Lyn Miller-Lachmann.Â How has your family background affected your writing, if it has?
My family background didnâ€™t play a role in my writing of Gringolandia but rather my work in the 1980s teaching English to students and refugees from Central and South America. There, I got to know people who had to flee their countries due to dictatorships and the challenges they faced making a new life in the United States. It was especially difficult for families with children, because the children adapted more quickly than their parents and wanted little to do with the country where they were born.
What gave you the nerve to attempt your first novel?
Gringolandia was my third novel manuscript. The first one is in the back of my closet collecting dust. I self-published the second as part of an alternative press that I started in the 1980s. The success of that YA novel, Hiding Places, gave me the courage to write a novel about a refugee family from Chile during the Pinochet dictatorship. (more…)