Today I’m happy to share the news that my 2nd picture book is getting published!
The announcement was officially made last Thursday on Publisher’s Weekly and on Friday I got to share about it on my social media. It made my day to read all the wonderful and encouraging messages that were left on my posts. The writing community is amazingly supportive!
The name of my new book is Abuelita’s Gift. It will be published by Knopf on Fall 2024 and it will be illustrated by the talented award winning artist, Sara Palacios. I can’t wait to see how she brings the book to life!
I’m very thankful to Natascha Morris (my agent at The Tobias Literary Agency); and to my editor, Gianna Lakenauth (with whom it’s been a pleasure to work), for believing in me and this story.
The book is about a Mexican girl, who’s excited about the first Día de Muertos visit of her beloved Abuelita who has passed away. Immersed in the folklore of her family’s tradition, the girl is determined to find the perfect gift to honor her Abuelita at the ofrenda and to show how much she misses her. However, she will struggle to come up with the right present as her ideas fail one by one and the celebration day comes closer. Only when she embraces the memories they once shared, she’ll realize the perfect gift is within her.
This book is very special to me because it’s about one of Mexico’s most distinctive traditions. However, it’s also about love, family, and keeping the memory of your ancestors alive. I’m happy that I will get to share glimpses of the culture and folklore about this beautiful holiday. I’m also glad that some words in Spanish will be included. I’m excited and grateful for this wonderful opportunity and I’m looking forward to the publishing journey ahead.
For all of you in the querying trenches, I want you to know that I was there not so long ago. This story got me my agent last July, but I had been working on it for 2 years before I got signed; and I had queried several agents, experiencing a fair share of rejections. That said, I kept moving forward, revising, making the story better each time until it reached a point where the YES came. So, if you’re seeking representation now, just keep going and believing in yourself and your stories. Perseverance and hard work pays off. Best of luck!
Mariana Ríos Ramírez is a Mexican picture book author living in South Carolina. She was a high school teacher and co-owned an online business before becoming a writer. Her debut book, Santiago’s Dinosaurios, will be published by Albert Whitman in October 2022. Her second book, Abuelita’s Gift, will be published by Knopf on Fall 2024. Besides writing, Mariana enjoys photography, traveling, Chai Lattes, and k-dramas.