Hi Everyone! Welcome back for the third installment in the YA author interview series. This week I'm chatting with R.L. Medina. If you're enjoying reading these as much as I am enjoying writing them, be sure to join my newsletter and get updates. Also, a free book in every newsletter. Join here.
Hi R.L.! Why don't you tell us a little bit about yourself to get the ball rolling!
R.L.: Hey! I write under the pen name of R. L. Medina and I’ve been writing stories since I was eight. I’m obsessed with all things Fantasy and Sci-fi and write stories in those genres. I’m also a mom to a very busy (somewhat) feral four-year-old and have just started homeschooling. Coffee and tea help me survive. When I’m not writing or keeping my son entertained, I’m busy cooking, cleaning, reading, Netflix binging, and taking photos for my bookstagram.
Evelina: It sounds like you have a full plate! How many caffeine-fueled books have you written so far? 😂☕
Evelina: And what are you working on now?
R.L.: I just released my first Paranormal Romance. Order is the first book of a suspenseful post-apocalyptic and epic paranormal romance series. In the story, the world has been cursed and left to the teen witches, vampires (who are technically immortal teens), werewolves, and humans. It centers on two kick ass girls, a witch queen, and a werewolf alpha, who are fighting to survive in a collapsed society that’s turned into chaos. Forbidden romance, overcoming prejudices, and fighting for equality are big themes in the story.
Evelina: Sounds good. I love a world brimming with magic and a book with a heart of gold. Since you mentioned teens, what made you choose the YA genre?
R.L.: I just love the discovery that comes with that age. Also the drama. I love all the teen angst and drama.
Evelina: That's such a good answer. I like the discovery element too. Everything is new and often overwhelming...hence the drama, I guess! What are you reading right now?
R.L.: The Dark Wood by Sydney Maan
Evelina: If you could drop into any fantasy world (television, movies, books, games) for a visit, where would you go? And why?
R.L.: Oooh. That’s a hard one. I love so many. I think I’d have to choose Hogwarts though. I feel like there’s so much more to explore there that we didn’t see in the books.
Evelina: Follow-up question.... Doctor Who, Star Trek, or Star Wars?
R.L.: I love them all, but Doctor Who has my heart.
Evelina: Yass!! I love Doctor Who. I've watched since the beginning of the reboot and have seen a few of the original series episodes too. If I had to pick a favorite, it would be Matt Smith.
Pulitzer Prize winning author John Cheever wrote mostly in his underwear. What are your writing rituals? Do you like to listen to music, sit at the kitchen table, summon the powers of darkness, etc?
R.L.: I usually write on my bed since it’s the only space for no distractions I have with a house full of people. I get my water and coffee or tea, my glasses, notebooks and laptop, and I play my “coffee and chill” playlist on Spotify. And I keep all my clothes on.
Evelina: Out of all your characters, which is your favorite?
R.L.: I love so many of them. I think my current favorite is McKenzie. She’s flawed and super relatable to me.
Evelina: Okay! Before I hit you guys with all the linkage, I wanna drop an excerpt from R.L. Medina' s work.
Hor-ri-fic. I glared at the high collared, boxy dress Tía Teresa laid out for me. Apparently she didn’t find my goth style appropriate for a funeral. Ironic. Grabbing the dress, I shoved it in the back of my closet. At least she got the color right.
The color of my hair inherited by a mother I’d never known. My wardrobe was made up of various shades of it—jet, obsidian, onyx, etc. One red dress stood out among the others like a rose smothered in shadow. I swore I’d never wear it.
Tonight, I would. For Papi.
He couldn’t see it now, but I would wear it all the same. Pulling it off the hanger, I forced down the wave of sorrow threatening to rise. Tears wouldn’t bring my father back. Life pushed on, dragging me along with it.
I held the dress up to myself. It was soft, flowy, and dark like the color of the wine, we so proudly produced, and the flower Mama and I were named after.
A knock on my door startled me. “Rosita, que tú haces?” came my tía’s voice.
I rolled my eyes. Contemplating burning your fugly abuelita dress, I wanted to tell her.
“Getting ready,” I replied instead.
Her heavy sigh made me bristle. Three days since she’d arrived, and she still didn’t get it. Pushing me only made me more stubborn and orders, yeah—I didn’t follow them.
Como hablarle a la pared—like talking to a wall, Papi used to say.
“You need help?” she asked in her accented English.
Maybe she would stop trying to get me to speak Spanish. It felt wrong to speak it without Papi. The fact that I’d never hear the deep timbre of his voice again made my chest ache.
Steeling myself, I shed my giant tee and pulled the dress over my head. I stood before my floor length mirror and smoothed out the red fabric. Its low cut, high waist, and softness were at odds with my cropped cut hair and athletic frame. I didn’t really know what kind of woman my mom had been, but from the pictures I’d seen, I didn’t inherit her stern face nor her love for ridiculous gowns.
“Rosita?” Tía Teresa’s voice broke my thoughts.
I stiffened. “Rose.”
A clucking sound came from outside the door—her disapproval of my untraditional nickname. I didn’t care. Only Papi could call me his little rose, and now he was dead.
I never wanted to hear Rosita again.
Too lazy to make the trip into the bathroom, I dipped my fingers into an old cup of water and combed them through my hair. Dipping them again, I wiped the smudged black eyeliner off from under my eyes and grabbed my liquid pen from my shelf to reapply more. Black lipstick next and some black velvety flats for my feet, then I was ready.
I thrust the door open and cut her off.
Learn More About R.L Medina:
All of their books are free on Kindle Unlimited!
Purchase Link: https://amzn.to/3f7vz7b
Until Next Time!