Inspiring Latina of the Week: Young Adult Author Amy Tintera

At only 30-years-old, Texas native Amy Tintera has accomplished quite a lot. Her debut young adult novel REBOOT is being published by HarperCollins, and the movie rights for the book have already been bought by Fox.

Amy also graduate from Texas A&M University with a degree in journalism, and received a masters in film from Emerson College. After moving to Los Angeles, Amy realized the film industry was not for her, and she returned to her true passion -- writing. REBOOT is set to hit stores May 7, 2013 and you can pre-order it on Amazon.com now!

What inspired you to become a Young Adult Author?

I’ve always wanted to be a writer, but I noticed a few years ago that many YA authors were writing strong, complex teenage girl characters, and I wanted to be a part of that.

I also love how YA encompasses such a wide variety of books. You can go to an event and see Stephanie Perkins and Laini Taylor on the same panel, even though they write totally different types of books, because they’re both considered young adult novels. That kind of variety and community is one of the best parts of YA!

Your debut novel REBOOT sounds fascinating! Can you explain to Latina readers the premise of the book?

REBOOTis about Wren, a seventeen-year-old girl who rises from the dead as a Reboot. Reboots are elite crime-fighting soldiers, and Wren is the best in the state of Texas. But everything changes when she’s given an order she refuses to obey. And there’s a hot boy, of course!

How did you come up with such an original plot?

The plot of REBOOT came to me when Wren started talking in my head, telling me she was dead for 178 minutes. I wrote the first two paragraphs of the book right away, and many details of the plot came to me quickly.

I also knew I wanted to write a book from the point of view of someone who wasn’t considered a “good guy or girl,” so REBOOT took shape around that idea. I thought it would interesting to create characters that humans thought were evil, and to let the reader inside the heads of the “bad” characters.

After Reboot got picked up with HarperCollins, the films rights were sold to Fox. What was that process like for you?

The process was fast and surreal. I’d heard there might be a possibility of interest from movie studios, but I didn’t think anything would actually happen. Then the day after HarperCollins bought REBOOT, my agent called and said Fox wanted to option the film rights.

Fox has been supportive and excited since day one, and they have a screenwriter working on the script now, so I have my fingers crossed that everything will work out!

Do you have any authors that you look up to?

I have so many! I admire how accessible Beth Revis is to her fans (not to mention her crazy plot twists!). I admire Rae Carson’s excellent world building in The Girl of Fire and Thorns trilogy, and the irresistible character of Hector. I love everything about the Legend trilogy by Marie Lu. I’m a big fan of Kiersten White’s books, as well as her online presence. She’s great at sharing details of her life with her fans, and she’s often hilarious.

What advice do you have for other Latinas who want to become writers?

My first piece of advice is always the same: Read. Read as many books as you can; reading will make you a better writer.

My second piece of advice is to not be afraid to use your background and experiences in your writing. Don’t be afraid to pour a little of yourself into your books. I used the setting of Texas in REBOOT because I grew up there, and it really helped the book take shape. Imagining the culture of a future Texas was easy because I was already so familiar with it.

What gives you the most pride about being Latina?

I’m proud to have a family who came to this country with nothing and totally blossomed. My great-grandmother immigrated from Mexico with ten kids and they built a life and thrived in Texas. There’s even a street in a town in Texas named after my family – Canales Circle – because so many of them live there!

I’m also proud to have grown up in Texas. Some of my family members refer to themselves as Tex-Mex, and one of the reasons I chose to set Reboot in Texas is because of the prevalence of the Mexican culture there. I knew that wouldn’t change, even after an apocalypse! 

Do you have an inspiring Latina story to share? Email inspiringlatinas@latina.com!

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