughter and girls her age might enjoy. So I picked up the story I was writing, and ran with it. I wanted it to be something different. I didn't see too much of the hispanic/Latino community represented, so I knew right away that my story would have a Latino female as the protagonist. I wanted her to be seen in a positive and strong light. I wanted her to be a hero, so girls could believe in themselves and relate. The stories where the boy saves the day are nice, but what girl wouldn't want to be a hero too? So I began writing everyday, still not knowing where the story would lead. I'm a big fan of horror and the supernatural, so I knew I would throw in some of those elements. The story was taking on a more of the supernatural and not horror. My story did not involve wizards or vampires, just an ordinary girl who finds out she's anything but ordinary. It was also important for me to show people something different, offering a glimpse of a culture rarely represented. I had to write what I knew, so I chose to highlight my Puerto Rican heritage. I feel like I gave people a lesson on the history of the Puerto Rican people while being entertaining. My hope is that it teaches the reader things they might have not known. For those that are familiar with the history and way of life, I thought it might please them, to finally see it being represented. I was hoping to offer young latino girls and boys the chance to identify with the characters and connect with them. I do also hope that I inspire more stories like mine in the future. I would love for there to be more Latino/Hispanic authors coming forward and into the mainstream. Of course, I'm hoping for big success, but if it doesn't take off, I'll still be happy that I set out to do something and DID IT. I want to show my daughter that you can do whatever you put your mind to. It could all be done, and in a positive light. So here's to my story about a little Puerto Rican girl who could!

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