Monday, February 05, 2018

Book Launch and First Annual Whirliwind Book Festival

I just wanted to share some pictures from the book launch party of STELLA DÍAZ HAS SOMETHING TO SAY and the first annual Whirlwind Book Festival.

The book launch party for STELLA took place at one of the loveliest children's book stores I've been to BBGB. I'm lucky that I live so close to it! We had goldfish crackers, Mexican Pastries, and of course stickers. Thank you to everyone who came out especially Meg Medina.

The first annual Whirlwind Book Festival at Fearrington Village in North Carolina was a smashing success. It was a wonderful turnout. Plus probably one of the best things about these book festivals is that I get to meet so many fellow authors. I always leave exhausted, happy, and inspired. Thank you McIntyre's Books for putting it together.

Tuesday, January 16, 2018


I'm delighted to share that Stella's officially on sale!!! 

To celebrate, we made my Mom's delicious albondigas and of course ate at a restaurant named Stella. 

We also picked up a copy of Parent's Magazine which currently mentions Stella!  I honored to be one of Colby Sharp's recommendations of "Books That Turn Kids Into Readers." He even compared the book to Clementine, a personal favorite of mine. 

If you'd like to read more about STELLA DÍAZ or to order a copy, please visit the publisher's website. 

Tuesday, January 09, 2018

Stella Díaz Has Something To Say Blog Post #6

One week till Stella Diaz Has Something to Say hits the bookshelves. I just want to thank everyone who I either included or helped me along the way with the book. From my boyfriend Kyle who made me albondigas, to my close friend Erika who encouraged me with the early version of the book, to my friend Isabel Roxas, who I snuck into the story as well and to the real life classmates/teachers/librarians I had growing up, a big THANK YOU! Y GRACIAS! Just one week till it's in stores, but if you'd like to pre-order it, please click here

Kyle, the albondigas maker/boyfriend 

Erika and me back in San Francisco 

Isabel and me on our baking days. 

My elementary school librarian 

Elementary school staff

My dear friend Anna Gonzalez back in Elementary School 

Tuesday, January 02, 2018

Stella Díaz Has Something to Say Blog Post #5

Long, long time ago, well about 5 years ago,  Stella Díaz Has Something To Say was just an idea for a picture book. Expect that wasn't it's title. It's was called Stella Stares and it was just 32 pages.

I worked on that version of Stella for nearly a year until it was finally rejected by a publisher. In hindsight, I completely agree. It just didn't quite work as a picture book.

Still, that little Stella stuck with me. I've had other stories that weren't picked up, but I couldn't shake this one. In 2014, I began illustrating chapter books and reading a variety of them for visual inspiration. I feel in love with the stories and the voice of those characters. Soon my non fiction shelves were being replaced with middle grade novels by Kate DiCamillo and Erin Entrada Kelly. 

Those books gave me the inspiration to expand Stella to a longer story. A narrative filled with my own experiences struggling with shyness.  I worked with my literary agent for another six months and eventually showed my 7,000 word manuscript to Connie Hsu over coffee. Thankfully she saw the potential, but she also thought it needed to be three times the length... at least!

From there, I worked on it with Connie for several months without a contract. Every step of the way was exciting and challenging. This book is a dream come true and I can't wait to share it with readers. 

The book comes out in just two weeks. If you'd like to preorder,  you can here

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Stella Díaz Has Something To Say Blog Post #4

I love visiting Chicago. I love it so much I even made it the setting for Stella Díaz Has Something To Say. While I had visited Chicago a few times, until 2015 I kept missing out on visiting the Shedd Aquarium. We tried, but it was closed for construction one time and another time we went on a day they weren't open. Those failed attempts inspired me to write about the Shedd in Stella before even seeing the inside. And writing about the Shedd, also gave me the perfect excuse to make a trip to visit.

I knew I had to see the Shedd in person to really capture the setting. I needed to see the aquatic creatures and details with my own eyes. Thankfully, the trip and Shedd didn't disappoint. Plus I got to spend a fun filled weekend with one of my oldest friends, Chris Pollard. Here are just a few pictures. Hope you enjoy!

AND it's only 3 more weeks till Stella's big debut! You can preorder it here. 

Leopard Printed String ray 

Monday, December 18, 2017

Stella Díaz Has Something to Say Blog Post #3

This week I thought I'd share some pictures of my childhood best friend, Mimi. She's the inspiration for the character Jenny in Stella Díaz Has Something to Say. Coming up with the name Jenny for Mimi was a no brainer. When we were little, Mimi went through the phase where she wanted to be called Jenny. She even tried to get me to try to call her that! Well in a way, she finally has!

While I don't see her as much as I would like, I have fond memories of growing up with Mimi. Mimi introduced me to pho, one of my favorite foods, and like Jenny used to take as many bites as possible in each piece of food. I remember her eating a baby carrot for an hour.

It's 4 weeks more to Stella's big debut, but if you would like to preorder it, please visit here. And if you want to see a little peek of the book, click on the video below! 

Mimi and me at the Magic Time Machine

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Stella Díaz Has Something To Say Blog Post #2

It's 5 more weeks before Stella Díaz Has Something to Say hits the bookshelves. In today's post, I thought I would share a little bit about my family since they are huge inspiration for the book. Here are 4 fun facts.

1. Growing up, we went on many little adventures together, but instead of Wisconsin, we did ours more in Texas. Here my brother Alejandro and I are posed next to Grendel the dinosaur at the Natural Bridge Caverns.

2. There really was a betta fish in our household named Nacho, but he was my mom's fish. My mom talked to him much more than I ever did.

3. Back then I was always my silliest and most carefree with my family, but outside of home I was often shy. Similar to the book, I struggled with my English and Spanish and even took Speech Classes. Unlike brave Stella though, I didn't really grow out of it until college.

4. Thanksgiving time at our house meant and still means Picadillo time. It's a delicious ground beef dish with olives and onions. It's what we look to most at Thanksgiving or at least I do. If you have never tried it, I recommend trying this recipe. It's a little more complicated than what my family does, but it's delicious. 

Happy Holidays! If you'd like to preorder Stella Díaz Has Something to Say click here.