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Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Faith's Poem

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Hello, dear ones!

I've been wanting to share this with you for a while now, and I finally have the time to do it!  Meet brilliant poet Faith Gomez, whom I had the joy of meeting in person on my trip to Northern California this spring.  We'd started corresponding about a year earlier, back when she was in fifth grade-- I was really impressed with her creative writing.  And I was completely thrilled when she came to my writing workshop at her local library!


Faith has a lot in common with Zitlally, the main character in my book STAR IN THE FOREST. A fun thing: she also loves dogs.  A sad thing: her father was also deported to Mexico, which has been heart-breaking for her and her family.


With the guidance of her talented creative writing teacher and librarian, author Lea Aschkenas , Faith wrote this deeply moving poem about her family's experience. The prompt for her poem was a photo of her family, back when they were able to be together.

Cuernevaca, Mexico



Here I am in the photo, pigtails

tied with mini silk pom-poms,

left hand on chin,

shoes like pink roses,

my dress with a big bow

tied as if I were a present.



My brother, Jacob,

wearing his first fancy pants.

Behind him,

my mother in her white dress

on her wedding day,

her smile as big as an upside-down rainbow,

full of color and joy.

Next to her is my dad,

the two of them like turtle doves.



Three years later,

I imagine him

still as a marble statue,

still in Mexico, waiting

for permission to return,

waiting alone

without us  

like an abandoned house. 

~ by Faith Gomez (last year in 5th grade)

That brings tears to my eyes every time I read it.  My heart goes out to Faith and her family.... yet the hopeful thing about her situation is that she has a strong and beautiful voice that expresses her family's experience in an incredibly powerful way. Young voices like hers have already sparked some positive political change for immigrant families, and are hopefully paving the way for even more, soon. 

Gracias, Faith! Keep writing!

xo,
Laura

 

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

ESTRELLA EN EL BOSQUE!

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Hello dear friends!

¡Hola queridos amigos!
¡Puedes desplazar hacia abajo para leer las noticias emocionantes en español! :-)

I have some incredibly exciting news for you, something I've been waiting a looooong time to tell you, something I've been dreaming about for many years... and it's finally a reality!

There's a Spanish translation of one of my books coming soon: 
STAR IN THE FOREST! 
¡ESTRELLA EN EL BOSQUE!

 
Release date Aug. 30, 2016

A huge gracias to my agent Erin Murphy and my Scholastic editor Andrea Davis Pinkney, whose generous enthusiasm helped get momentum going for this unusual project! And another gracias to the amazing team at Scholastic en español!

The translation process was very special and unique... here's what happened... from the very beginning.  Almost fifteen years ago, when I was teaching ESL to adult immigrants here in Fort Collins, I had a beautiful and brilliant student named Gloria García Díaz.

Gloria and me!

When we discovered we both had a passion for reading and creative writing (and dancing and music and many other things...), we became friends.  Over the years, we've grown very close and have become writing partners and collaborators. She's an immigrant from Mexico, with family connections to the Mixtec culture in Oaxaca (where several of my books are set) and she's generously given me feedback on the language and culture details in my pre-published manuscripts.

Over the past decade, as my novels have been published, I've frequently gotten requests from readers for Spanish translations.  But sadly, no Spanish publisher had shown interest in publishing any of my books, largely because they didn't want to risk losing money on translating and publishing a literary kids' book that isn't already a huge bestseller (at least that's my take on it. ;-)  (Typically, with foreign language translations, the foreign language publisher first buys rights and then orchestrates the translation themselves, without involvement of the author.) But I really, REALLY wanted to be able to offer my Spanish-speaking friends and readers a version in their own language!

 Here I am with Gloria and her adorable daughter at my most recent release party

One day, a couple years ago, Gloria and I started talking about the possibility of translating STAR IN THE FOREST *before* we had a publisher, and *then* shopping it around... and as a last resort, self-publishing. (I say a last resort because without a publisher, we'd have very limited distribution and marketing.) A week later, Gloria handed me the first several chapters, written by hand in a notebook and beautifully translated!  Over the course of the next year, she translated more chapters, and together, we went over every single word to make the translation shine. As we were devoting hundreds of hours to this project, in the back of our minds, we knew the risk: that we might not find a publisher for it....

.... so, we were *beyond thrilled* when Scholastic en español expressed interest in it!  Over the winter and early spring, we went over revisions and copy-edits, and now, we can finally officially announce it!  Hooray!


