I've spent too many years trying to reinvent myself as a poet and author to change anything now. Before my novel, Ocotillo Dreams, was published (2011), I used to sidestep question, 'So You're a Writer? What have you written?' Although I told myself and others that writing was more important than seeing my name in print, I secretly wished to see my name on a book jacket. Once I let go of that desire, and truly stopped caring about being published, the inevitable happened. In 2009, my poetry chapbook, Folsom Lockdown, won the Kulupi Press Sense of Place cash prize and publication award. I had a poetry chapbook to add to my smattering of short stories and poems published in obscure literary journals. Last year, Bilingual Review Press published my first novel. For a first book from a small university press (Bilingual Review Press is housed at Arizona State University), I saw my book make the top 100 Hispanic Fiction Book list on Amazon, the best books of 2011 on La Bloga, and LatinoStories.com 2012 top ten Latino authors to watch and read.
This year, How Fire Is a Story, Waiting, my first full-length poetry collection will be published by Tia Chucha Press. How Fire Is a Story, Waiting encompasses poems that I've written over the past decade.
The process of reinvention has been a slow sculpting of myself as an author. I've had the pleasure of sharing the details of the writing life with readers and students across the country from San Francisco to New Orleans. The difference in how I approach the writing life is I'm more in tuned and opened to the idea of meeting readers and writers over the internet. I spend more time updating my website and connecting with readers online by checking in to social media sites such as red room, facebook, and twitter. My romanticized view of being a quiet writer who works in isolation from the world is gone. However, it's nice to connect with faraway readers with a few keystrokes.
Causes Melinda Palacio Supports
I have many causes I admire.