(THIS, is the view from a college buddy's condo in Miami... the 50-something'th floor)
So I'm back from Miami boys and girls, and let me tell you it was PHE.NOM.E.NAL.
Alisa Valdes Rodriguez and the Dirty Girls Production company know how to put on a fun, empowering, and community building party around books! Next year's festival will be in Houston... and promises to be bigger and better than this years.
Now, I met some cool people at the festival. So many cool writers, published authors, and folks who lead major production companies... all who are fans of a term Alisa has trademarked -- Chica Lit. Chica Lit is fiction about and geared toward Latinas.
And you're probably asking why I was there? And it's because if you've read my novel Down For Whatever, you'll know it's a Latino and Black SAME Sex and the City... and lots of women like to read stories about boys who like boys.
Some of the standout presenters and authors include Nely Galan, who is the most powerful Latina in Hollywood today (her production company did The Swan and SHE greenlights projects, including the upcoming English-language telenovelas on NBC), Patrick Sanchez (we're on the same publishing company label), The Crafty Chica (she's like Martha Stewart, but Latina, and soooooooo nice!!!), Mary Castillo, Berta Platas, Lara Rios, and Caridad Pineiro. So many others... will name drop later. Oh, my friend Reyna Grande who's on the verge of literary stardom was there. And Erasmo Guerra!!!! Aye, Erasmo. :-)
Oh, if you're into Marines (and I know you boys and girls are), I met a woman who runs a website. Um, it's clean -- get your minds out the gutter. But this woman Alana runs a fun website matchmaking civilians with single Marines. Or Marines with, uh, you get it. Yum. Oops, don't tell. Don't ask. We had a fun conversation about military boys. SingleMarines.com.
Anyway, nice weekend of networking, talking books, diversity within the Latina/o community, and writing. The Chica Lit Club.
And like the travel whore I am, I am in LOVE with Miami... and could see myself definitely living there one day!