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Desideria Mesa: On Combining History and Fantasy

Author Desideria Mesa discusses writing memorable characters in her debut historical fantasy novel, Bindle Punk Bruja.

Desideria Mesa is often found getting lost in a historical, sci-fi, or high fantasy novel or crafting her own stories, of course. Aside from churning out novels, she enjoys writing songs, poetry, and short stories. Follow @DesideriaMesa on Twitter for writing discussion, slightly inappropriate jokes, and more information on her historical fantasy debut, Bindle Punk Bruja. You can also find her on Instagram and Facebook.

Desideria Mesa: On Combining History and Fantasy

Desideria Mesa

In this post, Desideria discusses writing memorable characters in her debut historical fantasy novel, Bindle Punk Bruja, the surprises in the publishing process, and more!

Name: Desideria Mesa
Literary agent: Rachel Brooks from Bookends Literary
Book title: Bindle Punk Bruja
Publisher: Harper Voyager
Release date: September 13, 2022
Genre/category: Historical Fantasy
Elevator pitch for the book: A part-time reporter and club owner takes on crooked city councilmen, mysterious and deadly mobsters, and society’s deeply rooted sexism and racism, all while keeping her true identity and magical abilities hidden—inspired by an ancient Mexican folktale.

Desideria Mesa: On Combining History and Fantasy

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What prompted you to write this book?

I was fascinated by the bits and pieces I’ve heard about my grandparents’ journeys to America and their early years in Kansas City, Missouri. Additionally, as I began to dig into the history of the Mexican boxcar communities along the rail line, I just knew this was a story I wanted to tell.

How long did it take to go from idea to publication? And did the idea change during the process?

Between research and writing the first draft, the project took two months, but from start to finish, including meeting my agent and publisher, this story took two years to reach its publication date. The idea of the story only expanded to really explore the powerful topics of racism, prejudice, sexism, identity, and others more deeply.

Were there any surprises or learning moments in the publishing process for this title?

I was thrilled to learn how many people really embraced the use of Spanish in the title and how well-received it was. My agent was a significant advisor on this in the early stages of nailing down a title, so I’m grateful for her insight.

Desideria Mesa: On Combining History and Fantasy

Were there any surprises in the writing process for this book?

The amount of challenging questions that came to me through content editing was really quite daunting at first. My editing team was and is truly amazing, and their eyes on the story have helped me hone my writing immensely.

What do you hope readers will get out of your book?

With this project, I want to leave readers with hope and self-reflection, and maybe a sense of enjoyment from completing a journey with some really heartwarming characters. I hope they love Luna and Heck and Javi as much I do.

If you could share one piece of advice with other writers, what would it be?

Keep working to improve your skillset. There’s always room to level up, and it’s fun to find new strategies to implement into your repertoire.

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