Today I’m chatting with Adriana Herrera, whose debut book American Dreamer is out this week! We talk about so many things, y’all. So many. We discuss the Afro Latinx cultural experience in her life, her work, and in her books, and the unique homesickness that comes when you’re from a Caribbean island and you live in New York City and it’s below freezing. We talk about all the places she’s lived - she and her husband did international relief work around the world.
We also discuss:
- Embracing and representing various lived experiences in a story: “It’s like seeing something in a museum, then taking the glass away and being able to touch it.”
- Moving from being in the community as a reader to being a debut author
- The layers of meaning in the names of characters in her series
- The occupational hazard of writing food p0rn
- How writing romance began as an exercise in self care while she completing her master’s degree in social work, and how she balances writing with her MSW
- How she focuses on making the “yes” of consent in a romance real and structurally sound
- What to means to level up characters so they are ready for real, committed relationships
And of course, we talk about what she’s working on, and what she’s reading.
Thank you to Leigh for her questions! When I asked the Patreon community for their ideas, Leigh wrote, “I am super excited Adriana is coming on the podcast! She is the loveliest and I'm so excited to read American Dreamer.”
TW/CW: Please be aware that because Adriana works with domestic violence, we touch on that topic a few times throughout the interview, particularly when we discuss writing consent and power dynamics and her work as a social worker.