L.A. Libros Fest: Interview With Daniel Acosta

Deborah Spector, Librarian, Business & Economics Department,
Author Daniel Acosta and his debut novel, Iron River
Daniel Acosta will be one of the featured performers at the Los Angeles Libros Festival, a free bilingual book festival for the whole family

Daniel Acosta’s fiction has appeared in Nuestro and Lowrider magazines, in Homenaje a la Ciudad de Los Angeles, an anthology of Latino writing celebrating the bicentennial of the city of Los Angeles, and in the Fall, 2014 and Fall, 2016 Issues of Label Me Latina/o. His, The Daughters of Bautista Molina, A Barrio Adaptation of Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew, had a staged reading at the Los Angeles Inner City Cultural Center. He read his short story “Homeboy” at the Festival Floricanto sponsored by the University of Southern California. He recently completed another play, The Doctor of Women’s Hearts. Daniel earned his BA and MA from California State University, Los Angeles. He is a former member of the L.A. Latino Writers’ Workshop. Daniel resides with his wife, Linda, in Rosemead, California. Iron River is his debut novel.

Daniel will be one of the featured authors at the Los Angeles Libros Festival, a free bilingual book festival for the whole family. L.A. Libros Fest will be streamed live on YouTube on Friday, September 23, from 9 a.m. to 12 noon. The Festival will be in-person at Central Library in Downtown Los Angeles on Saturday, September 24, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., with select Saturday programs streamed live on YouTube.

Our tagline this year is Read, Dream and Celebrate en dos idiomas. How do you think your books and stories help us accomplish this?

My novel, Iron River, is a chance for today's senior readers to recall their own youthful adventures and young readers to imagine a world of yesterday very different from today's and celebrate their own journey.

What are some of the things you do to bring to life the world you’ve imagined?

I like Joss Whedon's take on character development: "You take people, you put them on a journey, you give them peril, you find out who they really are." I try to flesh out that journey with telling detail.

What stories inspired you as a young reader?

My first inspiration to imagine as a young reader was the historical novel Noah Carr, Yankee Firebrand, when I was nine.

If your book was turned into a movie/series, who would you cast?

The cast would have to be Mexican-American, except for the Blacks, Asians, and Anglos in the novel.

“Libraries are the museums of the mind. They should be valued repositories of thought and creativity free from censorship…”

What advice would you give to young writers?

Read everything you can get your hands on, but if the writing rings false, drop it like a hot potato. It's not worthy of you.

How did you feel the first time your work was published? How was your publishing journey?

My first publication, ironically, was pirated from me; I only found out about its publication from a friend. Still waiting for the check! My first legit publication felt natural. The story was good and the writing of it was good, so why doubt its publishability. I am not a prolific published writer, but most of what little I have written has been published. I'd like to think quality over quantity.

What are some challenges you encounter when writing?

I think at least one big challenge is the truth of voice. My characters need to speak and act true to their natures. Another challenge is being published while staying true to my moral convictions.

What was your experience like getting your book translated into Spanish or English?

As far as I know, Iron River is still available only in English with some Spanish/Spanglish mixed in.

How do you think libraries make our world a better place?

Libraries are the museums of the mind. They should be valued repositories of thought and creativity free from censorship for adult readers and curated to ensure the healthy psychological and spiritual development of youth.

What are you working on now?

I'm working on another historical novel, but far in time and place from my debut novel, Iron River.

Books by Daniel Acosta

Book cover for Iron River
Iron River
Acosta, Daniel

Daniel Acosta at L.A. Libros Fest

Sep 24, 2:30pm
New Voices in Teen Lit