This week, AWM Program Director Allison Sansone sits down with Isabel Ibañez to chat about her Bolivian heritage, writing process, and her debut Young Adult Fantasy novel Woven in Moonlight.
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“Home sort of felt like two places and I had to balance both of them. Those two identities, Isabel in Bolivia and then Isabel in the States, didn’t really converge until much later. Until I accepted both halves and accepted I am the daughter of immigrants and I am American but I am also Bolivian.”
“Every story matters and there’s room for all of them.”
“I’ve had family members who have gone onto the streets in Bolivia protesting and wanting a better future. And so, being here and not being able to be there, I wanted to write my own kind of protest, my own kind of rebellion.”
“I got reacquainted with the process and joy of writing a story, the love-hate relationship.”
“I think everybody wants to see themselves as a hero. And at least for me, I felt like if I’m writing this story someone else might read it with a similar upbringing—or a culture they can connect to because it’s adjacent—and think, ‘I feel so seen.’ There is something really neat about being able to read a story and connect and be able to say, ‘Wow, me too.’”