New Mexico author aims to ‘share a feeling of home’ in new children’s book

Community Reports

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – A local author recently published her bilingual children’s book, something she was able to do through the generosity of her community. Now, parents can purchase her book online or at a local book store.

Maria Gomez has wanted to author a children’s book since she was in high school. The opportunity finally came to her when she took a workshop with her future publisher, Plot Duckies. She wrote the short story Gramita’s Tortillas as an autobiography for children, sharing her favorite memories that remind her of home and represent her culture.

Gomez drew inspiration from various childhood memories of her family, and most of all her Gramita Rosa. “I grew up living with my mom, sister and grandmother who was like a second parent to me. She would always make her tortillas when the family came to see her. She was really like the center of the family,” Gomez said.

Gomez showing her family Gramita’s Tortillas for the first time after it was published.

She published her story as an e-book online in 2019, but a year later, realized she wanted to have a physical copy to hold in her hands. She reached out to Plot Duckies for help hiring an illustrator, and they hosted an IndieGoGo campaign to raise enough money to make it happen.

With this major fundraiser, Gomez was worried about asking for money from the community and was afraid the project wouldn’t be completed. The response she got immediately erased her fears. “It ended up being so successful and everyone was really supportive. It was really validating to receive such a positive response and hit our goal within a month,” Gomez said.

Even though the Imposter Syndrome she said she felt, she also saw the importance of sharing her story with the world. “It is technically a children’s book, but I think it’s a fun story for all ages. I hope people see the take-aways from this book are the importance of family and that feeling of comfort and reminds them of home. Especially now, I think people need to feel that warmth,” Gomez said.

In December of 2020, she was finally able to publish her books and get them in the hands of local readers. Gomez was even invited by the National Hispanic Cultural Center to participate in their annual Children’s Bilingual Book Festival, which will be held virtually in April. She’ll read her book and make tortillas live over Zoom. Gramita’s Tortillas can be found in local bookstores like Organic Books in Albuquerque or online at Amazon.com.

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