I'm thrilled Mary Louise Sanchez dropped by to finish my sentences and to share the cover for her debut novel, The Wind Called My Name. I wrote the words in purple, and Mary Louise wrote the words in black. Thank you, Mary Louise!
Raúl Colon’s cover illustration for The Wind Called My Name captures how the railroad and the wind play important parts in the story. The wind blows Margarita and her family from New Mexico during the Great Depression to join her father and brother who have railroad jobs in Wyoming. Then the wind there pushes against the family and Margarita with different challenges.
Margarita Sandoval thinks she must have faith that she can maintain her Hispanic culture, yet make a friend in this new environment, while still helping protect her family's security. Her faith eventually leads her to ask a saint she's unfamiliar with for help.
Margarita’s Abuelita stays in northern New Mexico because she's determined to work to keep the family's ancestral land for her posterity. This love or querencia for the homeland inspires the entire family, even those in Wyoming, to work together towards that goal.
|Visit Mary Louise's website.|
Fort Steele was established on the west bank of the North Platte River in southern Wyoming in 1868. Former Civil War soldiers helped protect the men who were building the Union Pacific Railroad portion of the transcontinental railroad.
From 1920–1939, the Lincoln Highway, the first transcontinental highway in the United States, took travelers through the small town, where old army barracks were transformed into gas stations, cafes, and motels.
This is the small town where my character, Margarita, moves to in 1934 and where my mother, Margarita Sandoval grew up.
Story is the experiences of each person on this planet which have a right to be heard—if not written down.
|Mary Louise won the New Visions Award. Click here to learn about the award.|
Mr. Schu, you should have asked me how my character, Margarita, knows her Hispanic ancestral family and history so well. The story is loosely based on my mother's life growing up in a small Wyoming town. At a young age she was responsible for tending to the needs of her elderly blind grandmother, and had time to listen to family stories of ancestors and their lives in New Mexico. Our genealogical and historical research have proven that my mother listened very well!
Look for The Wind Called My Name on September 18, 2018.