I was a Martial Law baby, born on September 18, 1975 during the height of the Marcos regime in the Philippines. My young childhood in Manila was colorful and chaotic—days and nights were spent climbing trees, riding horses and dancing ballet.
In 1982 my sister and I traveled to Spain to live with our grandparents. Weekdays were filled with studies, art and everything cultural that Barcelona had to offer. Weekends on the other hand were spent at La Masia—our grandparent’s country home. It was there that I learned how to forage for wild strawberries, asparagus, mushrooms and herbs.
It wasn’t until we moved to New York City in the mid 80’s that my love of literature began. I discovered libraries and consumed books like I consumed air, inhaling classics like THE PEARL, ANIMAL FARM and LORD OF THE FLIES, and anything written by Madeleine L’Engle, Judy Blume and S.E. Hinton. At that time I also became more acutely aware of diversity. The public schools I attended were like mini-United Nations—kids from all corners of the world and from different walks of life. The discrepancy between what I was reading in my beloved books, and what I was seeing in my everyday life became clear to me. I asked my teachers, “How come none of the books have kids in them like me?” That question stayed with me through elementary, middle school, high school, college, and well into my adult life.
Now that I’m a children’s book author, I can finally address that question. My goal is to create stories and characters that reflect my own experiences, as well as the experiences of children who are like me—biracial, Filipino or Spanish. I want to tell my story. I want to tell their stories too.
Currently, I live in a shipping container home in the suburbs of Manila with my husband, daughter and a menagerie of rescued cats and dogs. In my free time I grow my own food, bake sourdough bread and read.
HOW TO MAKE FRIENDS WITH THE SEA, my debut middle-grade book will be published by Farrar Straus and Giroux Books for Young Readers/Macmillan on March 31 st , 2020.
Tanya Guerrero is Filipino and Spanish by birth, but spent her childhood living in three continents—Asia, Europe and North America. Upon graduating from high school, she moved to Boston and attended Boston University, where she studied screenwriting. Over the course of eleven years, she’s worked as photo editor in children’s educational publishing, operated her own photo studio and freelanced as a writer.
HOW TO MAKE FRIENDS WITH THE SEA, her debut middle-grade novel will be published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux Books for Young Readers/Macmillan on March 31st, 2020.
Currently, she lives in a shipping container home in the suburbs of Manila with her husband, her daughter, and a menagerie of rescued cats and dogs. In her free time, she grows her own food, bakes sourdough bread and reads lots of books.