1. Can you tell me a bit about yourself?
I am a graduate student in the Chicana and Chicano Studies Department at the University of California, Berkeley. I study literature and theory in my department with a focus on twentieth and twenty-first century Chicana authors, such as Michele Serros. I teach literature and theory classes, and I enjoy writing creatively and academically, often blending the two genres together. I am a bookaholic. I have a little girl named Elianna who was born a year ago. She is the love of my life.
2. What can you tell me about your story in Forgotten Places?
My story might be rather different from most in the anthology. Rather than choose a fantasy, sci-fi, or horror genre, I wanted to set my forgotten place in contemporary times. Aztlan, although a historical and some would even argue mythological location, is both a place and a state of mind very relevant to my field of study. It is a term that inspires many Chicanas/os, Latinas/os, and other people of color to unite against social, racial, sexist, and gender inequalities. Blending the history of Atzlan with a current issue was not a difficult task as it is very relevant to various communities. The real challenge was not letting my teacher cap show too much. I found myself wanting to lecture in my story rather than let my character Esperanza show how much she was learning and growing from her political and cultural awareness.
3. Aside from the location, what was your inspiration for the story?
I knew I wanted to re-tell the fight over the Mexican American Studies Program in Tuscan Arizona high schools because their struggles affected me both as a teacher and as a student. As a society, we often consider ourselves advanced because of technology, because of the progress we have made with certain rights and freedoms that some people get to embrace. Then, something like this happens, and it feels like we regress back again. Drop-out rates increasing among students of color, books being banned, innocent people being arrested. It is a current event that I really want others to be aware of...to always remember that the fight for equality is not over. Plus, I was really inspired by the documentary "Precious Knowledge." Hearing the students and the teachers talk about the Mexican American Program and how it changed their lives...I just knew it was a topic that had much to offer a reader, both the informed or uninformed.
4. Do you have any other written works or is this your first?
I have written various pieces that were published over the years since I was thirteen. Most are poetry or newspaper pieces as well as general reviews on sites like Goodreads.com and Amazon.com. Some of my most recent pieces include a poem titled "Finding a Voice" in Ban This! The BSP Anthology of Xican@ Literature and an academic book review titled "From Margin to Center" Reading and Analyzing Hybrid Narratives" in the journalPhilologist: Journal of Language, Literature, and Cultural Studies.
5. Can you describe your writing style in three words?
Subversive, decolonial, and passionate
6. Where can people find out more about you?
I have a website that is woefully out of date: http://adriannasimone.com/. One of these days I will update it. I also have various social media sites that people can connect with me at. Let's just say that I love lurking on the Internet. :)
A rich, diverse collection of short stories inspired by some of Earth’s forgotten places. Organised by best-selling author Josh Walker and edited by Angel Blackwood, this collection of inspired stories brings something new and exciting. All proceeds from this anthology will be donated to St Judes Children’s Hospital.