It’s hard to pick our favorite Brat Pack movie, but Pretty in Pink is *definitely* up there on the list. So when we heard Lilliam Rivera was giving it a HUGE revamp, we had to learn more. In The Education of Margot Sanchez, the classic poor-girl-falls-for-a-prep-school-guy tale gets a new setting, in the South Bronx, New York. You’ll fall in love with Margot Sanchez, a grocery store cashierista with a really bad shopping habit, whose journey to figure out what’s really important will captivate you. Today, we’re chatting with Lilliam to find out who inspires her, what she’s reading now, and more. Scroll on for more from this brilliant writer!
Brit + Co: Describe your book in six words or less.
Lilliam Rivera: Latina Princesa gets schooled this summer.
B+C: Where/when do you do your best writing?
LR: I do my best writing in the morning, sitting at my kitchen table in silence. Unfortunately, I usually don’t have the luxury of writing in the morning because of work and two young daughters, so I write whenever I can. A lot of my writing is done in the car waiting for my kids or at night. I’ve got to sneak it in when I can.
B+C: What’s your go-to cure for when you’re stuck in a creativity rut?
LR: My go-to cure is to search for creative work. I can always find inspiration in a museum. I live close to LA County Museum of Art. One of my favorite things is to sit in one of the many exhibit halls and just stare at a piece of art. No matter what, I always leave feeling inspired to write.
B+C: What two lady heroes do you turn to for inspiration, and why?
LR: Laila Lalami is an author I truly admire. Her novel, The Moor’s Account, was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. What I love about Laila, besides being such a fan of her writing, is how vocal she is when it comes to the injustices in this world. I aspire to be more like her. (Photo via Laila Lalami)
Another hero I turn to for inspiration is Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor. She is not only Puerto Rican, but she hails from the Bronx and is the third woman to be appointed to the Supreme Court. How can I not find inspiration in the work she’s accomplished? (Photo via Tim Sloan/Getty)
B+C: What’s your latest Instagram obsession?
LR: I’ve been living in Los Angeles for roughly 17 years, but I still consider New York to be my home. Recently, I’ve been following @everydaybronx. The images they post of the Bronx help me feel connected to my home.
B+C: Can you name a book that you think deserves a little more love and recognition?
LR: Sonia Patel’s Rani Patel in Full Effect deals with trauma and how hip hop can save a person. It’s raw and real. Patel is definite a voice we haven’t heard, and I can’t wait to read more from her.
B+C: What’s next on your to-read pile?
LR: I am halfway through China Mieville’s fantasy novel The Scar (It’s about 600 pages!). I’m also reading young adult debut author Ibi Zoboi’s American Street, which is such a beautiful and timely novel. I also vow to catch up on all the amazing young adult debuts coming out this year.
Got an author you’d like to see interviewed? Tweet us @BritandCo and let us know!
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(Featured photo via Julian Sambrano Jr.)