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Discovering Heritage: An Interview with Elizabeth Padilla, author of The Lost Princess of Alicante

Elizabeth Padilla 1

Born and raised in Kansas City Missouri, after earning a bachelor’s degree in English, I moved to New Mexico where I taught English in a USA government boarding school for Indigenous students, primarily from the Navajo tribe. After two years, I felt called to work in Children’s Protective Services for New Mexico Health and Social Services Department. From there I moved into rehabilitative work in Addictions. After twenty-nine years living in New Mexico, I returned to Kansas City Missouri, again working in the field of addictions. Today, while remembering the culture and cuisine of New Mexico with nostalgia, I feel content to be back home in Missouri, with five rescue cats competing for my attention.

You can buy The Lost Princess of Alicante here.

Are you a writer, too? Submit your manuscript to Atmosphere Press.

Tell us the story of your book’s title. Was it easy to find, or did it take forever?

My mind tossed different possibilities around until it settled on THE LOST PRINCESS OF ALICANTE. The whole process took about a week.

How did it feel when you first saw your book cover? Or when you first held your book in your hands?

Holding my book in my hands for the first time took my breath away at the beautiful cover, the tidy professional printing and the innovative layout.

Who/what made you want to write? Was there a particular person, or particular writers/works/art forms that influenced you?

From the time I was in third grade, my mind was always busy imagining stories and people, until I started writing about them first in longhand in thick notebooks, then typed and finally created them at the PC, where mistakes were easily corrected and the work went so much faster. The first efforts were primitive, but I continued through the years until I finally had the privacy and time to work seriously at it. My imagination never stopped bringing me ideas, wherever I traveled, by train, plane or ship, and it still does to this day. Of course I read hundreds of books and always feel a bit panicky if I don’t have a book to read.

What other professions have you worked in? What’s something about you that your readers wouldn’t know?

Education, although I didn’t really like teaching, and social work, which I found much more fitted to my personality, even through the difficult cases.

What was the most rewarding/meaningful part of publishing your book?

Holding material evidence of my work, a reward for all the hours spent at the keyboard, or lying awake working out solutions for my characters.

If your book had a soundtrack, what are some songs that would be on it?

Music from the masters: operatic, symphonic, or from different cultures around the world, in this case Hispanic or Caribbean.

What is one thing you hope readers take away from reading your book? How do you envision your perfect reader?

Satisfaction at the outcome for the main characters, a feeling of appreciation for my efforts. I hope to attract readers who enjoy a story with interesting characters, especially a female protagonist who uses intelligence to work through problems. I would hope for a reader who prefers spare language and a lack of melodramatic behavior on the part of the protagonist.

What new writing projects are you currently working on? Or, other projects that are not writing?

I’m working on a YA novel set in the early 20th century, about a teenage woman struggling with maturity at a time and place where people maintained almost total silence about the reproduction process.

How was working with Atmosphere Press? What would you tell other writers who want to publish?

It was amazing the number of people ready to assist me in all aspects of publishing—layout, design, proofreading, and promotions. Atmosphere is like a light guiding a writer through a dark tunnel.

You can buy The Lost Princess of Alicante here.

Are you a writer, too? Submit your manuscript to Atmosphere Press.

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