It’s June and that means it’s time for another year of Pride Month spotlights! I’m so excited to spotlight Just Your Local Bisexual Disaster by Andrea Mosqueda and share the interview with the author!
Welcome Andrea! Thank you for allowing me to interview you! Can you start off by introducing yourself?
My name is Andrea Mosqueda, pronouns she/hers, and I’m a Chicana author who has a debut YA romcom coming out on May 24th called Just Your Local Bisexual Disaster.
How would you describe Just Your Local Bisexual Disaster in one sentence?
Just Your Local Bisexual Disaster is about a bisexual Chicana teen growing up in the Rio Grande Valley who is trying to which of her three crushes she wants to ask to be her escort to her little sister’s quinceañera.
Can you introduce us to the main character(s) of Just Your Local Bisexual Disaster?
Maggie Gonzalez (she/her) is the main character, a Libra, and a self-described bisexual disaster growing up in the Rio Grande Valley. She loves her family and dreams of becoming a music photographer. In the wake of her little sister’s quinceañera, Maggie realizes she has feelings for three of her friends and decides to use a school art project to see which of her three crushes she’ll choose to escort her to the party.
What representation will readers find in Just Your Local Bisexual Disaster?
I wanted to tell a story that presented just one slice of life in the Rio Grande Valley because there’s a variety of ways that people living on the border experience life. I wanted to tell this story so that people from my community could feel empowered to do the same. I hope that one day, this book is one of many by people from the Valley.
Just as important to me was the discussion of sexuality with an emphasis on exploring what it means to be queer, especially in areas that tend to be more conservative. It was important to me that I represented a healthy family dynamic so that Latinx teens in the Valley could have a story where the main character’s queerness is just a part of life, like any straight teen’s would be. It was part wanting to set an example and part wishful thinking because I wanted my MC to have a better experience growing up bi than I did.
Do you know from the beginning how your books will end or do you let your characters decide their journey?
I usually know how it starts and ends because I need that roadmap, but everything that happens in the middle is dictated by my characters’ choices. When I write a scene, it feels more like I’m sitting down in whatever the setting is and just paying attention to the world around me as my main character navigates it. You can’t force things, especially not with character-driven narratives, and often I have to step back and just ask my characters what actually happened, instead of just basing the story on my outline says should happen. As long as I stop and listen, they’re happy to tell me what’s what, and then they practically write the book themselves.
Do you have a favorite scene, moment, or quote from the book?
My favorite scenes are always the scenes in Maggie’s family’s store. Whether it’s Maggie and her sisters or Maggie with her friends, there’s something so intimate and safe about scenes taking place there. The idea of the store was inspired both by stores I’d go to growing up in the RGV and scenes in Mosquita y Mari, one of my all-time favorite queer movies.
What is something readers will find in Just Your Local Bisexual Disaster that they may not realize based on the synopsis?
From the synopsis, you’d think that the book is all about romantic love and that finding that would be the ultimate journey, and while that is the plotline that gets the ball rolling, Maggie isn’t just concerned about that. She’s figuring out how to love her family and friends better, and herself too. The depictions of non-romantic love in the book are something I’m very proud of because I wanted to show people that those relationships can be just as intimate and meaningful as romantic relationships.
What’s something you hope readers will take away from Just Your Local Bisexual Disaster?
I hope readers will come away from the book with a desire to figure out how to love the people in their lives better, whether that’s familiar, platonic, or romantic love. I hope they take with them the notion that you can have intimate relationships without them being romantic, and that romantic relationships aren’t the only ones that can be fulfilling and special.
What are three books you would recommend if someone enjoyed Just Your Local Bisexual Disaster?
I love this question! Felix Ever After by Kacen Callender, Ophelia After All by Racquel Marie, and My Sister’s Big Fat Indian Wedding by Sajni Patel are my three recs for people who enjoy my book because they discuss complex issues of race, gender, sexuality, and family in a way that’s aesthetically gorgeously and emotionally powerful.
What’s next for you? Anything you can share?
Oooh, I’m really excited for the day (soon, hopefully!) when I can tell everyone officially about Book 2, but for now, I have to settle for being a tease on social media. It’s quite a departure from JYLBD, so I think people will be pleasantly surprised to see what’s coming. I keep telling everyone who asks that my inner child wrote JYLBD, but now my inner teen is taking the reins. She’s angry, she’s unhinged, and she’s out for blood. ☺
ABOUT THE BOOK
In this voice-driven young adult debut by Andrea Mosqueda, Maggie Gonzalez needs a date to her sister’s quinceañera – and fast.
Growing up in Texas’s Rio Grande Valley, Maggie Gonzalez has always been a little messy, but she’s okay with that. After all, she has a great family, a goofy group of friends, a rocky romantic history, and dreams of being a music photographer. Tasked with picking an escort for her little sister’s quinceañera, Maggie has to face the truth: that her feelings about her friends—and her future—aren’t as simple as she’d once believed.
As Maggie’s search for the perfect escort continues, she’s forced to confront new (and old) feelings for three of her friends: Amanda, her best friend and first-ever crush; Matthew, her ex-boyfriend twice-over who refuses to stop flirting with her, and Dani, the new girl who has romantic baggage of her own. On top of this romantic disaster, she can’t stop thinking about the uncertainty of her own plans for the future and what that means for the people she loves.
As the weeks wind down and the boundaries between friendship and love become hazy, Maggie finds herself more and more confused with each photo. When her tried-and-true medium causes more chaos than calm, Maggie needs to figure out how to avoid certain disaster—or be brave enough to dive right into it.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Andrea Mosqueda is a Chicana writer. She was born and raised in Texas’s Rio Grande Valley. She currently lives in Brooklyn with her partner and works in the publishing industry as an assistant editor. When she’s not writing or editing, she can be found doing her makeup, drinking too much coffee, and angsting over children’s media. Just Your Local Bisexual Disaster is her first book.