Name: Graciela Limón
Book Title: The Intriguing Life of Ximena Godoy
Genre: Historical Fiction/Hispanic
Publisher: Café Con Leche
Graciela Limón, born in Los Angeles, California, is the daughter of Mexican immigrants. She attended public and Catholic schools in her hometown, and continued on to university after which she became a professor of Latina/o Literature. Parallel to her teaching she has been an activist in Latina affairs, gender affairs and Trans Border issues. Limón has published nine novels, including her latest work, The Intriguing Life of Ximena Godoy.
Thank you for your time in answering our questions about getting published, Graciela. Let’s begin by having you explain to us why you decided to become an author and pen this book?
Graciela: I’ve been an author for years, and the reasons for writing each of my novels has varied. However, as I look back on that work I sense that at the heart of it all has been an intense desire to portray the inner condition of Latinas, which is my own background. I never stop being intrigued by the vastness and complexity of that condition; very much like a large canvas on which appear different women in different times and spaces. With my latest novel, it was my character Ximena Godoy’s own time and space that intrigued me. It was also her unconventional and untraditional manner that captivated me, but above all, her complexity and unpredictability fascinated me beginning to end.
Is this your first book?
Graciela: No. I’ve published eight prior novels.
With this particular book, how did you publish – traditional, small press, Indie, etc. – and why did you choose this method?
Graciela: I’ve published this particular novel with Café Con Leche, a new imprint of Koehler Books Publisher. I’m thrilled to say that my book was selected as the first of the works under this new imprint aimed at our Latina/o readership. Why did I choose this method? Well, it’s more that we chose one another. It’s historical, meaningful, and I feel honored that my book was chosen as the lead title.
Can you tell us a little about your publishing journey? The pros and cons?
Graciela: First of all, it’s never easy. The road to publication of an author’s work is always filled with challenges, bumpy roads and a lot of hurt. The many rejections hit hard. The harsh, negative criticisms hurt, and needless to say, it’s hard not to lose heart. This part of my publishing journey has been a contra. However, when I look back and see that I have indeed traveled the road, that somehow my work has prevailed, I have no regrets, only joy. And this is definitely a pro.
What lessons do you feel you learned about your particular publishing journey and about the publishing industry as a whole?
Graciela: The most important lesson that I’ve learned about my publishing journey is the need of always having faith in the worthiness of my work. As you can imagine, there have been bleak moments, but I’ve learned that although just a speck in the huge canvas of literature, my work has been at least a small contribution. It’s a matter of faith and confidence. And what lesson have I drawn about the publishing industry as a whole? I’ve learned that without the many men and women who have the courage to represent the literary talent of a generation, our world would indeed be empty and meaningless.
Would you recommend this method of publishing to other authors?
Graciela: Yes! It’s tough but productive.
What’s the best advice you can give to aspiring authors?
Graciela: Never lose confidence in the value of your work. Reject the mean-spirited critic and rejections, and constantly renew your dedication to your God-given talent. Always!