Friday, December 19, 2014

2nd Annual Diversity Month Day 20: Author Interview w/ Veronica Chambers +Kindle Fire 6" and Book Giveaway!

So today's awesome author is a woman we've been a fan of for more than a decade. Our first exposure to her was in the awesome article(which we still have, but is nowhere to be found on the internet!) in Latina magazine titled "Will The Real Latina Please Stand Up?"

It was dated in July 2002, and featured three women, all Latina(one white, one black, and one mestizo) who often had to prove their latin identity, especially to others who were Latino.

This article was a friggin turning point for us. Never had we seen our own experience articulated ANYWHERE. We were in love with Veronica Chambers ever since then. That article showed us we had nothing to prove. We were Black. We were Latino. We were both.

This is the first time we've ever tried to contact her, so we were THRILLED she wanted to participate in our Diversity Month event!

Now, with our further adieu!

While my sister and I have practically a shadow of your writing for years, but for those just discovering you, what can you tell us about Veronica Chambers?

I was born in Panama and moved when I was a baby to northern England, then when I was 5, we moved to Brooklyn.  I always say that's why my Panamanian accent is so...*unique*

Your book Marisol and Magdalena was the first book either of us has ever read that has featured an Afro-Latina main protagonist! The Afro-Latina identity is somewhat of a fairly new concept to people and lots of writers of Latino descent tend to leave out the presence of Afro-Latino characters.

Is it important to you to include Afro-Latina protagonists in your writing?

Absolutely, categorically important to me.  Just yesterday, someone said to me, "Do you actually identify as Latina?"  It hurts me, I mean hurts my heart that people want to discount my culture and my love for where I come from because of my skin color.  When in actuality, if you go to Panama, the DR, Cuba, Brazil, there are literally millions of Latinas who look like me.

Who are some authors you go hard for when it comes to their writing?

In YA, Jacqueline Woodson is a goddess for me.  Outside of YA, I read really broadly.  I love and admire great storytellers:  Isabelle Allende, Gita Mehta, Toni Morrison, Hilary Mantel and my Anglophile favorites: Jane Austen, Zadie Smith, Julian Fellowes and Nick Hornby.  I have such a writer crush on Nick Hornby. 

On a personal note, what are some of your favorite things about being Panamanian and Costa Rican?

My paternal grandmother, Connie, was born in Costa Rica.  But my parents were both born and raised in Panama.  So Panama feels more like home, although Costa Rica is *gorgeous*.

What are some of your favorite genres/categories to read and write in?

I love writing YA.  I want to do more picture books.  I'm buckling my courage to do another novel for adults.  And I really, really, really want to write romantic comedies, a la Nora Ephron.  #busy #ambitious #happy

Are there any genres or themes you're dying to write in next? 

I would love to do a fantasy series.  I have *a lot* of reading and homework to do first.

Where can readers go to find out more about Veronica Chambers, such as past and up coming projects, events or just send you a quick hi?

You can visit me on my Official Website and I'm on Twitter @vvchambers about twice a week. I'm on Pinterest more than I should be. And I really have fun with my gift website,  So say hola anytime.

Enter our giveaway for a chance to win the first book in her "Amigas" series, as well as her book "Celia Cruz, Queen of Salsa!"

a Rafflecopter giveaway


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