Texas Writers Month Author Interview Series: Barbara Renaud Gonzalez

author interview
Celebrating Texas Writers Month with us today is Barbara Renaud Gonzalez (San Antonio).

Comment below and subscribe via Feedburner by June 7 to win a signed copy of Golondrina, why did you leave me?
Giveaway for U.S. residents only.

Barbara Renaud Gonzalez is an award-winning writer, journalist, and activist. She grew up the eldest of eight with a Tejano father and a Mexicana mother. The stories Barbara heard around her home were of World War II, the Mexican Revolution, Johnny Cash, Pedro Infante, dancing in Veracruz, the King Ranch, baseball, and oranges used as baseballs.

author interview

There was one story Barbara’s mother wouldn’t tell her and that was how she crossed the border.

Enter Barbara’s novel, Golondrina. A golondrina is a swallow, a metaphor for the migrant’s departure and hoped-for return. The migrant becomes like the swallow, a dream-seeker whose real home is nowhere, everywhere, and especially in the heart of the person left behind.

The swallow in Golondrina is Amada García, a young Mexican woman in a brutal marriage, who makes a heart-wrenching decision to leave her young daughter behind as she escapes to el Norte searching for love, which she believes must reside in the country of freedom. She falls in love with the man who brings her to the Texas border, and the memories of those three passionate days forever sustain and define her journey in Texas.

[Interestingly enough, Barbara was in the middle of a move herself when I caught up with her this month.]

Q. Are you a native Texan or did you get here as soon as you could?

A. My paternal great-grandmother in her photos looks like a Black-Indian, and my paternal (Indian-faced) grandmother never knew her family from South Texas.

Daddy says we’ve always been here…how many years? 15,000 — 30,000?

If you look at my photo you’ll see why I don’t have to paste a sign on my car that says “Native Texan.”

Q. How did you end up writing fiction?

A. In fiction, you can tell a more profound truth. I have no choice in the matter.

Q. What book marketing activities made you a bestselling author?

A. Bestselling, me? Maybe I need to market better. Now that’s a lesson for any writer.

Q. Tell us about your upcoming release. Is it set in Texas?

A. Just finished the first children’s book on the life of voting rights pioneer Willie Velasquez, “The boy made of lightning.” He’s from the barrios of San Antonio.

Q. Where can we pay you a virtual visit?

A. www.barbararenaud.com

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  1. Barbara seems to be a very humble author. I would like to know more about her and read some of her books. Thanks for the interview.

  2. Fascinating. The novel is intriguing and I’d love to meet and have a long visit with Barbara. I’m eager to read both of her books. Thanks.

  3. Since I’m in the middle of reading, finally, Jean Auel’s books about Earth Children, I immediately noticed a similar theme, a comparison to Ayla. How wonderful that Ms. Gonzalez can write a story about a young woman who struggles to find love and identity and a home, maybe her ancestors. I visited San Antonio a few years ago and located Sandra Cisneros home and even photographed it. I didn’t have the nerve to approach it in any other way. It didn’t seem welcoming, especially to someone like me, a total stranger who knows her only through her stories.

  4. Sounds like a good book. I’d like to read it.

  5. A very interesting interview! Since I am published by wonderful Texas publisher L&L Dreamspell, I want to support as many Texas writers as possible.

    Jacqueline Seewald
    STACY’S SONG, L&L Dreamspell, available in all e-book platforms and trade paperback

  6. This sounds like a very intriguing book. THanks for the giveaway.

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