Dr. Jesú Estrada, Pen Name: María J. Estrada Chicago, IL
I grew up in the desert, between Yuma and Somerton, AZ, close to the Cocopah Reservation. Because I was ever-bored, I became an avid reader of Spanish comic books or novelas. Then, once I learned how to read in English, I devoured everything in both languages.
I have been writing stories in mis lenguas since I was six years old. My fiction and poetry focus on working class issues, primarily about laborers in the Southwest.
In real life, I am happily married, been so for over ten years and have a fabulous nine-year-old, son, and three-year-old, daughter, who keep me incredibly busy. My husband is heroically supportive and encourages me to follow my literary passions.
All of my degrees, including my Ph.D. from Washington State University are in English, which makes me a big fat English nerd. Currently, I live in Chicago and teach full-time at Harold Washington College to an amazing student population. Of course, one of my favorite classes to teach is Creative Writing, but I love all of my students and all my classes because I teach all the novels and story/poetry collections I want. Lucky me.
(Yeah, sometimes I let my students write non-serious fiction.)
My next book coming out is Not Your Abuelita's Folktales, a Magical Realism collection of short stories for Young Adults.