The Short Version
As a Cuban-American redhead, I grew up with a foot in many worlds. After a childhood in Montana and a few exciting years in Costa Rica, my family finally settled in Vermont to escape the sun. There, I went to the University of Vermont for a degree in Molecular Genetics, which has been useful for terrifying the hypochondriacs in my life.
These days, I write science fiction and fantasy stories in my Boston apartment, at least when the resident cat gives me use of my keyboard. I also write contemporary fiction and poetry under the pen name Audrey Rivero.
The Long Version
When I graduated from college, I was planning to be a doctor. I’d taken the MCAT, passed all the right prerequisites, asked for letters of recommendation, and even scored a cool research position at Massachusetts General Hospital. Sure, I “wrote” on the side when I had free time (rarely) or motivation (almost never). I was exhausted, unhappy, and unfulfilled, but who cared? I was on track.
And then one of the doctors I worked with said the thing that changed everything.
“If you can think of anything else to do with your life, do that first.”
Thus began a shift that was a worst-case scenario for any parent: I quit my hospital job, walked away from medicine, and began writing novels. My first few works were (predictably) terrible, but from 2014-2019 I completed 13 manuscripts, queried 5 books, snagged an agent, and went on submission. I attended a conference in New York City (The NYC Algonkian Pitch Conference) that I loved so much, I begged them to let me come back as an intern. After a few years, they promoted me to Assistant Editor. I learned everything there was to know about querying, houses, editors, trends. I seeped myself in traditional publishing.
But five years in, it all fell apart.
During the summer of 2019, I went through the darkest period I’d faced since quitting medicine. I was desperately frustrated by the pace of publishing, the constant rejection, the endless and demoralizing slog of writing books no one ever got to read. My creative life felt out of control and rudderless.
When my agent and I decided to part ways (on perfectly good terms), it became clear that a change was needed. I’d heard a bit about this indie thing and had even seen a few authors go through it. I had a pile of finished work and nothing to lose.
So I figured, why not?
Thus began my journey into hybrid/indie publishing. It’s an ongoing process and certainly not easy, but so far this route has been exactly the kind of creative adventure that I’d been missing for so long. It’s challenging, engaging, and inspiring in all the best kind of ways. Most importantly, it’s rekindled my passion for storytelling.
Which was the whole point anyways.