Randomness On Wednesday // All The Things That I Couldn't Find Another Place For
Interview with Author of Dream Things True, Marie Marquardt.
Veronica: What keeps you motivated to write?
Marie: I am motivated by the stories I’m telling. I want very much for people to have the chance to get to know the people I write about, because I think that they – and their stories – are incredibly important. It’s been an honor to be friends with so many of the real-life people that are the inspiration for my fictional characters. I want to do right by them.
Veronica: When did you know you wanted to be a writer?
Marie: Probably somewhere around the fourth or fifth set of revisions for Dream Things True. I decided that if I’m willing to work this hard to get a book out into the world, that must mean I want to be a writer!
Veronica: What is your editing process like?
Marie: I am so fortunate to have wonderful editors on my side. I have a fabulous critique partner, Mayra Cuevas, an extraordinary agent, Erin Harris, and the best editor ever, Laura Chasen. Each of them (along with several members of my family) have helped me to turn very rough first drafts into books. I tend to write too much in the first draft, so for me editing usually means cutting and tightening.
Veronica: Have you read any books on Mexican immigrants that you would like to recommend?
Marie: Into the Beautiful North by Luis Alberto Urrea is so beautiful. His non-fiction book about the U.S.-Mexico border, called The Devil’s Highway is devastating and very important. It reads like a (heartbreaking) novel. Julia Alvarez’ Return to Sender is a lovely middle-grade story, and I also would recommend Helen Thorpe’s Just Like Us: The True Story of Four Mexican Girls Coming of Age in America.
Veronica: What was your inspiration for Dream Things True?
Marie: I have worked for almost two decades with undocumented immigrant families in Georgia. I’ve had the privilege of watching so many talented, motivated immigrant kids grow up in Georgia, and the heartbreak of seeing them face dead ends because of their lack of “status”. They are working hard to get their stories heard, and I want to help.
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