Episode #270: Grappling With the Uncomfortable Truth — Interview with NoNieqa Ramos

by Gabriela Pereira
published in Podcast

Hey there word nerds! Today, I have the pleasure of interviewing NoNieqa Ramos.

Now if you’re a die-hard word nerd and fan of the show, you probably remember NoNieqa from her previous interview with us (Episode 202). I had such a blast talking with her that when I heard she had a new book coming out, I knew I had to have her back on the show. I mean, how often do I get to geek out about the literary merits of the F-bomb with a fellow writer? NoNieqa and I are definitely birds of a feather.

NoNieqa is an educator and literary activist. She’s the author of the YA novel The Disturbed Girl’s Dictionary, which was named a 2018 New York Public Library Best Book for Teens, and a 2019 YALSA Best Fiction for Young Adults Selection. She believes Halloween is a lifestyle, not a holiday (which I totally agree with by the way).

Today, we’ll be discussing her latest book, The Truth Is…, as well as the important (but often difficult-to-talk-about themes) that come up in this story.

In this episode NoNieqa and I discuss:

  • The power of forgiveness and empathy
  • Writing inclusive narratives
  • The writer’s responsibility to write three-dimensional characters
  • Writing invisible as well as visible marginalizations
  • The power of a respectful question

Plus, her #1 tip for writers.

About NoNieqa Ramos

NoNieqa Ramos is an educator and literary activist. She wrote the young adult novel The Disturbed Girl’s Dictionary, A 2018 New York Public Library Best Book for Teens, and a 2019 YALSA Best Fiction for Young Adults Selection. She believes Halloween is a lifestyle, not a holiday. Connect with her works on www.nonieqaramos.com or on the Latinx collective www.lasmusasbooks.com.

The Truth Is

A powerful exploration of love, identity, and self-worth through the eyes of a fierce, questioning Puerto Rican teen.

Fifteen-year-old Verdad doesn’t think she has time for love. She’s still struggling to process the recent death of her best friend, Blanca; dealing with the high expectations of her hardworking Puerto Rican mother and the absence of her remarried father; and keeping everyone at a distance. But when she meets Danny, a new guy at school―who happens to be trans―all bets are off. Verdad suddenly has to deal with her mother’s disapproval of her relationship with Danny as well as her own prejudices and questions about her identity, and Danny himself, who is comfortable in his skin but keeping plenty of other secrets.

If you decide to check out the book, we hope you’ll do so via this Amazon affiliate link, where if you choose to purchase via the link DIY MFA gets a referral fee at no cost to you. As always, thank you for supporting DIY MFA!

Link to Episode #270

(Right-click to download.)

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Until next week, keep writing and keep being awesome!

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