Today we have Claudia Guadalupe Martinez visiting with us today. She recently published her second book entitled “Pig Park.” And this is a doozie of a coming of age story. When I read the synopsis (below), I knew I wanted to host Claudia and find out some more fun things about this hilarious novel.
It’s crazy! Fifteen-year-old Masi Burciaga’s neighborhood is becoming more and more of a ghost town since the lard company moved away. Her school closed down. Her family’s bakery and the other surviving businesses may soon follow. As a last resort, the neighborhood grown-ups enlist all the remaining able-bodied boys and girls to haul bricks to help build a giant pyramid in the park in hopes of luring visitors. Maybe their neighbors will come back too. But something’s not right about the entrepreneur behind it all. Then there’s the new boy who came to help, the one with the softest of lips.
Makes you very curious doesn’t it? So, based on this I wanted to find out more about this book before diving into it. So here are some cool random things about Claudia’s “Pig Park”.
10 Random Things About Pig Park
1. I first set out to write a play about a mom and pop bakery fighting for survival, needless to say it went a different direction.
2. The protagonist’s name was Tomasina until–much like an old fashioned skirt–I shortened it.
3. Pig Park’s working title was MasaAmerica–a play on the Spanish word for dough (masa) and Meso-America.
4. I imagined the delicious marranitos (ginger pigs) from Bowie Bakery in my hometown of El Paso every time I sat and wrote about the marranitos at Burciaga’s.
5. The marranito on the book’s cover is not from Bowie Bakery, rather from Gussie’s across town.
6. Skinny pigs, sugar-free ginger pigs, are a made up delicacy
7. There was no pyramid in the initial draft of the novel.
8. The pyramid was inspired by a man who walked into the community organization I worked at looking for sponsors to build exactly that.
9. The real life pyramid was going to be a wood frame topped by thousands of candles.
10. Although I might not want to admit this, I’m most like the mom character in the novel. (Yep, I’m a totally a mom.)
Claudia is the author of The Smell of Old Lady Perfume (Cinco Puntos, 2008) and Pig Park (Cinco Puntos, 2014). She grew up in sunny El Paso, Texas where she learned that letters form words from reading the subtitles of old westerns with her father. She now lives and writes in Chicago.