The Latina Book Club welcomes Dominican writer and illustrator Genia I. Nunez. For her, it all began with a poster over a decade ago. Today, she enjoys writing poetry, photography, crafts and keeping her inner child alive!
I believe that education is very important for our children. Being bilingual is more relevant than ever before. – Genia I. Nunez
Q: We know you are a Civil Engineer and a college professor. Where did the desire to write children's books come from?
A: I've always enjoyed helping children learn. I also taught catechism classes and tutored elementary aged children during my free time. I've always had a creative inclination, and writing and drawing were always ways to express myself. The interest of writing children’s books came because I wanted to help my own children and their friends in school. I always have enjoyed children’s books and their illustrations. I think it’s important to keep your inner child alive!
Q: Tell us about yourself. Your family, your schooling, your home now. We know you come from Santo Domingo. Do you go back often?
A: I like to write poems, paint and use my inspiration. I’m married and the mother of two lovely children. I travel to Dominican Republic when I get the chance. I earned my Bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering in Dominican Republic and obtained a Masters of Engineering from Iowa State University. I’ve worked as a Civil Engineer both in Dominican Republic and the U.S.
Q: Tell us about your book: THE CYCLE OF THE SEVEN DAYS OF THE WEEK. What inspired you to write about the days of the week?
A: The inspiration to write this book came from a poster I created that illustrated the cycle and order of the days of the week. I wanted to show my children and friend’s children that there are different activities that we do each day and I changed the color for each day to illustrate that each day was different. The original poster is bilingual in English and Spanish, because I used it as a tool for them to learn the days in both languages.
Q: Do you visit with schools and libraries to read from your book? What do the children think?
A: I haven’t gone to any schools or libraries yet, but I’ve had living room reading sessions with family and friends and they all enjoy the book. Many children and their parents like the book. They even have learned Spanish reading it in the bilingual version.
Q: I read a quote of yours: “I believe that education is very important for our children. Being bilingual is more relevant than ever before." Explain why you think being bilingual is a plus in today's society. Do you think bilingual education should start early or can it also be learned as a teen or even an adult?
A: Each language is source of communication that unites us. Being that we’re now more connected than ever with globalization, the more languages you speak the more a person can communicate with the rest of the world. Being bilingual or even multilingual is an all around plus! I think that children have an advantage when they are exposed to languages at a young age. And, I think you can learn a language at any time if you have an interest!
Q: Not a lot of Latino books are being bought and released today, and many authors are turning to self-publishing. Are you self-published? If so, what are the pros and cons of self-publishing?
A: Yes, we do need more Latino books in the market! And, Yes, I am self-published. It is difficult at the beginning to learn the standards for the printing process, but it’s a good experience and a rewarding feeling when everything is finished. I recommend self-publishing because there are so many options available to get your book out there.
Q: Do you have any advice for new Latino authors? Any specific advice for those Latino authors wanting to write children's books?
A: As a new author myself, I think if you have something to express you should share it and not give up. My advice: write what you are passionate about. We all have our own unique stories to tell and share.
Q: Do you belong to any professional writing organizations? Do you recommend them to authors?
A: I do not belong to any professional writing organizations, but I go to writing seminars to learn and share ideas with fellow writers. It’s always good to network, and to express your concepts and have someone to review/edit. In my case, I feel very lucky that my daughter also shares an interest in writing and helps me with the translations and editing.
Q: Who are your favorite Latino authors?
A: From the Dominican Republic are Pedro Mir, Salome Ureña, and Juan Bosch. I also enjoy the works by Paulo Coelho, Gabriel García Márquez, Pablo Neruda and Julia Alvarez.
Q: Who are your favorite children's authors?
A: I’ve always enjoyed classic fairy tales like the Brothers' Grimm Collection, the Dr. Seuss Series and Clifford the Big Red Dog series.
Q: What are you writing now?
A: I have a couple of books that are part of The Cycle Series coming up, that deal with the months of the year and the seasons. I also have some math and traffic educational books that I’m working on. Look for the Cycle books this Summer.
Q: How can readers find out more about you?
A: Readers can find me at:
Amazon Author Page: http://amzn.com/e/B00HKM18UC
Facebook.com/genimpublishing and twitter.com/genimpublishing @genimpublishing
Thank you, Genia!
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