Alma Velasco serves as an author for the Editorial Santillana México (which forms part of Grupo PRISA). Her latest book, Me LLaman La Tequilera, is now available.
Velasco was born in Mexico City in 1948. She studied music with the specialty of singing. She’s conducted studies of music, song and theater at the National Conservatory of Music, and she also researched music and songs of Mexico relating to historical events. She is licensed in Hispanic letters by the National Autonomous University of Mexico. Among her published works are books for both children of his own creation as translations and a couple of children’s books.
Living Out Loud: In your opinion, what do you think can be done to increase reading awareness here in Los Angeles?
Alma Velasco: It’s important for people to realize that they have this vast freedom to pick and choose they subjects they want to know more about. What I don’t agree with is people trying to influence others to read a particular genre or a particular author. It’s been my experience as a reader that if you’ve been forced to read a certain type of book and you’ve been denied this freedom I mentioned and you then come across a new book, about a subject you may not have heard about or that isn’t what you would normally read. You try and read this new book and it doesn’t work well. So I would ask for people to give themselves plenty of time whenever they visit a fair and look around. Without restrictions, you’ll find yourself more willing to learn and you’ll find yourself more curious about what you can possibly learn. You can make suggestions on who and what to read, but never force anything on anyone.
LOL: What else can you tell us about Me Llaman Tequilera? Where did the inspiration for this novel come about?
AV: When I began to investigate about singer Lucha Reyes, I was very interested in her upbringing. My upbringing was very traditional, classical if you will…her voice is unforgettable. There hasn’t been a woman or man, alive or dead, who can sign with the potency, with the beauty, with the motivation that she has.
LOL: What advice can you give the youth out there who might one day want to follow in your footsteps and become writers?
AV: Basically, a writer follows a process that includes more than just literary technique, which of course is essential and must be included. But it’s fundamental for people to be in tune with themselves and ask, “What do I want to do?” Then I sit on it, I polish it, I consult about it and all writers do this,from the most well-known, Nobel prize-winning author, to the most amateurish writer. We all do this. I would also add that it’s important to read what interests you. Read authors whom you feel are similar to you in the way they express themselves. We can’t say something that is not important to us, but the moment you have something on your mind that’s aching to get out, you know and you’ll want to talk about it. That’s what you have to pursue, and little by little, that style that will perpetuate your career will develop and you’ll know who you are and how far you’ll be able to go. There is no greater gift than to be able to give to someone else knowledge you’ve learned about life.