Today’s featured author is Minda Gomez, who writes bilingual children’s chapter books about the multi-cultural Martinez family! She lives with her husband and three kids in a suburb of Minneapolis, Minnesota.
The Martinez Kids Adventures are a children’s chapter book series centered around a bicultural Mexican-American family. Rico, Diego, and Araceli Martinez are three spunky bilingual siblings who live in Minnesota with their Mami and Papi.
In The Secret Door, the family discovers that their next-door neighbor, Don Toño, has developed an invention that will transform them into animals through virtual reality, simply by walking through a secret door. They travel to the forest as squirrels, the coral reef as marine animals, and the Mexican rainforest as spider monkeys. In each adventure, they make new animal friends and learn lessons that can be applied to their lives.
In The Arctic Quest, the Martinez family is driving to Mexico to visit family for Christmas. Along the way, the kids are transported to the Arctic and turned into animals through special virtual reality sunglasses that allow them to fly, swim, and communicate with other animals. Through new challenges and friendships, they learn important lessons through their adventures. Upon arriving in Mexico, they experience a rich, warm Navidad celebration that they will never forget.
The Martinez Kids Adventures are available online through Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and many other online booksellers. Links to the books can be found at my website, www.mindagomez.com.
The Martinez family is modeled after my own cross-cultural family. My husband lived in Mexico until we got married, so Spanish language and culture are an integral part of our family’s dynamics. Over the years I have made it my goal to find quality bilingual and cross-cultural books. I have come across very few books about families that look similar to mine, so it has been a joy to represent them in exciting, wholesome stories.
In addition, I wanted to represent the code-switching and natural flow between Spanish and English that takes place in a bilingual family. Spanish words are incorporated into the dialogue in context in the English book, and a glossary is available for referencing meaning and pronunciation.
My husband and I worked together on the Spanish translation of the books. English words are also incorporated into the dialogue.
These books are tributes to the beauty of language, culture, food, and family. Spanish words are scattered throughout the story in context, offering an opportunity for readers to learn.
I want these stories to draw families together with intriguing stories that activate the imagination and inspire meaningful conversations. It is also a goal that my readers will grow in their appreciation for their own traditions and those of their neighbors.
When I wrote my first book in the summer of 2021, I did not know anything about the world of publishing, and basically had to figure it out as I went along. I did not have any idea what this would grow into, or all of the areas in which I would have to learn new skills.
One of the most challenging skills was learning to illustrate digitally on an iPad. I have always loved art but did not have experience with this medium. It has been very rewarding to develop in this area, and I find the illustration process to be incredibly engrossing. Hours can go by as I am working on one project, and it may feel like it’s only been a short time.
The marketing process has been challenging for me as well, as I do not have any formal training in this area. I have been thankful for the way people so generously share their knowledge online.
Currently I am working on my third chapter book, which is in the editing process. I am also working on a spin-off picture book based on one of the animal characters from my current work in progress. I work during the chances I can find between the responsibilities of parenting and my full-time teacher job. It is my goal to release these books by this summer, but that time is flexible. That is the beauty of self-publishing; my deadlines can adapt to my life.
The best writing advice I’ve ever been given is do it because you love it. I want to keep doing this because it is something I enjoy. If it starts to feel like a chore, I need to take a break. That’s the benefit of doing this for myself and not as my full-time job. Currently it brings me so much joy that I can’t imagine stopping.
You can connect with Minda here: