Monday, August 10, 2009

Damas, Dramas and Ana Ruiz: A Quinceanera Club Novel! Guest Post by debut author Belinda Acosta

I am so excited to have a guest post by Belinda Acosta, on the eve of her debut novel, Damas, Dramas, and Anna Ruiz: A Quinceanera Club Novel.

About the Author, courtesy of her publisher:

Belinda Acosta lives and writes in Austin, Texas where she is a columnist for the Austin Chronicle. Her non-fiction has appeared in Poets & Writers, Latino USA, the Radio Journal of News and Culture, AlterNet, the San Antonio Current, and Latino Magazine. She is a member of Macondo, the writers' collective launched by acclaimed writer Sandra Cisneros. She loves knitting, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, chips & salsa, mariachi (good, make your soul leap from your body, mariachi); conjunto music (todo old school), and given the opportunity, will square dance. Damas, Dramas, and Ana Ruiz is her first novel.

Without further ado, here's Belinda Acosta!

When I was contacted about writing a series on quinceañeras I had just reviewed Julia Alvarez’s nonfiction book, Once Upon a Quinceañera for The Austin Chronicle. So, the subject was in high on my radar. What intrigued me about the subject was similar to what intrigued Alvarez, I think: What does it mean to be a woman today? Is there something about the Latina experience that is unique? Why have a ritual to mark this “passage”? Where did the tradition stem from? And on and on and on. I find it amusing that I did not have a quinceañera, I had never been to one prior to writing this book, and I don’t have any children. I do know, from first hand experience, how complicated the relationship between mothers and daughters can be. Part of what makes Damas, Dramas, and Ana Ruiz stand out is that it focuses on that relationship—the good and the bad, hopefully, with heart and candor.

Macondo ( is a writing collective started by Sandra Cisneros—fifteen years ago, I think. It’s changed over time and has several facets, but its core purpose is to gather socially engaged writers for a week of workshops, seminars, readings, and other events. Sandra and writers like Andrei Codrescu, Dorothy Allison, and John Phillip Santos have led workshops in the past. Last year, I co-led an “MFA or No MFA” seminar. This year, I co-led a seminar on how to get freelance jobs in newspapers and magazines. The website has an official description, but for me, it’s a touchstone where I know I will meet other writers who share the same love of the written word, are passionate about their work, and know that there is really nothing else we can do but be the crazy scribblers that we are. Macondo is family, it’s summer camp, it’s a time to work, a time to play, a time to celebrate, a time to remind yourself of what matters to you as a writer, what you value, and most importantly—why you write. Macondo really is as Sandra says, “a homeland for writers.”

—Belinda Acosta, August 10, 2009

Visit Belinda Acosta's website at to learn more about the author and Damas, Dramas & Ana Ruiz: A Quinceanera Club Novel.

Dar at Peeking Between the Pages has a giveaway of Damas, Dramas and Ana Ruiz until August 30. Sign up here -

Drey's Library is holding a giveaway for Damas, Dramas and Ana Ruiz until 8/27 visit Please mention that I'd referred you.

This Book For Free is holding a giveaway for Damas, Dramas and Ana Ruiz until 9/10 visit Please mention that I'd referred you.


  1. Nice to see more Hispanic writers and more books on Latino culture. Nice post!

  2. Gaby, you honor me with your lovely review and the space you've devoted to DAMAS, DRAMAS, AND ANA RUIZ. Mil gracias!

  3. Uniquely Quince LOVES this book!

    Review really does justice.

    ~Ana Manrique (Ask Ana)

  4. Thanks so much for stopping by, Belinda! The book was wonderful. You rawk!