Fun (and spooky) Facts


Did you really grow up in a house built around a tree?

Yes, I did. Here’s a photo of the tree from my living room (which looked out over the tree):

Under the tree we had a huge kitchen table that was made out of an old carriage wheel. The tree was home to a miniature toucan and a pygmy owl. From the branches hung beautiful wicker cages full of canaries. There was an indoor garden surrounding the tree, and in this garden lived an iguana, a harmless snake, and a pair of wandering turtles that would vanish for months on end and then reappear when we had all but forgotten about them. This is the tree that I put in Lola’s house!

What other cool things did you have in your house?

  • I had an indoor carpeted-slide that went from one floor of our house to another.
  • My house was built on a ravine, so it felt like we were suspended in mid-air.
  • While I never saw them, I’m sure our house was inhabited by chaneques (mischievous nature sprites). How else could you explain that books would vanish from night stands and mysteriously appear in the most unexpected places (like behind a toilet!) or how my sister’s entire bookbag disappeared from sight the first day of school (and was never again seen!)

That sounds a bit spooky. Were there other fantastical things have happened in your life?

  • My sister once found a beautiful, smooth pink rock when we were on an outing. We brought the rock home and buried it in our backyard. A few weeks later we went to check on the rock and the most amazing thing happened! When we dug up the stone, it was gone, and in its place where three small diamonds!
  • My dad has premonitory dreams. That means that he has dreams that happen as he dreamt them but many days, weeks, or even months later. I actually gave this trait to one of my characters in Lotería.
  • One of my aunts had a dream about my Abuelita after my Abuelita passed away. In the dream, my Abuelita told my aunt about a secret compartment in a dresser in my Abuelita’s house. She instructed my aunt to open that compartment and take out the box that was inside and give it to me. The box held a beautiful pair of lapis lazuli earrings!
  • My family and I once stayed in a haunted chateau when we were traveling through Belgium. Now that was spooky!

Your cats are adorable. Where did you get them?

My cats are adorable. This is what they looked like when they were little.



They are siblings and they came from Russia. We actually got them when we were living in Germany.

You lived in Germany! That sounds cool. Where were you?

We lived in Frankfurt, Germany for six years. It was a great experience, and we loved every minute of it. We traveled a lot during that time, trying to visit as many countries as we could.

Have you lived anywhere else?

I was born in Mexico City and lived there for most of my childhood. After I graduated from high school, my family and I moved to Aix-en-Provence in the south of France where we lived for a year in a tiny house at the foothills of the St. Victoire. I then moved to the U.S. where I studied at the University of Notre Dame.

After graduating from college, I took a job in Tsu City, Japan as an English teacher. I lived in a house surrounded by rice fields full of frogs that would sing to the moon all night long. One of the most amazing things I have ever done was in Japan when I hiked up Mt. Fuji…at night! We arrived just in time to see the sun rise. At that moment, we not only felt like we were at the top of the world, we were at the top of the world.

After Japan, I moved to Chicago then to Boston then to New York where I went to law school and had my first child. I returned to Chicago and had two more babies and then we all moved to Germany. I am now back in the Chicagoland area (at least for now).

You sound like you might be a fun author to meet. Do you do school visits or events?

Yes! I love doing school visits and would love to meet you. Please reach out to Sarah DeVore ( and she will give you all the details.