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:
- 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!
- 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.
- 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!
- 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.
- 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.”
- 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.
- 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.
Mangos-- the small, sunset-colored ones-- freshly picked in Oaxaca.
- 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.
- 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.)
- 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!