Welcome to “Author Spotlight” series! I want to introduce you to authors in the Spanish language space I think you NEED to know. I’m setting this up Q&A-style so that you can learn more about each author’s purpose, the books that they’re most proud of, and the resources they have to support you in your classroom. I hope you enjoy these wonderful people. I know you’re going to love the stories they have to share!
A.C. Quintero Books
CAN YOU TELL US A LITTLE ABOUT YOURSELF?
I am currently a Spanish Teacher in Chicago, IL. I have 16 years of cumulative experience as an International Baccalaureate middle school teacher, high school teacher, and adjunct instructor. I hold a Master’s in Latin American Literature and Cultures coupled with a Master’s in Educational Leadership. These dual degrees have afforded me a vantage point from both ends of the educational spectrum: instruction and evaluation. I have been sharing my unique perspective on pedagogy and language acquisition for over ten years at national, regional and state conferences. I am also an accomplished author! I have authored several compelling comprehensible novels that allow students to solidify their language skills while experiencing a wide range of different cultures. Check out my resources below. Thanks for stopping by!
WHY DID YOU START WRITING?
I started writing approximately 5 years ago. In fact, the first book I wrote was Cómo salir de la zona de Amigos, but not the first one published. At the time, there was a sheer lack of representative characters and narratives. I live and work in Chicago, and I remember reading some CI books and not really feeling a real connection, even though they were very comprehensible. My opportunity to write actually came when I had a really interesting class. What I was doing wasn’t working, so I decided to create “La clase de confesiones” to highlight the vocabulary and structures I wanted them to acquire. When I saw their reaction to the story it made me feel proud. I worked to learn how I could publish the book so other students would have a great experience reading.
WHAT IS YOUR PURPOSE AND MISSION IN WRITING YOUR BOOKS?
My mission is three-fold. I believe, consistent with the research, that we acquire language best when we engage in high-interest experiences and/or read compelling books that resonate with us. I actually honed my Spanish by reading books and this was way before I wanted to be a Spanish teacher! I listened to music and las telenovelas, por supuesto! I wanted students to feel an instant connection with my books and characters, and that is one reason why I write about topics that are universally relatable such as the dangers of technology in El escape, or bickering and backstabbing teens uniting to fight aliens in Las sombras.
My second goal was always to have characters who looked like me and my students. I am an American of African descent, and I teach a very diverse group. I want them to see people that at least look like them- but also not with all the necessary and stereotypical “baggage.”
Thirdly, I learned a bunch from my previous teachers, who actually make an appearance in La clase de confesiones and its sequel La bella mentira. They always taught me life lessons. I want to provide some sort of value to students. I want them to read, acquire, be entertained, and walk about thinking about what they would have done in a similar situation or circumstance.
WHICH BOOK(S) ARE YOU MOST PROUD OF? WHY?
I am most proud of the series La clase de confesiones as I get so many messages and emails about how students really enjoyed the book. It makes me laugh when I read it because one of my inspirations was a nosy teacher I who had no pelitos en la lengua. I am super proud of El escape. Everytime I read it, I literally can’t believe what I wrote. The times I have interviewed with teachers and their classes, they always ask if it will be a movie. The last book I am proud of is Las sombras. That was a very hard book to write. It took me 3 years, and I always credit Cynthia Hitz with its success. She was my beta reader and tore it to pieces. I rebuilt it, and I am eternally grateful for her brutal honesty.
DO YOU HAVE ANY UPCOMING PROJECTS WE SHOULD KEEP OUR EYES OUT FOR?
So I have a new book on the horizon. It’s titled El portal and will be published by Wayside. All I can tell you is that it explores the world of censorship and journalism, dabbles in historical fiction, and time travel! It takes place in Venezuela. I am so honored to have worked with Fluency Matter (Wayside) for the past 3 years on this venture as well as a journalist friend who is originally from Venezuela. Margarita Garcia Perez, also an author, and from Venezuela gave me some great pointers as well. I love the story, and can’t wait for students to read it!
My ghost story “La revelación” will hit the shelves next year. And I managed to publish another novella, La obsesión digital! It was wildly popular on TpT (still there as well), so I went ahead and published it.
I’d also like to mention that Kia London and I, have collaborated on the publication “Las voces diversas de la diáspora” to help teachers diversify their curriculum in a comprehensible fashion. Teachers interested in learning more about the lives and contributions of Black/Afrolatinx people can check out our articles. You can see them here!
HOW CAN WE BEST SUPPORT YOU?
I have a wide variety of stories that will help students to sharpen reading skills while learning powerful lessons. My books can be purchased at the websites below.
WHERE CAN WE CONNECT WITH YOU?
- El mensaje
- La pasajera misteriosa
- La clase de confesiones
- La bella mentira
- Feliz Cumpleaños
- El mensaje
- Como salir de la zona de amigos
- El último viaje
- El escape
- Las sombras
- El armario
- Las apariencias engañan