Today I’m excited to welcome author Meg Gonzalez as she shares how a real-life story inspired her latest novel.
Who knew that one night of salsa dancing could change the course of a life?
When I accepted Alan Gonzalez’s offer of a dance, I began a journey that pulled me out of my sheltered life and into a big and beautiful world.
Six months into our whirl-wind romance, Alan took me home to meet his friends and family. Home was Toluca, Mexico. Though I’d traveled before, I’d never been to Mexico. It was a country I’d only seen depicted in the news or in cartoons or beach ads. The Mexican heartlands opened up a whole new aspect of the country. Its rich culture and varied landscapes captured my imagination, and I just knew I had to share.
For a year, an idea sat at the back of my mind. I knew something had to be written… I just didn’t know what. All I had was: “Teenage girl goes to Mexico. Funny things happen.”
So in June 2013, one month after I had married Alan and moved to Mexico, I sat down to write the first draft of Sketchy Tacos.
I knew nothing of this hocus-pocus called outlining (I’m now a huge fan). I simply sat and wrote. What came out is a far cry from what you’ll read today—and that’s for the best. I loved Mila, my main character, and the other people she meets along her journey so much that I knew I had to do whatever I could to share her story.
Thus began the long years of lovingly, painstakingly editing the manuscript. I read books on the craft of writing, attended conferences, and hired editors. I produced countless drafts, thought I was done, and started all over again. The work was hard, but worth it. Writing is unquestionably a labor of love.
And speaking of love… My husband and I moved back to the States, bought our first house, and continued to fuel our love of travel. Our adventures in Europe sparked new stories, which in the coming years will join Sketchy Tacos to form the International Adventures series.
Would you like to have adventures of your own? Or would you like the tools you need to create a story of your own? Click megdgonzalez.com/free-resources/ to access my two incredible resource libraries for writers and adventurers!
How did you get started writing?
My uncle has the only copy of the first book I ever wrote—written and illustrated in crayon at the ripe old age of six. My mom, aunt, and Papaw were avid readers and bestowed that love on me. Reading sparked my vivid imagination. My aunt, Sara Grant (author of 10 books) began writing novels when I was born and she helped me funnel that creative energy into writing. I’ve been hooked ever since.
What do you enjoy doing for relaxation?
I tend to oscillate between reading and crocheting. When I’m not on a reading binge, I love to watch TV while whipping up a blanket, scarf, or some other such item. I’ll use patterns now and then, but I get the most satisfaction from creating my own. I think because I work every day to create (by and large) intangible digital objects, I get a lot of pleasure from creating something solid that I can hold in my hands.
What can your readers expect from you next?
As I hinted in the post, more International Adventures are on their way! Book 2 in the International Adventures series will feature Mila’s best friend, Julia, and her trip to Germany. I’m working on the story now and I’m super excited to share Julia’s story with you!
Mila’s summer in Mexico is going to be perfect. She has a plan. If only life would stick to it.
After facing everything from a flash flood to Moctezuma’s revenge, from a romantic date for two to a gaggle of snide girls, teenage artist Mila Gulick finds the biggest challenge comes from the war within herself. Her heart, her art, and even her safety are at risk as she struggles to find a balance between cultural differences, old assumptions, and strange romance. Will her trip end in disaster or will she find the strength for which she’s been searching?
Where can we find you and your book?
Grab a copy of Sketchy Tacos for only $3.99 on Amazon. (Paperback edition available soon!)
About Meg D. Gonzalez:
Meg D. Gonzalez is a tea-sipping, adventure-seeking, pug-loving kind of girl. She’s crazy for God and wants to share His love with awesome young women around the globe.
She started her first novel at the age of fourteen (it will never see the light of day and that’s best for everyone), but her writing really came alive two years ago after she moved to Mexico. The crazy, wonderful people and culture she encountered inspired the story of Sketchy Tacos.
When she’s not writing, she’s learning to play video games with her husband (she’s horrible), taking hikes in beautiful parks with her pug Pascal, crocheting, and watching way too much TV.
Sketchy Tacos Chapter One Excerpt:
Cheery bells push at the fog of my sleep. I must still be dreaming. For seventeen years, no bells have chimed outside my window. It faces a cornfield.
With a slow roll to my side, I nuzzle my pillows and will myself to return to the dream world in which such music plays. Light dances across my eyelids and nudges me to wake, but it’s summer. I refuse to get up before Mom makes me. The chimes fade, and my hand searches the cotton covers for Shelby, my supersized puppy, who inhabits one side of my bed. Her lazy kisses usually help me fall right back to—
I bolt upright in bed, adrenaline pounding through my system.
A grin splits my face. The bells. I know why there are bells.
I’m in Mexico.