Authors Speak: Baca says history, identity linked

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By Kelly LeVan

It began when she was 9 years old and received a cherry-red journal with a lock and key from her sister for Valentine’s Day.

“I wrote in that journal constantly, never missing a day, and then I got another one and another one and filled several volumes,” said Ana Baca, now a published author and next up in Mesa Public Library’s Authors Speak Series. “Through junior high, high school and college, I always loved my English classes most and I was lucky enough to have a few wonderful teachers who encouraged my creativity and who instilled a love of stories.”

However, she said it wasn’t until her father passed away that she discovered writing was more than a way to entertain herself.

“There were stories to be told that could honor his legacy, the legacy of my ancestors, and even help to preserve a cultural heritage,” she said. “I found purpose in my life again through writing … Beginning the novel gave me focus, a sense of grounding and a sense of renewal after my dad’s passing, though it wasn’t published until 17 years later.”

After beginning her novel, “Mama Fela’s Girls,” Baca also wrote three children’s titles, two of which were published before her novel.

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