Gloria was the absolutely perfect person to translate this book because she lives in the mobile home park here in Fort Collins that inspired the setting of the book. As a Mexican immigrant, she understands the kinds of challenges faced by the main character, Zitlally, and her family. As part of this community, Gloria was able to make Zitlally's voice ring true. Gloria was involved in helping me with this book way back in the idea stages for the original English version, and it's so fitting that she's the one bringing it to the Spanish-speaking world.  I adore Gloria, and I feel so grateful and honored that we were able to bring this labor of love to fruition!

You can see details on the Scholastic website here.

It's also available for pre-order on Amazon here.
You can see a summary, reviews, and awards for STAR IN THE FOREST here.
Here is Gloria's website.

Gloria dancing at my release party for The Lightning Queen

¡Ahora, en español!
¡Mi libro ESTRELLA EN EL BOSQUE va a ser publicado 
el 30 de augosto del 2016!!!
¡Es un sueño hecho realidad para mi!!! 

¡Es mi primer libro traducido al español, y estoy muy pero MUY emocionada!
¡Y una de mis mejores amigas tradujo el libro.... la maravillosa Gloria García Díaz!  Aquí
está la nota sobre la colaboración de Gloria y yo que aparece en el libro:

La autora, Laura Resau, y la traductora, Gloria García Díaz, han sido amigas muy cercanas y compañeras de escritura por más de una década, incluso desde que Gloria era su estudiante en las clases de ESL. A través de los años, Gloria ha retroalimentado los manuscritos de Laura, basada en su valiosa perspectiva como inmigrante con familiares indígenas al sur de México. Sucesivamente, Laura ha ayudado a Gloria con su escritura y proyectos de traducción, que incluyen libros ilustrados y memorias. 
Gloria y su comunidad fueron gran inspiración para Estrella en el bosque. Desde el principio, ella trabajó con Laura para contar detalles de la vida real. La traducción de Gloria es especial porque ella vive en el parqueadero de casas móviles que inspiró el escenario de Estrella en el bosque. Como ella pasa por el tipo de luchas que Zitlally y su familia enfrentan, ella pudo hacer que la voz de Zitlally en español sonara auténtica.
Esta traducción fue un trabajo de verdadero cariño. Gloria derramó su corazón en ella y cuidadosamente repasó cada palabra con Laura, con la esperanza que después de todo, algún publicador mostrara interés. (¡Gracias, Scholastic!). Su colaboración celebra los lazos de amistad y creatividad que pueden crecer por encima de cualquier frontera o límite que construya nuestra sociedad. 

Sobre la traductora: Gloria García Díaz es una escritora bilingüe, danzante folklórica y cantante de canciones mexicanas. Escribe poesía, historias y memorias, y tradujo el libro Mamis Felices por Kathleen Pelley. Viene de la Ciudad de México y está muy orgullosa de sus raíces indígenas. Ahora vive en Colorado con su esposo y su hija pequeña. Para más información, por favor visita a Gloria en: GloriaGarciaDiaz.blogspot.com .
 ***


Un resumen del libro:

Zitlally se siente muy solita.  Papá ya no está para susurrar con ella en el lenguaje de las estrellas.  Y Mamá siempre está hablando por teléfono, preocupada.  Y las hermanas de Zitlally  sienten tanto miedo como ella.  Todos están pensando en ese día. 
     El día que detuvieron a Papá por pasarse los límites de velocidad.
     El día que la policía descubrió que Papá era un inmigrante sin papeles.
     El día que la familia de Zitlally supo que Papá sería deportado.
     Zitlally busca consuelo en el bosque de la chatarra atrás de la traila de su familia.  Allí encuentra un perro sucio y flaco con una marca de estrella en su cuello.  Pronto, ella se da cuenta que Estrella no es un perro ordinario.  Él es como los animales mágicos en los cuentos que Papá le ha contado.  El destino de Estrella está conectado al destino de un humano.
     Al destino de Papá.
     Si Zitlally puede proteger a Estrella, su papá también estará protegido.
     Cuando Estrella desaparece, le toca a Zitlally y su nueva amiga, Crystal, encontrarlo.  Es la única manera de que Zitlally puede estar segura de que Papá, también, regresará a casa… y una vez más, su familia será reunida. 

 Gloria giving a library presentation

Puedes ver mas detallos en el sitio de Scholastic aqui here.
Tambien, puedes comprarlo en Amazon aqui here.

¡Gracias! 
Thank you! 
Hugs!

¡Abrazos!


XOXO,
Laura