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Maria Retana's Biography

Member Info

Bisbee, AZ
Feb 2011

My name is María Luisa Retana and a Cuban by birth. I received my B.A. in Spanish and Comparative Literature from the University of California, Riverside. I have worked extensively with children of all ages in scholastic and cultural events as well as in theater. I am the publisher and owner of High Desert Productions, a small independent press, located in Bisbee AZ. It was established in 1996. I am the author of eight published bilingual children's books. I am also a literary presenter for students, teachers, librarians, and parents. I enjoy doing school visits along with one of my illustrators, Pat Pollock Rhoads. I believe that a book is a passport to any place or any period in time.



I was influenced by the classic writers as well as those writers responsible for the rich French, Russian, Italian, German, English, Spanish and Latin American Literature. However, there is a writer that fired my passion for writing. This writer is the English crime writer Agatha Christie. She made a powerful impact on my life during my teen years. I hope someday to write under the category “mystery” for young adults.

Upcoming Works

I have been working for years on a Medieval Trilogy. The first book, Dawn Till Dusk/De la aurora al crepúsculo, was published in 2009 and plans are to publish the second book in 2012 and the third one in 2013.

In this digital era I found myself in need of a change in my publication format. This is why my print books are now in the process of been converted into e-books. Therefore, from now on any new releases or reprints would only be available as e-books.


High Desert Productions

Interests & Hobbies

Writing is my passion and therefore my interest and hobbie:  I have been asked many times about the open endings of my stories. An open ending to a story gives the reader the opportunity to make up his or her own ending. I firmly believe that my study of those classic writers responsible for much of the French, Russian, Italian, German, and English literature influenced my writing style. For example, the French writer Gustave Flaubert is one of several writers that crafted stories with open endings. In both Madame Bovary (1857) and The Sentimental Education (1869), Flaubert gives the final words to a character who speaks in simplistic banalities. This leaves the reader with no concluding authorial overview which might create a surer sense of resolution. This is an example of a story in which what will happen after the story has ended is left unresolved, allowing for future changes or revisions. The result is known as an open ending.

On December 2008 I received my first literacy award granted by the International Reading Association and the Cochise Area Council. My deepest appreciation to the International Reading Association for their kindness in selecting her for their "Celebrate Literacy Award" under the category: "Exemplary Service in the Promotion of Literacy."