WNBA-LA Blog Editor, Laurel Cole, had the chance to ask award-winning writer Lilliam Rivera a few questions. Here’s what she had to say:
Laurel Cole: “What attracted you to writing young adult novels?”
Lilliam Rivera:” I grew up reading Judy Blume and S.E. Hinton novels when I was young. Although I started my writing career as a journalist, it took me many years to get over this fear of writing fiction. After taking writing classes at UCLA I noticed how every story I wrote would feature a sixteen year old Latina. I love trying to capture that intense time, what I like to call the discovery of firsts— first kiss, first revolutionary act, first major disappointment! It’s so ripe for fiction.”
LC: “What type of writer are you? (Outliner, panster, do you know the ending when you start, etc?)”
LR: “I usually try to write a one-page synopsis to the novel I am hoping to write before I start. I may not look at the synopsis again after I do it but I definitely need to know how the story ends before I begin.”
LC: “Where is your favorite place to write?”
LR: “My favorite place to write would be my home office but since I don’t actually have a home office where I’m writing at that given time is my favorite place. I try not to put too much emphasis on where because I just want to be able to write wherever and whenever.”
LC: “What is a challenge that you encountered when emerging as an author?
LR: “The challenge I found is my own self doubt, the belief that my story wasn’t valuable enough to be published. I had to really own up to loving my first novel and being fearless in saying that. With my second novel, I don’t have that. Although there is always self doubt creeping in, I just try to work around it.”
LC: “Do you have any advice to share with aspiring authors?”
LR: “My advice is to dedicate every day towards your art. This doesn’t mean writing so many words per day but just really focusing on your writing project even if it’s for one hour so you can reach THE END. You want to finish your project!”
LC: “Anything else you would like to share with your readers?”
LR: “As much as I love writing my novels I love meeting people. Writing can be such a solitary act and stepping out and talking to other people who love literature as much as I do is a real treat.”
Have more questions for Lilliam? Be sure to join us at the Global Voices: Hispanic Heritage event at Creating Conversations in Redondo Beach on October 19th where Lilliam will be joined by fellow authors Mireya Vela and Jennifer Torres. Best part? It’s free!