Timestorm and Martina and the Musician

Happy autumn!

Timestorm, the children’s audio fiction series Michael and I are producing through Cocotazo Media, launches next month. We’ve had a blast recording the first five episodes. The cast is incredibly talented – and it includes many dear friends and family members!

When twelve-year-old twins Alexa and Beni Ventura are sucked into an inter-dimensional portal, they meet a distant cousin who presents them with an incredible mission: travel through time to uncover hidden moments from their culture’s past. Along the way, they meet people from Africa, Europe, and the Americas who have left their mark on Puerto Rican heritage…only their names aren’t found in history books.

In the twenty-first century, Alexa and Beni navigate middle school, friendship, and home life while keeping their time-traveling pursuits secret. When a natural disaster devastates islands across the Caribbean, the twin’s come to understand just what’s at stake for their ancestral home. As Puerto Rico faces an uncertain future, Alexa and Beni do all they can to witness, find, and remember its past. 

The series launches on November 25 and is available wherever you listen to podcasts. Here are the trailers:

You can subscribe now on PlayerFM or Radio Public. Links for Apple Podcasts, GooglePlay, and Overcast coming soon.

I also had a couple of short scripts, Martina and the Musician and Crap, produced by Cocotazo Audio Theatre. Martina and the Musician has been nominated for a few Audio Verse Awards: Audio Engineering (Michael Aquino), Writing (Me!), and Production. You can check out all of the amazing shows in the AVA nominee showcase and then vote for your favorites in the first round here.

And, finally, publication update! The 7th Grade Sleuths Book #2: Ignacio in the Dark (Overdue Books, 2019) is coming this winter! Check back soon for more details and a cover reveal.

Women Rising and the Puerto Rican Book Expo

Speranza Theatre Company’s production of Women Rising: Stories of Hope opens tonight and runs through October 23 in Jersey City. I’m proud to have contributed a monologue for this important project that raises awareness about domestic violence. WOMEN RISING: STORIES OF HOPE Directed by Diana Basmajian Written by Merri Biechler, Jennie Contuzzi, Megan Lohne, Dania Ramos, Lia Romeo, Caren Skibell, DeLora Whitney Starring Larissa Adamczyk, Jason Faust, Laura Gourdine, Vanessa Rappa, Alicia Rivas, Samille Ganges Art House Productions, 136 Magnolia Avenue, Jersey City 10/20 @ 7:30pm; 10/21 & 10/22 at 8pm; 10/23 a@ 2pm For tickets visit: SperanzaTheatreCompany.org. (Recommended for ages 15+)

Next month I’ll be participating in the Puerto Rican Book Expo on Saturday, November 19 from 12:00-7:00pm at Hostos Community College, 450 Grand Concourse in the Bronx. Comité Noviembre sponsors this annual event held in conjunction with the National Puerto Rican Artisan Fair and Exhibit. Come get an early start on holiday shopping while showing your support for local artists and authors!

New Jersey One-Minute Play Festival and Women Playwrights Reading Series

Happy Spring! Last month I participated in the 6th Annual New Jersey One-Minute Play Festival at Luna Stage. I had a couple of short plays staged by New Jersey directors Steven Gaissert and Ted Wrigley and featuring local actors. Always a fun time!

My full-length play Hielo was part of the New Jersey Women Playwrights Reading Series co-presented by Writers Theatre of New Jersey and Speranza Theatre Company at the Jersey City Theatre Center. The reading was directed by Larissa Lury and featured Jersey City actors Alicia Rivas, Jeffrey Sanchez, Jenelle Sosa, and Siouxsie Suarez along with New Yorker Eli Ganias (who’s been in every single developmental reading of the script!) I’d done a pretty significant rewrite this winter so it was great to hear the script with actors once again. The rehearsals, the reading, and feedbackwere all excellent -- I'm excited to do another revision to get the script submission-ready.

I've been busy revising a short story that’ll be published in an anthology later this year. I’m not allowed to spill the beans about it yet, but I can say it's a mix of horror and fantasy. I’m also currently working on the second book of the Seventh-Grade Sleuths series.

Until next time!

Building 21, Reading Through Life, and VOYA

 
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I had a lot of fun visiting Building 21 in Allentown, Pennsylvania, last month. I met with four groups of students, including Heather Harlen's Writing Life pathway. This is a bright group of 9th graders who were gearing up to teach local 4th graders about the elements of storytelling. I'm grateful to have spent an afternoon in Ms. Harlen's classroom.

Who's Ju has received reviews from Crystal Brunelle's Reading Through Lifeblog ("...a solidly done mystery") and the October issue of VOYA magazine (Reviewer, Laura Lehner: "...a solid entry into tween realistic fiction").

COMING UP! Saturday, November 21: I'll be participating in the Puerto Rican Authors Book Expo at Hostos Center for the Arts and Culture (450 Grand Concourse, Bronx) from 12-7pm. It's held in conjunction with Comité Noviembre's Puerto Rican Artisan Fair and Exhibit. Come support local authors and artists...and maybe get some holiday shopping in before Black Friday!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Latino Rebels Interview

I had the chance to chat with author Jonathan Marcantoni during an interview for Latino Rebels. Here's what Jonathan had to say about Who's Ju:

The book works as both a fun, classic mystery and a serious investigation into the key questions all people face: “Who am I? And why am I the way that I am?”

That this story is told from the perspective of a young Puerto Rican girl is significant in that not so long ago, Latina heroines for young adult readers were in short supply. It is a testament to Mrs. Ramos’s talent that the book is at once culture specific and universal.

Check out the interview here.