From The Freelance and Fiction: Today's special guest author is Donna Miscolta. Her book is titled When the de la Cruz Family Danced.
Welcome to the blog, Donna! Could you tell us a little bit about your novel? Thanks, Rachel. The novel concerns the emotionally disconnected de la Cruzes, a Filipino-Mexican-American family living in one of the overlooked and unimposing little cities south of San Diego and north of Tijuana. It’s a place where Johnny de la Cruz, a reluctant immigrant, fulfilled his dream of owning a home. Now, sick with cancer and faced with the possibility of dying, he feels deeply the lack of a son. It is a lack that his wife has shared to some extent and which over the years has distanced them from their daughters. A young man, Winston Piña, whose mother has recently died and whose father had earlier abandoned him, enters the lives of the de la Cruz family. He brings polish and charm and a sense of accomplishment, perhaps completion, to the family whose relationships have long been fragile. The story explores a couple of questions: How does one deal with regrets as the end of life nears? Where and how do we belong in terms of family, community, and even the world?
What led you to write this novel? Long before I was ready to write a novel, I wrote a first chapter as an exercise for a writing class I was taking. I started the chapter as I waited for a flight from Seattle to San Diego to attend my father’s funeral. Though the novel isn’t about my father, losing him prompted questions about his life that I wanted to apply to a fictional character.