- I hate the word “illegal.” I far prefer “undocumented. I mean, can a human being be illegal?
- A lot of people think that, yes, a human being can be illegal. When my book was sold, I was profiled in the New York Daily News. I shared my own story about being brought over the U.S. as a baby and overstaying my visitor’s visa (unbeknownst to me, of course. I was too busy discovering my fingers). Someone posted a comment suggesting I should be subject to the Son of Sam law, the law that prevents people from profiting from their “crimes.” You know, like the guy who killed 6 people.
- Most people are really nice.
- When writing a book about an “issue” like immigration, you’ve got to forget about the issue and just write a story that is fun to read and makes people feel things.
- Telling a big secret about yourself (like the fact that you were once undocumented) is terrifying.
- Telling a big secret about yourself is incredibly freeing.
- M.T., the main character of my book, is a girl in the same predicament I was, but is entirely different than I was. She’s got better calves (she bikes everywhere) and better business sense. Also, she’s braver than I am because she gets the courage to share who she really is way sooner than I did.
- Writing a love story is fun.
- Getting an agent is an excruciating process but its glorious when it finally happens.
- Sometimes when the “worst” happens it’s the best. I had my heart set on another title for the book for all the years I was pitching it and writing it, only to have it get taken by another book in my genre toward the tail end of my journey. I was heart-broken. Then I came up with the title:, The Secret Side of Empty, and I fell in love instantly. Now I couldn’t imagine it being called anything else.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Maria Andreu is an author and immigration rights activist. She lives in beautiful Bergen County, New Jersey with her two wonderful middle schoolers. At the age of 12, she wrote in her diary, “Most of all, I want to be a writer.” Growing up undocumented and poor, she never imagined that dream might come true one day. Her work has been published in Newsweek, The Washington Post and The Star Ledger and her first novel, The Secret Side of Empty, will be published by Running Press in Spring, 2014.
Read more of her work at http://mariaeandreu.com
Like to her Facebook page to enter to win a $250 gift card! https://www.facebook.com/maria.andreu.books
**Read about the book and scroll below for details on how to enter to WIN a $250 Amazon gift card just by liking the author’s Facebook page!**
BOOK BLURB for “Secret Side of Empty”
You’ve heard the news stories. Now hear the real story.
M.T. is starting her senior year with a lot going for her. She gets great grades, has a best friend she met in kindergarten and a boyfriend who is sweet and into her. But life – at least as she knows it – is about to end.
M.T. is what the news calls “illegal” – she came to the U.S. with her parents as a baby and never got the right papers that allowed her to stay. She lives in fear of her family getting deported, in even more fear that she’ll have to go to the home country she doesn’t even remember, of people finding out her ugly secret and of the increasingly volatile situation at home. When senior year is over, the protected world she’s found in her small parochial school will disappear. Without a social security number, she won’t be able to go to college, get a job or, maybe worst of all, get a driver’s license.
But she’ll worry about all that later. First, she’s got a senior year to take on.
A Note from the Author, Maria Andreu:
The fulfillment of great dreams feels best when shared, which is why I’m inviting people to Like my Facebook page and come along with me on the fabulous and improbable journey of publishing my first novel. As my thanks, when you like the page by July 31st, you’ll be able to enter to win a fan-only sweeps for a $250 Amazon gift card!
Be the first to get updates on the cover, new tour stops, and fan-only content (plus enter a sweeps for a $250 Amazon gift card) by liking the author’s Facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/maria.andreu.books
The book is already getting industry buzz and news coverage, so Like the FB page to get updates on that as well.