Q&A with Author Christina Diaz Gonzalez

Gear up for this year’s Miami Book Fair (taking place November 12-19) with the 305’s own Christina Diaz Gonzalez

Among this year’s participating authors is Christina Diaz Gonzalez
Christina Diaz Gonzalez

What started as a two-day event in 1984, the Miami Book Fair (taking place November 12-19) has blossomed into an eight-day spectacle attended by the who’s who of international literary spheres and attracting more than 200,000 attendees and 500 authors annually. Among this year’s participating authors is Christina Diaz Gonzalez, a Miami-based Edgar Award winner who pens fiction for kids and adults, including such titles as The Red Umbrella, A Thunderous Whisper, and Moving Target. Her work has garnered serious national acclaim. Case in point? Her latest novel, The Bluest Sky, was one of two books selected to represent Florida’s literary heritage at the Library of Congress’ National Book Festival in Washington, D.C., this past August. Diaz Gonzalez (a native Floridian of Cuban descent) says the book—set during Cuba’s 1980 Mariel boatlift—is “dear to her heart” as a person with family and friends who fled communist Cuba during this time. Read on for Diaz Gonzalez’s thoughts on the importance of the Miami Book Fair and all things writing.

Aventura: What are you most looking forward to at this year’s Miami Book Fair? 

Diaz Gonzalez: I love meeting and connecting with readers in person at events like the Miami Book Fair. It adds depth to the book when a reader understands the story behind what’s written on the page. This connection can fuel their love of reading and writing, and gives me the inspiration to continue crafting more stories.

The Bluest Sky by Christina Diaz Gonzalez
The Bluest Sky by Christina Diaz Gonzalez

Tell us a little bit about your experience with the event.

I first presented at the Miami Book Fair over 13 years ago when my debut novel, The Red Umbrella, first came out, and I have been fortunate enough to attend several times since then. I’ve met so many outstanding young readers, teachers, librarians, parents, and talented authors that it’s difficult to choose a favorite memory. A highlight is always when a fan asks me to sign one of my new books and sign their well-read (often slightly tattered) copy of one of my older novels. 

What advice would you give to aspiring writers?

I began my professional career as a lawyer, but I always had this dream of being a writer. My best advice for a budding writer is to write the story you would like to read—the one that doesn’t yet exist—and to not worry about trends. 

What’s next for you?

In addition to writing a new book, I will be visiting schools around the country during this academic year since several of my books have been named to state reading lists.

Three to See at This Year’s Miami Book Fair

An Evening with Jada Pinkett Smith

The actress and host of Facebook Watch will speak about her honest-as-it-gets memoir, Worthy, November 12.

An Evening with David Brooks

The New York Times writer will discuss How To Know a Person: The Art of Seeing Others Deeply and Being Deeply Seen, November 13.

An Evening with Henry Winkler

The beloved actor—from Happy Days to Barry—will chat about his book, Being Henry: The Fonz…And Beyond, November 17.

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