Danielle Ledezma is the author of Izzy in El Mareo. Read on for her interview.
Izzy’s trying to cope with life, love, and loneliness, but her fast life in Houston is rapidly spinning out of control.
So when the twenty-three-year-old American takes a job at an international resort in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, she hopes her old life is behind her at last—and with it, all the self-doubts and insecurities that have plagued her since childhood. She’s wondering if she’ll be able to survive in a new job in a strange country, but for now, the city’s breathtaking ocean views by day and sexy club scenes by night look like paradise.
Q. What first inspired you to write?
A. I’ve always loved writing and journaling, entering and winning elementary competitions at school, but not pursuing it as I grew. After my personal experience in Mexico I knew I wanted to write a book about it, and it was my husband who encouraged me to do it and made space for us in our lives for time to write.
Q. Do you have any writing habits or superstitions?
A. Sometimes I get an idea in my head and I just start writing like it’s the middle of the story or book, then I have to go back and figure out an outline or structure on how to weave that story in.
Q. When you have writer’s block, what are some ways that help you find your creative muse again?
A. I meditate, and for this book I would look at photos from my time there and re-read my own journal entries looking for hilarious or ridiculous perceptions or stories I jotted down.
Q. What inspired your story?
A. I realized that if I had stopped to evaluate myself earlier in life I might have found more peaceful ways to live and create meaningful, lasting relationships more successfully. I wanted to find a way to touch even one person and let them know mistakes are part of life. My message is you cannot truly love others until you love yourself and I’m hopeful, prayerful, that even one person will read this story and find themselves in a better relationship with the mirror.
Q. Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
A. You have to love yourself and know yourself before you can truly love someone else. Don’t run from things and try to hide them from others or yourself; own it all – mistakes and all!
Q. What’s the best writing advice you have ever received?
A. Write drunk, edit sober! Okay well maybe drunk is a stretch but wine while you write is good, but not while you edit.
Danielle Ledezma was raised in San Antonio, Texas, and attended the University of Texas at Austin. She currently lives in Texas with her husband, Pedro, and their two fur babies, Cali and Cole.