My Books is Out, and My Dream Came True

Seven years ago, I set to work writing the first chapter of Secrets of the Casa Rosada. At the time, I was 21 years old, in the MA English program at the University of Central Oklahoma (I would later move to the MFA program), and the book was tentatively titled, Becoming Mexican.

I continued to write and work on Secrets of the Casa Rosada for the next seven years, and as my book changed so did I.

When the titled changed to Secrets of the Pepto-Bismol Casa, I had just entered the MFA program and moved into my first apartment alone. When I completed the first draft of the novel, I was completing my first year in graduate school.

When my thesis professors told me to get rid of flashback chapters in the book, I was on the verge of graduating and so scared about letting go of the past and living in the present. I was then, 24 years old.

When I first submitted the book to a literary agent, I was living in Los Angeles. My first denied letter, plus many more, arrived as I decided to quit my job in Los Angeles and move to Texas.

I did an edit overhaul of Secrets of the Casa Rosada around the time I became a full-time freelancer, and then started submitting it to literary agents again my second year of living in Dallas. I was 26.

I was about to give up on Secrets of the Casa Rosada at the end of 2016 when I couldn’t find an agent, but through some great advice from a mentor (Rilla Askew — check out her amazing books here), I skipped the agent and went straight to the publisher.

When my publisher Arte Publico Press offered me a contract in 2017, I was doing what I do so often now in my job — traveling in New Orleans. How perfect that these two aspects of my life — fiction writing and travel writing — came together to create one of the most perfect memories of my life.

As my publisher worked on Secrets of the Casa Rosada (and approved the name change to what it is now — copyright issues!) in 2018 to prepare it for publication, I went through one of my hardest spells in my travel writing career, but a month before the book was set to come out, everything finally came together and I found myself with job security again — and isn’t that funny and sort of perfect.

Today, on the day of the official release date, I type this knowing that my dreams have come true.

I am 28 years old and the author of Secrets of the Casa Rosada.

I am an author, and my book is in stores.

I’m an author.

That feels so good to type.


If you haven’t bought your copy of Secrets of the Casa Rosada, get yours today! For those who have, I hope to see you at my TWO book launch events in Wichita Falls and Dallas. Find out more on my Events page!

Alexandra Temblador