If you know anything about me...you know how much I've struggled to get where I am now. There were so many nights where I'd go to bed frustrated because it was extremely difficult to land an internship. At times, I blamed my name or the color of my skin because every application I sent out, there was a rejection or the 'no response' which was worse. While at the same time, submitting my own writing and receiving rejections, too. I know what it's like to be on the two spectrums and now I understand why things have to run its course when following your dreams. It took me a while but here I am on the other side, wanting to be the best I can be for myself, but also for my authors.
For a while, I thought I knew what I wanted.
I had dreams to work behind the scenes for movies and TV shows. To especially work for The Walt Disney Studios for the rest of my life because I loved Disney so much. All the good and overwhelming parts. I worked at Disneyland for 4 and a half years while I was attending college for my Bachelor's Degree in Creative Writing along with a minor in screenwriting.
Then in August 2017, I attended the Writer's Digest Conference as a graduation present. I walked the streets of NYC for the first time and was surrounded by so much creativity and inspiration. I sat in front of Literary Agents and successful authors like Jennifer Probst, Windy Lynn Harris, David Levithan, and Lisa Scottoline. In that moment, my whole perspective changed, the thoughts of becoming a screenwriter vanished and the lightly lit ember ignited brighter inside my heart--reminding me that being in Publishing is where I was meant to be. As a writer or as an agent. One way or another...I wanted to be in the publishing industry in some capacity.
In December 2018, I made the decision to leave Disneyland--a place where I was leading Cast Members in different locations. A place that was once my home for 4 years and 7 months. It was a hard choice because I loved being surrounded by people who were--are still in some ways my family. I knew I had to do it if I wanted to follow my dreams. As a lead at Disneyland, there were many times where I'd work over 60 hours a week just to cover the people who called in sick. There were also many shifts where I'd work 4 different locations at once, rotating to make sure each location was running, making sure they were stocked and that my cast members went on their breaks. On top of that, it was an hour drive from my home. I loved working there, all the benefits that came with it. However, it didn't align with my goal, my dreams.
So I left.
I needed to do it. I had to push myself forward.
Then in 2019, I received the opportunity to be a volunteer Editorial Assistant at a small press. 5 months later I landed an internship at a New York Literary Agency. January 2020, I launched my Freelance Editorial Services, revamping my author website to help authors, in February I was contracted with another small press as an Associate Editor, and 5 months later I landed an Associate Literary Agent position.
So, the last couple of years have been wild for many different reasons and I've been super fortunate to be given this opportunity to be a role model for aspiring authors just like myself.
Now I have the opportunity to be an advocate for diversity and being totally transparent. Putting my love of books in clear focus. To hone my craft as a writer and to also represent Authors. One of my dreams came true. I am now a Literary Agent at The Rees Literary Agency and opening my doors to those who deserve to be represented. Natural voices from different backgrounds. I’m a Latina working hard for my Dreams. I hope I can be an inspiration for those around me and to give anyone hope that they too, can follow their dreams. My first step is to be an Agent and then become a Traditionally Published Author myself.
No matter where you are right now, know that things take time and that things happen for a reason. Don't compare yourself to others, but focus on you--on your goals. Envision that finish line and really soak in the scene. Everyone has a chance to land their dream and to make a difference.
My advice to you: don't give up, ask questions, learn the industry, attend conferences, join support groups and really understand the business in the best you can. There are so many people who are willing to help you.
My journey as an Agent just began and I'm looking forward to the day where I announce deals for my clients. Maybe announce the opportunity to be represented by a Literary Agent as an author.
Set your goals. Dream BIG. Don't ever give up.