Saturday, March 07, 2009

Q&A: Writer Sofia Quintero

On the reading corner

This month you can meet and greet Sofia Quintero, author of the novel "Divas Don't Yield." Quintero will discuss and sign copies of her "Divas Don't Yield" from 6:30-8 p.m. Tuesday, March 10 at El Museo del Barrio, 1230 Fifth Ave. at 104th Street, El Taller, 3rd Floor, East Harlem.

3 Questions for Sofia Quintero

1. What was the inspiration behind your book?
The novel "Divas Don't Yield" was based on a screenplay I wrote almost 10 years ago in response to the so-called Latin pop explosion or as I prefer to describe it - the six months in 1999 when Latinos were "in" again. It was difficult for me to celebrate our popularity because one, I suspected it would be fleeting, and two, the few Latinos handpicked for stardom were not very diverse. I decided to write a screenplay that would break out not just one but four different Latina stars including an Afro-Latina and hopefully an out lesbian. It is much easier to get a novel published about four Latinas than it is to have a film produced about one.

2. If you were casting the movie version of "Divas Don't Yield" who would be your picks for the main characters?
That's actually something I hope readers of the novel will assist me. Most of my favorite actresses at the time I wrote the
screenplay like Rosario Dawson and Zoe Saldana can no longer play college students. But I realize that I may not be familiar with the upcoming Latina talents, so I'd love it if readers of the novel will go find "Divas Don't Yield" on and post their suggestions. I'd be especially indebted if they could lead me to a spectacular Afro-Latina actress who could pull off Jackie.

3. When did you know you wanted to be a writer?
I've been writing stories since I was eight years old. At the age of 12, I wrote my first "novel," and it starred all the kids on my block! When I was about 15, I wrote another based on the b-boys in my high school, so I've been writing with a hip-hop aesthetic for over 20 years. However, it wasn't until I had my creative recovery at the age of 28 that I decided to pursue writing as a career. I encourage anyone who aspires to create art to follow the 12-week program in Julia Cameron's "The Artist Way." That is one of the books that has changed my life.

Light refreshments will be provided at Tuesday's meet the author event. RSVP required: -- Aurora Anaya-Cerda

Aurora Anaya-Cerda is owner of the independent La Casa Azul Bookstore and a new contributing writer to Puerto Rico Sun. For more information, visit or e-mail Article reprinted with permission from La Casa Azul Bookstore.
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