Your book, Itzá, features water witches. Is that the power you would want if you could have one? If not, what would it be?
Yes. I think being able to connect to all bodies of water sounds like an amazing gift. I have always been awkward in water and I am a terrible swimmer, but something about being surrounded by water brings me internal peace. Water gives you intimate moments like listening to your heartbeat in the bath and it gives us enchanting moments like the way the ocean overwhelms all of your senses as you step closer and closer to it.
You don’t write specifically for the teen audience. What do you think makes this book speak so well to a broad spectrum of readers?
In Itzá, the main character, Marisol, is overcoming circumstances beyond her control. She finds autonomy and reclaims her body on her own terms. There’s a perseverance in her to define herself outside of childhood trauma and societal oppression. She’s fighting with everything she’s got to find ways to be tender to herself and love herself. I think this is something all humans seek out, how to love ourselves and be kind to ourselves even when we are born into a world that wasn’t built for us.
Our festival slogan is “Read Everything.” What book would you like to see on our Read Everything list for 2018?
Mean by Myriam Gurba