About Me

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Alidis Vicente

Alidis Vicente

Hello, everyone! I am a stay at home mother from New Jersey who loves to write and share my books with young people. I get lots of questions from students during my author’s visits and am not always able to answer them all. So, instead of writing things about myself I want you to know, I will answer the questions I am often asked by young readers!
How did you learn to speak English?
I learned to speak English at the age of four by watching Sesame Street.

When did you realize you liked to write?
When I was seven years old I entered a school district writing contest in my town. I was determined to win because the winner would receive a gift certificate and their entry would be posted in the local newspaper. When I won the contest and saw my work in the newspaper, I knew I wanted to have more people read my writing again someday.

Did you go to college?
Yes, I did, and you should too! I graduated from Rutgers University in New Brunswick, NJ.

Do you speak other languages besides English and Spanish?
Yes, I speak Italian and am trying to learn Portuguese.

What kind of work did you do before you became an author?
I worked with children and families for the State of New Jersey. My job was to keep children safe and make sure they were well taken care of. I loved it!

Do you have any children?
Yes, I have two little boys. The oldest gives me lots of ideas for my writing.

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Grandma’s house.

Is the story about cousins in your book about you and your cousin?
Sort of. I have a cousin in Puerto Rico that I was very close to growing up. I spent many summers in her house and she taught me a lot about the Spanish language, particularly reading and writing. By spending time with her I realized the differences we experienced culturally living in such diverse environments and also the similarities of our lifestyles. I draw many aspects of my writing from my time spent with her. To the right is a picture of my Great Grandmother’s house in Puerto Rico. My summers were spent down the road in a house very similar to hers.

Is the bay with the glowing water that you wrote about in your book real?
It most certainly is! It is called a bioluminescent bay. There are a handful throughout the world, three of which are in Puerto Rico. The one I wrote about in my book, The Coquí & the Iguana, is called La Parguera. I have had the pleasure of visiting La Parguera as well as nighttime kayaking through one of Puerto Rico’s other bioluminescent bays. If you are ever in Puerto Rico, it is certainly a tourist site you can and should visit!

How old do you have to be to become an author?
There is no age requirement to become an author. Lots of young people have written amazing books. You just have to brainstorm, write a ton, edit your work many times, and have lots of patience. One of the most challenging aspects of becoming an author is finding an agent to represent your work and/or a publisher to publish your work. Even once you find either of those, it can take years to publish a book! It took me, for example, years to find a literary agent. Now I have one, her name is Brianne Johnson from Writers House Literary Agency, and together we work to find homes for my manuscripts (my stories). It may take a while, but it is certainly worth the effort!

Where do you get the ideas for your books? What inspires you?
My kids certainly inspire me and the experiences I have had working with children give me lots of ideas. The best advice I was given for inspiration was from my 9th grade high school English teacher. I don’t remember her name, but I remember what she said. She told me to write about what I know. When you write about what you know, you write your best. So, I take my experiences and combine them with some imagination in order to create my stories.

How old are you? (This is my personal favorite)
Older than I think I look!

Is that picture (the one above) of you as a little girl?
Yes, it is. I may not have been the prettiest little thing, but I had character!