Day Four of Top Ten Days with Diana Rodriguez Wallach


Fifteen-year-old Mariana Ruiz has no desire to step foot outside her affluent Philadelphia suburb. BUT she may not have a choice.

With total disregard to the high-glam Sweet 16 her best friend is hosting, Mariana’s father ships her off to a tiny mountain town in Puerto Rico to stay with family she’s never met. The heat is merciless, the food is spicy, and only one of her relatives—her distant cousin Lilly—speaks English. Her consolation prize is Lilly’s homespun Puerto Rican Quinceãnera. Only the riotously festive party exposes Mariana to more than just her culture. She uncovers new friends, her first love, and a family secret that’s been buried on the island for more than 30 years.

1. Are you a gluer or a taper?

I think my answer varies. I use scotch tape to wrap presents, and duct tape to fix broken metal objects. But I use glue on scrapbook pages, and super glue on broken ceramics.


2. How do you think love and writing are similar? How about duct tape and writing?

Both love and writing take time to develop, both require passion, and both should make you very, very happy. As far as duct tape and writing, I’d say that both can be sticky, both have silver linings, and both, when done right, should stand the test of time.


3. What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever done as a writer?

I’m currently rewriting a book I originally wrote this summer. Trust me, that’s crazy. Kids, don’t try this at home.


4. I really love Muppets. Grover is my own personal writing cheerleader and for some reason John Wayne (who is not a Muppet is my personal internal critic/task master). Who is your favorite Muppet? And who (Muppet, dead movie star or other) would be your internal critic.


Funny story, but I’ve done a couple of Barnes and Nobel events in Philly with a local children’s book author named Gene Barretta (Now and Ben). Anyway, he told me recently that he and his brother worked as Sesame Place as kids where they met Brian Hensen (Jim’s son). Long story short, his brother, Bill, is an actual Muppeteer. He created the Pepe the Prawn character, and he now does the voice for Rowlf the Dog. How cool is that? Just thought I’d mention it.


THAT IS SO COOL! I used to want to marry Rowlf the Dog.

But in answer to your question, my favorite Muppet was Beeker. I love the Muppet Christmas Album where they sing the Twelve Days of Christmas. When the get to Bunson and Beeker, they sing, “On the ninth day of Christmas…meep, meep, meep, meep, meep!”


And my internal critic would be Dori from Finding Nemo, particularly the ending scene where she keeps repeating, “Just keep swimming. Just keep swimming.” When I’m working on a first draft, I often think to myself, “Just keep writing. Just keep writing.”


Leave a comment

Filed under Book News

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s