Welcome to our #WinterRead2021: Books Like Us Author Spotlight Series! We’re thrilled to be featuring 8 incredibly talented authors from our 2021 sponsor Simon & Schuster as a part of our 4th Annual Winter Reading Challenge.
This week, we’ve interviewed Cozbi A. Cabrera, a multi-talented author, illustrator, & artist. In addition to writing and illustrating, she creates stunning, handmade cloth dolls (Muñecas). Check out our interview with her below, and learn more about her work on Simon & Schuster's site, Instagram @cozbi, and Twitter @cozbihandmade.
What are you currently reading?
Bananas by Peter Chapman, Stamped by Ibram X. Kendi and Jason Reynolds, If Then by Jill Lepore, Mask by Kate Hannigan, and Everything Inside by Edwidge Danticat.
Where is your favorite place to read?
All over my home as long as I have good lighting, or on my picnic blanket or park bench outdoors.
What is your favorite thing you've written? Book or otherwise!
This morning's five pages!
What's your favorite book by someone other than yourself?
Brown Angels by Walter Dean Myers. We have read it to my daughter every night since she was a baby. She and I now have it memorized.
What is your favorite word and why?
"The" and "a". Haven't found a substitute for these two articles.
When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer? And/or how did you become a writer?
I tried to write my first novel the summer I was nine. I took out the typewriter from the bottom of the linen closet, found and inserted some paper, typed out the title and drew a blank. There wasn't any campfire experience, any tall prairie grass I'd seen with my own eyes, sailboats on crested waters or anything else I'd read about.
In my mind all the things that were already written were the things most worthy to write about. Little did I know that my experiences, however different, counted for something. So I attempted the novel the following summer and every summer of my childhood to no effect. But, big novel aside, I kept writing and expressing myself.
If you could give one piece of advice to an aspiring writer, what would it be?
Keep writing. Stay in practice. Put in the time while living a life.
What is your favorite thing about winter?
Warm apple cider with cinnamon. And the holidays!
What does "Books Like Us" mean to you?
To me "Books Like Us" means that every child is worthy of love, to be cherished and considered. Every child is worthy to see themselves imprinted and lit upon the pages. It's the very antidote to despair and fodder for hope.
Any additional information or fun facts?
In addition to writing books, I illustrate, design clothing, make handmade dolls and quilt. My daughter inspired me to write Me and Mama. She's now eleven.
Stay tuned for future Simon & Schuster author spotlights as we gear up for #WinterRead2021, and encourage your community to keep reading!