Victor Villasenor is a Hispanic writer who is a story in himself.
Raised in Southern California, says writer Jorge Casuso, Victor Villasenor was illiterate because of dyslexia until adulthood. Then a woman in Mexico taught him to read. Ironically, he decided he wanted to become a great writer and he asked God to help him.
While he worked for ten years as a laborer, digging ditches and cleaning houses, his mind was free to think and dream up characters and plots. At home he read voraciously, devouring more than five thousand books. He memorized favorite openings and analyzed paragraphs and sentences, taking them apart to see how they worked. And most important, he started writing. He wrote nine novels, sixty-five short stories, and ten plays. He sent them all to publishers. All were rejected. One publisher sent him a rejection letter that simply said, “You’re kidding.”
Incredibly he was encouraged by that. It meant that at least the publisher had read his submission. Then in 1972 after 260 rejections, Villasenor sold his first novel, which was called Macho. He then published a nonfiction work called Jury: People vs. Juan Corona, an award-winning screenplay called Ballad of Gregorio Cortez, and, the crowning work of his life, a two-part saga of his family called Rain of Gold that took twelve years to write.
With a lot of hard work on Villasenor’s part, God answered his prayer.
–750 Engaging Illustrations.
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