I don’t really sign up on a lot of blog tours; I make sure that the book is something that I’d enjoy before I sign up on one. Upon reading the synopsis of this book, I knew then that this is something I’d like to read but as well, it was something that would toe the line outside my comfort zone. The Girl Who Could Silence the Wind didn’t disappoint. It was an education about a life I wasn’t fully aware of, about culture, and family. It was an eye-opener and a dose of reality outside the bubble that I live in. I’m so grateful I got to read it, grateful for Meg Medina for writing it.
Today, Meg Medina, the talented author of The Girl Who Could Silence the Wind, graciously offered her time for a quick Q & A about her book and her writing.
1. Take us to your humble beginnings, Meg. How old were you when you decided to bare your soul through the medium of writing?
I was in the third grade the first time someone told me I was good at writing. (Thank you, Mrs. Zuckerman!) That was definitely the seed, but it took 30 years after that before I found the courage to write novels and picture books. At age 40, after I had tried to do every other sort of responsible job (teaching, writing grants, being a freelance journalist), I realized that I was really risking getting to the end of my life never done what I really wanted to do. I don’t know what sparked me at last, but one day, I quit my job and announced that I was going to work on my novel full time. Thank God things panned out in the end because, let me tell you, my husband was a very frightened man for a while there.
2. Has any of your work ever been rejected? If so, what drove you to persevere?
Oh sure. I’ve written a couple of picture books that haven’t gone anywhere. There’s also a middle grade novel that my agent completely despised. It is in my Drawer of Shame. But here’s the thing: I expect to continue to write things that will be rejected from time to time. There’s no guarantee – even when you’re published – that what you write is going to resonate with an editor or readers. The important thing to me is to keep writing and exploring limits.
3. Do you have a writing ritual?
None, except that I try to write every day.
4. If you’re not writing, what are you doing? (Hobbies? Work? Family? )
It’s amazing how much of a writer’s time is spent on things that are not, technically, her writing. There are a million details that go along with writing that you can’t ignore: maintaining a blog, commenting on your Twitter account, doing school visits, conferences, presentations, making trailers for your next work, designing marketing materials. The list is endless, and the tasks are extremely time-consuming. However, when I do have added time, I also do a lot of work in the community to support Latino youth and/or literacy. Sometimes it’s a natural offshoot of a book I’m working on. This April, for example, I’m doing The Hope Tree Project, which is part of how I wanted to launch The Girl Who Could Silence the Wind into the world. I’m working with eight high schools across Richmond, Virginia to decorate five crape myrtle trees at the Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden. I asked the students to create a hope charm –or milagros – that represents a hope or dream they have for themselves or for our community. Those charms – almost 800 or them—will decorate the trees. Details here.
5. What book are you reading now?
I am reading like a fiend right now because I’m working on my Girls of Summer blog with my friend and fellow Candlewick author, Gigi Amateau. Every summer we pick 18 books that we have loved that feature strong girls – definitely not your teacher’s reading list. (See the 2011 Girls of Summer list.) Anyway, I just finished The Fault in Our Stars by John Green, which will definitely be one of my picks. Wow, wow, wow. I want it to win all sorts of awards. I’m also reading an older title: The Year of the Sawdust Man by A. LaFaye. Just started it.
6. Describe your new novel in a five-word sentence.
Burdened muchacha runs; can’t hide.
7. Your book, The Girl Who Could Silence the Wind is heavy on superstitious beliefs. Are you superstitious?
Not in the traditional sense. I’m not especially religious, either. But I do believe that what we put out into the world matters, that when we put light out, light reflects and grows.
8. I realize that this book is a work of fiction, but how much of this book is close to reality?
Sadly, the dangers of crossing to the north are very real. Atrocities are committed every day against young people who are trying to cross the border, including being kidnapped and held for ransom.
9. What are Sonia and Pancho doing right now?
Drinking warm milk and cookies in their garden and telling one another stories.
Thank you so much for coming over to my blog, Meg! I can’t wait to read more of your work. Keep on writing!
My review of The Girl Who Could Silence the Wind.
Meg Medina can be found here:
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