Ofrenda is a anthology of selected pieces from the zines I made between 1994 and 2014.
What made you decide to publish a collection of your zines?
Most people who were making zines in the mid-90s and later aren't doing it anymore so I liked the idea of commemorating twenty years of zine making. While I often wonder why I still make them, I think there's something to be said for not out growing things. As my friend Travis said in an interview on what he liked about zine making: "There is joy and reward in sticking with things." I had no concept of how much I'd written and created over those twenty years until I saw it (and not even in its entirety) compiled into a book.
How did you choose which zines would be a part of the collection?
I'm not going to lie, I did pull items based on what was least embarrassing which is probably why it's heavier on the more recent zines. Everything prior to about 2008 is pretty embarrassing. Before parenthood came along to make me a little less self-absorbed and self-aware and angst-ridden. I also picked pieces based on what I like rereading, what I think might appeal to a general audience.
Are you currently working on any writing projects?
I've been doing mostly non-zine writing. I am working on my first book, a middle grade novel. I've been working on this in some incarnation since 2012. I've also been writing reviews of children's books for a library world publication. I'm hoping to have a new zine done in the next couple of weeks in time for the Milwaukee Zine Fest.
Do you have any routines to help you write?
I really don't have any kind of writing routine. When I'm working on project, whether its a zine or a manuscript, I try to work on it every day so that I don't lose any momentum that may have been gained, but that doesn't always happen. With manuscript writing, I set daily goals either in terms of page numbers, word count or chapters, depending on where I am with the work. With zines it's a little less structured since often I start with ideas but don't have any kind of draft stage. I'm just going piece by piece and hoping the number of sheets of paper I picked out work with what I have in mind.
I mostly write at our tiny dining room table. Sometimes I like to go to coffee shops to write. I squeeze writing in wherever I can so I don't necessarily have a specific writing environment.
Celia C. Pérez was born in Judy Blume’s hometown to a father from Cuba and a mother from Mexico. When she was fourteen, she was certain her future was in professional wrestling. Instead, she grew up to be a librarian and a writer. She is working on a middle grade novel. While she has listened to many versions of “La Bamba,” her favorite is still the one by Los Lobos. She lives in Chicago.
The author is giving away a print copy of Ofrenda to a winner in the US!