Wednesday, December 2, 2015


Laura Resau is the author of The Lighting Queen and several other wonderful books. You can find more information at her website

Interview Conducted by:

  1. Who is your favorite character in your book?

I truly love them all, but I’ll go with Teo’s grandfather, because he is so old and wise, and I want to be that wise one day!

  1. Are you writing a sequel?

No, I feel like I told the story I needed to tell (but I’ll never say never!) I’m working on another book set mostly in Latin America—this time in the present-day Amazon rain forest.

  1. Why did you decide to become a writer?

Ever since I was a young girl, I’ve loved reading books.  For me, the only thing more thrilling than reading a great book is to try and write one myself!

  1. What was your inspiration for this book?

While I was living in rural Oaxaca, Mexico, I heard enchanting stories about the Rom (Gypsies) who used to travel in caravans and bring magic to indigenous villages. I wanted to honor the relationship between the Rom and indigenous Oaxacans, and explore some of the social justice issues they’ve faced.

  1. Did anything you wrote in this book come from your personal life?

Esma tells Teo to give himself a fortune and make it come true.  I’ve done this several times in my life and it’s been very rewarding.  One of my fortunes was, “You’ll be a children’s book author.”

  1. Have you ever been to Mexico?

I lived there for two glorious years, as an English teacher and anthropologist.  Now I love visiting with my husband and young son.

  1. What kind of research did you do for this book?

Much of the book was inspired by oral histories I heard while living in Oaxaca.  I followed up with some more specific research questions to Oaxacan friends of mine.  I also read many books and watched several films about the Rom, and reached out to an academic expert on the Rom who could answer my detailed questions.

  1. If you could eat only one thing for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Mangos-- the small, sunset-colored ones-- freshly picked in Oaxaca.

  1. Would you rather be a foot taller than everyone else or a foot shorter?

I’m already on the short side, and it’s fine by me, so I think I’d say a foot shorter.

  1. What is your favorite decade? Why?

Well, I would say the 1950’s, in honor of my vintage trailer from that era… but since there was more consciousness of social justice issues in the 1960’s, I think I’ll go with that. (I’m old-fashioned with technology, and I miss the solitude of pre-Internet times.)

  1. Any other interesting facts/info about you. 
I travel around my hometown of Fort Collins, CO on a pink cruiser bike adorned with daisies.  I love drinking lots of tea with milk and honey.  I’m learning to play the ukulele.

Thank you so much Ms. Resau!