• Iliana O

About the author

Updated: Apr 10, 2019













In summer 2018 I’m sitting on my living room floor with B partaking in our monthly sesh. As I roll a joint I timidly confess I’m reading a pretty cool romance series. “Me too!” she says enthusiastically. I’m relieved!  B, a grad from a prestigious university, intellectual and forward thinker didn’t mock me. She proceeds to give details about the romance novel she’s reading. I share I’m into paranormal romance. “What’s that?” At this point we’re halfway done with the first joint and she’s now packing her piece. When she asks for book recommendations, I begin telling her which ones to read and why I like them. “So you’re a writer right? When are you writing your own?” And that’s when B got me thinking. Why not write my own?


I often shy away from admitting I find pleasure watching well-executed films, but still have a misogynist message, Too Shortand other interests labeled as anti-feminist. Yet, all these complexities inform the way I see the world. And so I’m reminded of a message I’ve received repeatedly this year,


“Own your story.”


In my writing,  I reconcile those interests, create a universe which embraces the cultural identity of what it’s like to be a homegrown “Angelena.” The complexity of diaspora space, identity politics and all the cultural artifacts which make us who we are, don’t have to work in harmony. They can create conflict, both internal and external and this creates a human experience.



On our second joint and as we pass her piece back and forth B asks, “So, the most important question, how soon will we read the first sex scene?” Because, yes, this is important.


I guess you’ll have to read to find out.


Love,


Iliana O





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