Can you believe Fall Philly is only three days away? If you weren’t excited enough already, the lovely Adriana Dominguez is here to talk books, travel, and family fun!
Lindsay: Hi Adriana, and welcome to the Eastern Penn Points Cafe! We’re so glad you’ve stopped by to chat with us. As we settle into our cozy booth, what are you drinking?
Adriana: As the weather turns cooler, I’d like to say that I’m having a cup of thick, hot chocolate from City Bakery, in New York. But the truth is that I’m having water. I always have a bottle of water on hand, no matter where I go.
Lindsay: And what’s that you’re munching on?
Adriana: Nothing at the moment. I had a delicious ham and cheese croissant for a late breakfast this morning, so I think I’m probably set until dinner!
Lindsay: So, I know travel is one of your greatest passions. Where have you been recently?
Adriana: My last (work-related) trip was to Los Angeles, where I was honored to participate in SCBWI’s Summer Conference. My husband and son joined me after the conference and together, we visited Disneyland for the first time. It was a trip my four-year-old won’t soon forget!
Lindsay: Where would you like to go next?
Adriana: My husband and I have family in Italy and Uruguay. It’s very likely that we’ll visit one of those places again soon, as it’s been a little bit since we’ve been to either country as a family. We go to Mexico a lot for the sun, sea and rich culture, too.
Lindsay: What’s the best thing about coming back home?
Adriana: Sleeping on our own beds and getting back into our usual routines and schedules, especially if we’re jet-lagged!
Lindsay: Book-lover to book-lover, what was the last book you read that made you….
Cry? YAQUI DELGADO WANTS TO KICK YOUR ASS, by Meg Medina
Laugh out loud? Mo Willems’s books make our entire family laugh every night when we read them to my son before bed!
Change? It’s a book by one of my clients, but I can honestly say that I am not the same person I was before I began to work on TAKING FLIGHT, a memoir by Michaela and Elaine DePrince. It’s a powerful story told by two extraordinary people.
Stay up waay too late? All of the above except Mo Willems, who sometimes keeps my son up a little later than he should!
Lindsay:Finish this sentence: I would jump up from my desk and cartwheel across the office if I came across a book…
Adriana: written by a writer of color that takes some chances, the way Meg Medina’s YAQUI DELGADO WANTS TO KICK YOUR ASS does with that amazing cover and the level of honesty with which the story is told. Honesty is also a major feature of Benjamin Alire Sáenz’s entire body of work, and of course particularly of his ARISTOTLE AND DANTE DISCOVER THE MYSTERIES OF THE UNIVERSE, which is so many things to so many different people, all of whom adore the book. For me, skill (of course) and courage are very attractive qualities in a writer, as I believe that they are the qualities that readers value most as well.
Lindsay: Your ideal client would always….
Adriana: Pitch in to help ensure the success of his or her book. If a writer doesn’t feel passionate about his or her work and career, why should anyone else?
Disrespect anyone. It’s important to remember that publishing a book is a team effort, and that in most cases, everyone is doing the best they can. No agent, editor or publisher ever takes on a book because they hate it, or want it to fail.
Lindsay: What is one turn-off that always makes you put a manuscript down?
Adriana: Too much description; whether it’s in a picture book—where in most cases, it clearly does not belong—or as a way to “tell” readers about the characters, settings, etc. to set up a story, rather than just “showing” us those characters living it.
Lindsay: How soon should submitters follow up with you?
Adriana: I prefer it when writers wait a few weeks to nudge me. I think six weeks is the minimum these days.
Lindsay: You are invited to a baby shower that asks for a picture book in lieu of a card. What book do you bring for this special baby?
Adriana: One of my clients and founder of Nursery Décor: Wall, Baby, Decorations, Room | Petit Collage Lorena Siminovich, has created a two-in one board book series called YOU ARE MY BABY that was recently named one of the “24 Best Baby Books of All Time” and the “Best of 2014” by Parents magazine. Clearly, the books from that series, along with Lorena’s newly-released craft book, Petit Collage: 25 Easy Craft and Decor Projects for A Playful Home, are my go-to presents for new moms! Lorena’s charming artwork is just perfect for babies and toddlers, and I thoroughly enjoy moms’ wonderful reactions to the gifts every time I give them!
Lindsay: So sweet and adorable!
Congratulations! You won a Throw Back Thursday Best 80’s Hair contest! Your prize is $100 to spend in any frivolous and FUN way you choose. How do you spend it?
Adriana: Just three little letters: SPA! All of that bending over to read and write really does a job on your neck and back muscles! I’m sure writers would agree!
Lindsay: Spa. Check!
You’re on a plane on your way to your dream vacation, when suddenly, you enter The Twilight Zone. Your plane takes you to the one place and time in history that you most want to visit. Where do you end up?
Adriana: Hmm, that’s a tough question because I happen to believe that there is no time like the present and though curious by nature, I tend not to glamorize the past. Having said that, I think that I would love to visit Italy during the Renaissance, even if I have no romantic notions of what that would be like, just so that I can bump into someone like da Vinci. I’m amazed by places and time periods that have yielded unusually large numbers of gifted people.
Lindsay: And now, for rapid-fire favorites! Name your favorite….
Book as a child Platero and I, by the Spanish poet Juan Ramón Jiménez
Book on the craft of writing I’ve actually taught using Cheryl Klein’s “Second Sight.” I find it very practical for beginners to get a grasp of the writing process, and to learn a little more about publishing at large.
Shade of nail polish Fiji by Essie. I’ve gotten oodles of compliments on it!
Candle scent I used to love Banana Republic’s “Beach House.” Sadly, I think they’ve stopped making it. I obviously don’t buy as many candles as I used to!
Place to read Mostly bed, though I like to read outside in the spring and summer.
Time of day Morning! It’s full of possibility and has got the best air you will breathe all day!
Mode of transportation Car or bicycle; it depends on where I am going, and the temperature outside.
Lindsay: Thanks so much for spending time with us, Adriana! We’re looking forward to meeting you at Fall Philly and Pitch Shop!