Editor of Latina Authors and Their Muses Mayra Calvani was inspired to create an anthology showcasing Latina authors writing in English in the United States. She writes in her Editor’s Preface that she envisioned “An inspirational, entertaining, and informative tome focusing on the craft of writing and the practical business of publishing, one that would provide aspiring authors with the nuts and bolts of the business. A book that would not only showcase prominent figures but emerging voices as well, writers working on a wide range of genres from the literary to the commercial.”
After submitting the book proposal to numerous agents, Calvani signed with one who spent a year pitching the book to top editors before the agent gave up. Publishers, Calvani was told, thought the audience was “too niche, too narrow” (How could the publisher possible market such a book?).
Latina Authors and Their Muses found a home with Lida Quillen of Twilight Times Books in Kingsport, Tennessee. The book, Calvani writes, “has been a labor of love in every aspect. It has also been a completely selfish project. I wanted to hear what these authors had to say, hoping I wasn’t alone. I wanted to relate to them and learn from them – and learn I have, so very much! In a way, they’ve all become my mentors.”
The book features interviews with 40 Latina authors, including Marta Acosta, Julia Amante, Jennifer Cervantes, Zoraida Córdova, Sarah Cortez, Liz DeJesus, Teresa Dovalpage, Iris Gomez, Rose Guilbault, Dahlma Llanos-Figueroa, Josefina López, Sandra Ramos O’Briant, Caridad Piñeiro, Toni Margarita Plummer, Lupe Ruiz-Flores, Esmeralda Santiago and Diana Rodriguez Wallach.
Calvani notes, “In spite of their different backgrounds, education levels, and jobs, two factors more than any others bind these writers together: their passion and commitment to their craft and to sharing their stories with the world in spite of the odds.”