Kim Baccellia is a Latina author who writes young adult ethnic novels. In this interview Kim talks about how her Mexican roots influenced her latest novel, Earrings of Ixtumea, and about writing and publishing.
Welcome to Blogcritics, Kim. It’s nice to have you here. Why don’t you start by telling us a bit about your book, and what inspired you to write such a story?
Earrings of Ixtumea is a fast-paced fantasy featuring a young Latina who discovers ancient traditions in her family history that propel her to a magical civilization, where she struggles against evil forces that threaten her family, her heart, and her life.
I was inspired to write this story when I was doing my own research on my Mexican roots. My grandfather didn’t talk much about his history but it wasn’t until I took classes at the university that I found out so much about my rich heritage. Plus, I was sick of the fantasies that had the usual Anglo heroine.
How would you describe your creative process while writing this novel? Was it stream-of-consciousness writing, or did you first write an outline? How long did it take you to write it?
The idea came to me first as a dream then from my frustration at not finding any fantasies that had Latinos in them. I then took a novel-writing class through UCI’s extension program, which helped me with plotting a novel. Later, I went to my writing mentor’s home once a week for critique sessions.
The story took me two years to write and a year or so to revise.
Have you ever suffered from writer’s block? What seems to work for unleashing your creativity?
Oh, yes! I also found it’s not productive to wait for a so-called muse. I believe the only way a book gets written and completed is if the author writes everyday.