by JoAnn Hernandez
From the time I began writing I knew what I wanted to do with all the gold bars that I would accumulate with my books. I wanted to help others. Forget being a goody two shoes (what does that phrase mean?). I wanted to put so many Latino/a writers in the book stores, avenues, and in the other side of the world that no one ever could say we don’t exist or we don’t’ read.
I had a logo ready. An Asian child in China read my book in Spanish. Can you imagine that? I could. For a long time.
Then I got ill. The obstacles became enormous. I was alone. I became tired. I couldn’t fight alone. I crashed. Exhausted. I felt that the fight was too big for me, all alone, and I gave up.
What I discovered was that there was now a new way to meet, find, engage, and move people. Hallelujah.
When I first wrote, I did what I always do in any new venture. I clean out the library for all the books and read. I studied and copied out of all Gale directories. In San Francisco, the librarians became friends. Me, opening and closing the library doors with them. I read. I learned. I ask questions. I annoyed people asking so many question. I went to a city where I knew no one and earn a Master’s in Creative Writer. At the same moment, I obtained my first publishing contract, -- 16 pages long -- earned a 3.85 GPA, a NYC agent choose to represent me, and I became homeless. I was the best well-read wretch on the street.
After many years and traveling many places, I found a hovel in Arizona. The bugs there are plentiful and as big as I am. Then, not now. I’m fat now. Oh yeah, that’s what medication does for you.
In the new found spirit, I realized I had indeed learn plenty. Very much about promoting, marketing, and handling the publishing industry. I realized with a start, that I could help others with what I know and the Internet was the perfect tool for that.
What is it? Build a Tribe and they will come! And it worked.
Actually BronzeWord Latino Book Tours are still small potatoes. But we’re juicy ones!!!
We still do only one a month and they have been memorable. We’ve done a Romance Diva, the first Latina mystery writer, and a proflotic Children’s picture book author. We are small with a roar.
One year and I remember every person and all the adventures we’ve had. I cannot thank enough for all the people who stood behind the BronzeWord Latino Book Tours and believed in us. Especially to the dozens of kind and generous people who kept me going with their belief in me. I couldn’t have make this far without you.
So I may not be knocking on New York’s door yet. I hope they can hear our footsteps. We will make it! All of us will be acknowledged for our brilliance and remarkability.
Jo Ann Hernandez
BronzeWord Latino Authors
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