I am delighted to welcome Lucina Stone, author of Santa Muerte (review here) to my blog!
Where did the original idea come from? Has much changed since you first started writing it?
The idea for Santa Muerte came to me three years ago after having difficulty sleeping. This strange story was in my head and it would come to me in bits and pieces. I wrote out book 3 first and worked my way to book 1. It has changed a lot in terms of improving my writing and learning about history and Mexican folklore. I used stories from my childhood which led me to many different themes in Mayan mythology.
There seems to be a really strong focus on diversity – there’s quite a bit of Mexican mythology, Daniela is mixed-race, and she has two mothers. There’s also an undercurrent of mental illness, as well. Is diversity in YA and science-fiction important to you?
Yes, I noticed an immediate lack in diversity in YA and New Adult books. I wondered what my daughters would read in the future that they would be able to identify with. Mental Illness affects all of us. The lack of representation for an age group that may experience it in the prime of their lives ages 16-25 needs to be talked about more to reduce stigma of getting help. People have unique experiences if they are struggling with depression, anxiety, ptsd, which are different from Daniela’s action and choices. This is her experience and relates specifically to her characters background, suppressed magic, and life. The story is not meant to specify symptoms for all young adults who (if they are struggling)will vary in their presentation of symptoms.It’s my hope to let a young reader know there is hope, help, and ways to cope.
What drew you to these specific types of diversity?
We live in such a rich, diverse world which is far more interesting to me than what I see in book stores. Writing about mental illness, disabilities, veterans, cross cultural struggles, family conflicts, racism, sexism, etc. is something we can all relate to.
Also, I am Mexican, I have a Lesbian mom, I come from a culturally diverse family and I wanted my girls to know more about their culture.
Out of curiosity, why did you choose 2030 and 1923? Is there something specific about these time-periods that inspired you?
Yes, I love the parallels from the 20’s to our current times. I imagined Daniela as a combination of both of my girls and how they might view the world in 2030 when they are around 22.
One of the many aspects that I adored was the focus on female power, and particularly the ferocity of mothers. Would you consider this a feminist novel?
I would consider it a love story. The bond between mothers, daughter, sisters, aunts, family. Feminism, to me, is also an act of love for women everywhere from women all over the world.
Finally, have you started working on the sequel yet? Can you tell me anything about it?!
I am about to begin editing the first 100 pages of book 2 this March. It’s a wild ride for Daniela who is going to use the time portal again. Sometimes our plan and fates plan don’t always align.
I think Daniela would agree with this quote:
You can buy Santa Muerte here!
(Please note – I’m currently trying out Amazon Affiliate, so using this link will profit me. Just giving you a head’s up.)