Getting to Know Me

headshotMy first language was Spanish, followed quickly by Spanglish as I learned new words and phrases from other kids on the playground. With a Mexican American dad who served in the Navy and a Puerto Rican mom who earned her business degree from the University of Puerto Rico, my life has been a mix of our Latino culture and good ol’ US of A traditions.  Kinda like my books.

I’ve always been a reader—my parents even remind me about how I won a trophy in 2nd grade for reading the most books over the summer.  In high school I tried my hand at writing short stories, and I read my first Harlequin romance while waiting in a hurricane shelter with my parents and siblings in the Florida Keys. When I started complaining about being bored, my dad—yes, my dad, that’s not a typo—handed me one of his Harlequin romance novels.

Voila!  A devoted romance reader was born!

Years later, as a married college student with a new baby, I decided to try my hand at romance novel writing.  Boy, is that a book that will remain stuffed under my bed until…well, let’s just say, forever.  I typed it on my handy dandy electric typewriter in one semester, put a sticky note with my name and address on the front page and mailed my “baby” off to New York.  Yes, I hear your gasp of shock.  No cover letter, no query letter.  Nothing.  Totally not the right way to submit. But what did I know?  It wasn’t until later that I was introduced to Romance Writers of America by a how-to book.

RWA is the premier organization for all romance writers.  Through RWA I’ve learned about the business of publishing, honed my craft, and met some of my best friends and mentors.

Now, five books, two more kids, countless military moves, one bachelor’s & two master’s degrees later, I’m still plugging away on my writing.  In fact one of my degrees is a Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in Writing Popular Fiction from Seton Hill University. I’d recommend this program to any genre fiction writer interested in honing their craft, whether published or not.

Or, if you’re not up for an MFA, but you’re interested in learning more about writing romance novels, take a look at my continuing education course offered by  ed2go.Romance Writing” is a 6-week, 12-lesson course on the craft of writing a romance novel.

After my day job and my writing, in my free time I enjoy running, playing tennis, dancing, going to the theatre, watching sports (Go Cubs! Go Gators!), reading and watching romantic comedies, and spending time with family and friends.

In short, I’m a proud Latina who enjoys family, fun, romance and the occasional nap in my backyard hammock.

2018 RWA® RITA® double finalist
#LatinxRom author

Represented by Rebecca Strauss DeFiore & Company


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