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Maria de Lourdes

Victoria

I am a bilingual writer born and raised in Veracruz, Mexico, currently residing in the state of Washington. I write novels, short stories and children’s books. I wrote my first novel, Los Hijos Del Mar (The children of the sea) because I wanted my sons to know their ancestry and to be proud of their heritage. The story, set during the late nineteenth century in México and in Spain, is based on the lives of my ancestors, the Victorias, who made a name for themselves in México’s pharmaceutical industry, and the Muguiras, Spanish immigrants who found success cultivating and trading coffee seeds. The novel weaves both families’ sagas into a shared destiny and their intertwined tales becomes, finally, the love story of my parents. Click here to read a chapter of Los Hijos del Mar.

My second novel, Más allá de la Justicia (Beyond Justice) is a farewell to my former profession as a litigator. Through the first-person narrative of my three characters, I bring my reader into the harsh world of our criminal justice system, the complex lives of the accused, and the people who work, relentlessly, in the pursuit of justice. While the novel is not a memoir, my work as a public defender influenced my writing, and the process became therapy, allowing me to understand how the experience had shaped me. Click here to preview Mas Alla De La Justicia

A number of literary journals have published my short stories. The theme that seems to permeate my prose in that genre is the struggle that Latinos face in the United States. My characters are often working women trying to survive in a country that is not their own. The inspiration for the stories often comes from the people I try to help in my current work as a mediator.

I particularly enjoy writing for children. I find the process uplifting, and a good source of balance, especially when the substance of my adult work is often dark, and daunting. The more I explore and learn about this genre, the more it calls to me, especially when I am around my grandchildren, who are my best, and most devoted audience.

The Next Big Thing- Children of the Clouds

Maria white background

The Next Big Thing – Los Hijos de las Nubes (The Children of the Clouds)

I've been tagged! My dear Hedgebrook sister, Donna Miscolta, author of When the de la Cruz Family Danced, tagged me in the Internet chair game in which writers answer seven questions about their next writing project. You can read about Donna's Next Big Thing Q and A in her wonderful writing blog. I can't wait to get my own copy of The Education of Angie Rubio and enjoy Donna's hilarious, poignant prose, telling the growing up pains of Angie – the social outcast who tries to fit in and find her place in the world.

In turn, I am tagging Laura Gonzalezand Rita Wirkala

So here are the seven questions about My Next Big Thing.

What is the working title of your book?

Los Hijos de las Nubes (The Children of the Clouds)

What is the origin of this book idea?

I find myself writing about my beloved Mexico.

Veracruz by Eduardo Pavon

With my first novel, Los Hijos del Mar (The children of the sea) I paid tribute to the state of Veracruz, Mexico, where I grew up. The novel, set during the nineteen-century Mexico and Spain, weaves the lives of the Victoria family, my father's relatives (a line of Mexican pharmacists struggling to survive in the small fishing village of Catemaco) and The Muguira family, my mother's kindred (Spanish immigrants who moved to Mexico in order to seek a better life for themselves and for their children). With Veracruz as the setting, my aim was to bring to the reader the beauty and traditions of my homeland.

With the new novel, I turn my attention to Oaxaca, my second most favorite state in Mexico. Oaxaca, one of the most beautiful, ethnically diverse regions in Mexico is best known for its expressions of culture and history and for its mix of prehispanic treasures and colonial patrimony, as well as for its music, dance, painting, traditions, and culinary arts.

When I first visited Oaxaca I was fifteen years old and I was immediately smitten with its sights, history and people. I knew, even then, that some day I would write a novel about that magical place.

Oaxaca - Cathedral by Buzzthrill

Los Hijos de las Nubes brings my readers the uniqueness of that captivating region part of the world. The novel, set in the late 1800's in the city of Tlaxiaco, tells the story of a family of hacendados tlapicheros (sugar mill landlords). It is a tale of love, loyalties divided and ethnic tensions occurring at one of the most tumultuous times in our Mexican history.

What genre does your book fall under?

Historical Fiction

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

I am not sure but I would be disappointed if the cast were not Mexican and Zapotec actors, except for Rogan McDana (and his siblings) who are Irish.

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

Ute Hagen

The Children of the Clouds is the love story of a zapotec woman and an Irish man told by a nun in Oaxaca, Mexico during the post revolution years (1920).

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?

I am still working on it. I have spent about half my time in the "information gathering" stage: reading, researching, talking to people, and collecting documents in the library. My goal is to finish the novel this year.

Who or what inspired you to write this book?

My love for Mexico has been my inspiration. I also wanted an excuse to spend as much time as possible in Oaxaca.

Oaxaca - Tradition by Travis S.

What else about your book might pique the reader's interest?

I am thoroughly enjoying writing about many traditions, which, unfortunately, have been lost. I believe my readers will appreciate learning about the true meaning of those traditions, and maybe even resurrect them (ok, maybe I am overly optimistic) and not just follow those that have become so commercialized to incite the average tourist to visit Oaxaca. I am grateful for those authors before me who have paid true tribute, and celebrated, the richness and beauty of our culturally diverse ancestry.

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