BBB: What inspired you to become an author?
YGT: I am inspired by the idea that I can share a story that evolved within me with the world. There is something exciting about knowing that your words will be left to the world long after you leave this earth. My goal is to inspire others with the message my writing brings.
I have written since a young age. Mostly, I did a lot of "journaling" for self-reflection. I still journal but really only when I need to soul search or express sadness or strong emotions. I use it as a therapeutic tool.
Martina Finds a Shiny Coin is my first official publication. It is an adaptation to an old Caribbean folktale titled Martina and Perez. It is a folktale originating from the oral tradition of many African influenced countries in the Caribbean and South America.
YGT: The idea for the book happened by coincidence and with the help of my youngest daughter. We are avid bedtime readers. When she was younger she enjoyed listening to fairy-tales I found myself telling her a lot of the usual fairy-tales like the three pigs or Goldilocks. One day my husband asked me if I had any fairytales from my native Puerto Rico and immediately I thought of Martina. I started by sharing the original version with my daughter and after a while we started details that transformed the story into the adaptation that ended up being published.
BBB: Tell us about your main character Martina.
YGT: The main character is a little roach that finds a coin and decides to go on a shopping trip to find something special. There are different adaptations to the story throughout the Caribbean, Central, and South America but in our version, the Puerto Rican one, she buys face powder and immediately attracts many suitors. This simple act of finding the coin sets her off on a journey of self-discovery. My version portrays a more modern twist on beauty, talent, love, acceptance and rejection. My Martina is an expert cellist, an avid reader and a dancer and singer of original Puerto Rican folkloric music.
YGT: To me my writer’s block comes in the form of procrastination. I am an attorney, parent, and I teach at a community college. I spend my “free” time with my children or keeping up with my responsibilities outside of work. I do spend some of that time online promoting and marketing my book by tweeting for the character (@martinascoin) or on her Facebook page (Cucarachita Martina, The Clean and Cute Little Roach). So I must be honest with myself and say that some of that “online” time could be spent more wisely doing actual writing for the different projects that I have. I don’t need a special cabin in the woods or the beach. I just like to sit at my computer with nice music to write. I also write when I can’t sleep.
BBB: What are you currently working on?
YGT: I am working on the second book in the Martina series, Martina and the Wondrous Waterfall. This one is completely mine, not an adaptation. It spun off the original story and it takes place in the same “enchanted village” where Martina and her husband El Raton Miguel live. In it, Martina and the rest of the animals and bugs of the village visit a waterfall to settle a bet between them. It is scheduled to be released July 2014. The illustrator, Alba Escayo, is putting the final details on the illustrations as we speak. I am very excited about this project and I am looking forward to seeing this title hit the market and bookstores.
I am also working on my memoir, which has the working title of The Taped up Eggshell.
BBB: How can readers discover more about you and your work?
YGT: Anyone interested in finding more information about Martina can visit her Facebook page atwww.facebook.com/martinafindsashinycoin or follow her on Twitter @martinascoin. My twitter handle is @ygonzaleztaylor.