First, I sold a book. Here's the announcement I made at the time:
I've sold a book!!!! SALSA FOR FIDEL, a YA novel set in Cuba, will be published by Katherine Tegen Books (HarperCollins) in 2016. For those people in my life who don't know, this is my first US novel and something I've been hoping to achieve for many, many years. The book is the story of two kids who go to Cuba for dance and romance but discover that reality isn't quite the Havana Nights fantasy they had in mind.
Thanks to everyone who has helped me with this one -- my agent Ammi-Joan Paquette, my new editor Ben Rosenthal, and my many test readers in Cuba, the States, Latvia and elsewhere! Extra thanks to all my friends, hosts, acquaintances and chance connections from Pinar del Rio to Havana, to Cienfuegos and Trinidad and Camagüey, and Santiago de Cuba over the past few years -- this book wouldn't exist without you. I've done my best to be true to your beautiful land and I hope you will enjoy the result.
Thanks also to the International Writing Program at the University of Iowa -- I wrote half of this book while enjoying their fine hospitality.
And finally, of course, thanks to all the dancers in my life. . . to casineros everywhere!