medina is a nonbinary queer Latinx writer (they/them/their). They are a third-year MFA Creative writing student concentrating in both Writing for Children and Young Adults and Nonfiction. They are the 2019 winner of SCBWI’s Emerging Voices Award. They are also an Impact Entrepreneur Fellow through TNS. Through their fellowship their venture is to create a platform for LGBTQIA+ youth of color (inqluded.org)
1. Who is your favorite villain, and who is your favorite protagonist in literature?
I struggle with this question because I feel like I had to borrow characteristics from multiple protagonists to see myself in books. To me, the ultimate protagonist is someone who resonates with me on a personal level
The boy in The Giving Tree is a narcissistic little mess, isn’t he? The Giving Tree has always been one of my favorite books. As I grow up, my reasons for loving the book evolves.
I think we can learn from both.
2. When did you know you were a writer?
English is not my first language so when I started to learn English I found words to be extremely fascinating. I started off as an avid reader and then discovered I could do the writing thing people do in books, too!
I was also very obsessed with writing TV scripts and making homemade movies. I starred, wrote, and directed it. I convinced my friend that being an audience member was just as important. She stopped coming over.
Joking, kind of.
I also remember in second grade we had to write a short story. Most everyone had written a page, meanwhile, I had written 22 pages. I mean, towards the end I think my words were size 20 in font because I was competing with someone else in my class to write the most. But I didn't want to stop. I was living!
I don’t know if there was a moment where I knew I was a writer.
I am always in the process of writing.
Writing is part of my life.
I am writing.
“Go into yourself. Find out the reason that commands you to write; see whether it has spread its roots into the very depths of your heart; confess to yourself whether you would have to die if you were forbidden to write.
This most of all: ask yourself in the most silent hour of your night: must I write? Dig into yourself for a deep answer. And if this answer rings out in assent, if you meet this solemn question with a strong, simple “I must,” then build your life in accordance with this necessity; your whole life, even into its humblest and most indifferent hour, must become a sign and witness to this impulse.” - Rainer Maria Rilke
3. What are you currently working on?
My queer contemporary middle-grade novel is currently undergoing surgery. I am also working on a PB, a MG in verse and a YA novel. I am also the Editor-in-chief of LGBTQIA+ lit mag for youth of color!
4. How has your writing process changed over the years?
I think that over the years, as I start to write with more direction (the goal to be published), I’ve become more intentional with setting aside time to write. I typically write every day for one hour (at least) and set goals and deadlines for myself. When I’m sitting at my desk writing, I have different playlists I use to evoke a certain mood or to mirror a current emotion and write from the core of that. Sometimes I listen to the same song on repeat for hours. Does anyone else do that?
There are also moments when I wake up at 2 am because I have just dreamed of the perfect scene, so I open up my notes on my phone and sleepily type it in. By 2 pm, I realize it’s not the perfect scene, but there’s still something there that I feel compelled to continue writing.
But with all that said, I also write for myself and that always reminds me that I don’t have to have direction or a goal. I can write for myself and that is enough.
5. Describe your writing style in one sentence.
Do you feel the same way, too?
Five Questions, by Nicole Loy. Nicole is a writer, screenwriter and independent filmmaker based in Brooklyn, NY. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Liberal Arts from The New School, is the Food News Editor of The Inquisitive Eater, and currently works for the university in the MFA in Creative Writing Program office.