"Storytellers inspire me. I listen intently then let my imagination take over. Characters need to be fully rendered in my head before they make it into any story. I try to read new writers, but there are a few books I return to again and again. When I want to analyze ways to portray dysfunctional family bonds and relationships, I revisit Alice Munro's Hateship, Friendship, Courtship, Loveship, Marriage. Pablo Neruda's The Book of Questions is full of delightful inspiration. And I've read Junot Díaz's Drown and Sandra Cisneros's Caramelo several times and always come away sated and in awe of their characters."
—Cecilia Rodríguez Milanés, author of Marielitos, Balseros and Other Exiles (Ig Publishing, 2009)