I am excited to be here today to bring you another Guest Post! :) Please help me by welcoming Leslie DJ to the blog!
What inspired you to write the book?
I arrived in the Dominican Republic armed with pen and paper. I planned to take in as much of the culture as possible in an attempt to “find myself.” I was fresh out of college and unsure of what my next move would be. I had a part-time administrative job but had no clue what I wanted to do with the rest of my life but I knew it included writing.
It had been months since I had met one of my literary heroes Julia Alvarez the author behind, “In Time of The Butterflies” and my favorite “How The Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents” and following her advice I would eventually apply to grad school.
Unaccustomed to the tropical heat and frequent power outages I spent most of my days sitting on the front porch of my grandmother’s Santo Domingo house. I sat and watched as men wheeling plantain carts passed by and kids with wicker baskets full of homemade peanut brittle offered good prices for their treats. I spent days trying to encapsulate the smell and colors of the island. I needed to get it just right.
I returned to the states with a notebook full of musings and observations. I had nothing but a burning desire to return. On my third trip I met a boy, a boy I would model Henry after in my novella “Luz.” He wasn’t very kind but he was tall and had beautiful honey colored eyes. His unreliability and insistence on keeping our relationship—if you could even call it that—secret made him appear edgy and like those bad boys all girls are bound to throw their lives away for.
Threw my life away I did at least it seemed like I did for six years. We married and after six tumultuous years we divorced, although details of my failed marriage are not featured in “Luz” her relationship with Henry comes from an honest and loving place.
Writing “Luz” was cathartic the book practically wrote itself. Flashes of color, sights and sounds from the island engulfed me and at times I lost track of time as I wrote. At times I could almost feel the sand between my toes and the relentless sun beaming on me as I wrote. Luz was a story that needed to be told and now I hope others feel glad they read it.************************
About the Book:
Author: Leslie DJ
Release Date: March 23rd, 2017
Genre: Women’s Fiction
Tour Dates: March 23rd - 30th, 2017
Luz Vargas is a promising young Latina writer from Washington Heights, a predominantly Dominican neighborhood in New York City. Who upon receiving top honors for her short story, “Here and There” from the prestigious Quisqueya Writers of Tomorrow Association, Luz’s boyfriend, Luke, suggests a couple’s getaway to the Dominican Republic where he plans to propose. But when the trip to the Island brings her face to face with a past love, Luz is torn between honoring her commitment to Luke and revisiting an island romance.
The story is told through a series of vignettes that chronicle Luz’s struggle to reconcile her American identity with her Dominican side.
Thanks for Leslie stopping today!