CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Coastal Bend children's author Diana Lopez said she wants to present characters who look, sound, and share the same traditions as people in her community.
In her most recent book, Sing With Me: The Story of Selena Quintanilla, Lopez said she wants to bring Selena's story to the younger generation.
“I’m hoping through this book, when they see how early how much work she put in to accomplish it, that they will not only give them a deeper appreciation for her, but also encourage them to follow whatever it is they hope to dream and do one day," Lopez said.
As KRIS Communications celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month, Lopez talks about how important it is to her to represent the Latino culture she was exposed to being born and raised in Corpus Christi.
So far, she has written eight books for kids. She said many of her books are for students in fifth through eighth grade.
Lopez said a common theme in a lot of her stories is family.
“You know, how you work with family, and sometimes how family may work against you," she said. "And, you know, how we hopefully come back together at some point. But also, their Mexican heritage also plays a role in my stories because that’s just what I grew up with.”
With this month being National Hispanic Heritage Month, Lopez said it's time for celebration.
“Let’s educate who we are about our past, our history, who were some of those influential people in our culture from the past and today," she said. "But let’s remember people that you know are in our own family. Let’s talk to our parents and our grandparents about those who came before and what was their story."
Lopez said it was her grandmothers she looked up to and admired growing up.
“One of my grandmothers was very stoic, you know, and strong, and she was a very spiritual kind of reserved woman," she said. "And the other one was a lot more open and affectionate, and so, like, between those two women I found two types of strengths to draw on."
She said she loves reading to kids at schools, and hopes they find a way to express themselves through art.
“With Selena, and Miguel from Coco, they are both singers," she said. "Or my characters like art or journaling. Keeping some kind of creative outlet present in your life is another theme that you will see in a lot of my stories."
You can purchase Diana Lopez's books on her website.