Featured Interview With Rocio Cadena
Tell us a little about yourself. Where were you raised? Where do you live now?
I come from a very humble background. was born and raised in Northern Mexico, in the state of Durango. I grew up in a very rural village, Santa Rosa, with limited access to resources and opportunities. At the age of 11, my family moved to the U.S. in the hopes of seeking a better quality of life. We moved to the suburbs of Chicago, where a lot of relatives resided. I went to university in Chicago and worked/lived for a few years after graduation. During my job as a marketing manager at a food company, I decided the office life wasn’t for me and that I wanted to focus and pursue writing seriously. I started a blog and started writing my book simultaneously. I now live in South Korea. I teach little kids English but the main factors behind this move was to focus on my writing and travel afterward!
At what age did you realize your fascination with books? When did you start writing?
From a very early age I loved books. I remember reading very advanced books around the age of 9 because they were lying around in my house and I was so curious. I read The Alchemist at age 10 and obviously didn’t comprehend any of it, but I fell in love with words around this time. I found my love of journaling before I started voraciously reading, and now the two are at equal levels. When I move to the U.S., reading was a great way to master the language and also get a glimpse into words I couldn’t have dreamed of while living in a tiny, rural village with very little access to techonology (We only had one television channel, no phones and no computers!).
After graduating university I realized that I had a very strong sense of writing but of course, like many writers, I was terrified! I was riddled with self-doubt and sat on the idea of starting a blog for over a year, then one day the fear of regret became heavier than the fear of being ridiculed for wanting to be a writer, so I started my blog (www.thisiisrocio.com). To appease my doubtful mind, I told everyone it was simply a fun hobby (and I fooled myself into half-believing this), yet at the same time I was writing my dual-language book, “The Legacy of a Mexican Patriarch.”
Since college I knew I wanted to teach English in Asia to travel afterward, and it so happened that my passion for writing and travel merged here in South Korea, where I was able to dedicate the time and effort to birth these word babies.
Who are your favorite authors to read? What is your favorite genre to read. Who Inspires you in your writings?
I have very varied preferences in authors and genres. I love Kurt Vonnegut, Jack Kerouac, Alduos Huxley, George Orwell, Eduardo Galeano, Isabel Allende, Junot Diaz and many more. I enjoy dystopian novels very much so because I suspect we are living in one!
I truly draw inspiration from everything and anything. I love podcasts, TED talks, movies, documentaries, cool artsy videos from vimeo, concerts, music and so much more. I am a very interested and curious person, so I am constantly inspired. But I must add that I make it a point to find inspiration, it doesn’t always come to me.
Tell us a little about your latest book?
It is a tribute to my grandfather and origins. My grandpa, Alejandro Cadena, was a very influential figure in my life. He inspired me to dream big and go after my dreams, without any qualms or fears. He was as imperfect as the rest of us, but growing up, I perceived him as a demi-god because he was just so cool, wise and worldly (to me). He lived a very colorful and interesting life, so I decided to document his life as a way for family and relatives to get a more personal look at who he was and what he meant to me.
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