Book Signing Held ...

Latina romance author Alana Quintana Albertson recently published her 30th book “Ramón and Julieta” a story that also reflects issues in the Mexican culture. The author held a book signing and talk at Veteran’s Park in Imperial Beach on March 26.

Coronado, Old Town, and Barrio Logan are places where a new book entitled “Ramón and Julieta” takes place. This is author Alana Quintana Albertson’s 30th book and the first published the traditional way - through a publishing company. Quintana Albertson was at Veteran’s Park in Imperial Beach on March 26 during an author’s talk and book signing which attracted many fans.

Quintana Albertson is a romance author, a graduate of Harvard and Stanford universities who was a professional ballroom dancer before becoming a writer.

“Ramón and Julieta” is a fun, modern romance that, like the protagonists’ families in Romeo and Juliet, are at odds with each other. Ramón is a wealthy businessman and Julieta is an award-winning chef from a more humble background. Julieta struggles with coming to terms with Ramón’s new role as her landlord and finding out that his father stole her mother’s taco recipes years ago. The two characters have to balance the difficulties they are faced with and how to make the relationship work. For Quintana Albertson this book is not only a romance novel, but a way to highlight issues in the Mexican community like social class, not being Mexican enough, love for food and gentrification.

Apart from romance, Quintana Albertson is also a fan of mysteries and she explained she tried to include that aspect to the book. She tried to kill multiple people but her agent advised against it. “The problem with romance is that everyone lives,” she joked.

The meet cute happens during the Day of the Dead celebration in Old Town. While Ramón lives in La Jolla he is not rooted in the Mexican community - which is the opposite for Julieta. Ramón is successful but it’s all artificial and he feels empty. “He doesn’t know what he’s doing. He has lost his way,” said Quintana Albertson, who read a passage from her book when the meet cute happens.

“If you live in San Diego, this book is a love letter to San Diego and a tour guide. Everyone can get something out of it. It’s a multi-generational romance with different issues in the community. It’s a fun book,” said Quintana Albertson.

Quintana Albertson is half Mexican and grew up in Marin County. She moved to San Diego from Boston she recalls, after it snowed in April for her birthday and she decided to book a one-way ticket. Before moving to San Diego she had visited the city and spent time with friends from Chula Vista. During her stays in San Diego she became interested and read about Barrio Logan and how gentrification was changing the area, affecting the community and closing galleries.

Being an English major, Quintana Albertson said she studied the work of old dead white guys and never saw herself in popular fiction. But once she saw “Dirty Girls Social Club” by Alisa Valdes-Rodriguez who has been credited by Time Magazine with being the godmother of “chica lit” genre, Quintana Albertson was inspired. “I wanted to do the same thing with the Mexican culture celebrating love and culture. She is the reason I write,” explained Quintana Albertson.

She met Valdes-Rodriguez in 2007 when she was not an author but just a fan. During their meeting, Valdes-Rodriguez encouraged Quintana Albertson to write.

Quintana Albertson kept the book talk light, and often joked and made fun of herself as an author. She admitted her first book was awful. “Only successful writers never quit,” she said. While she knew her first book was not publishable, she finished it and kept trying. About writing a certain genre, Quintana Albertson said she writes books that she wants to read herself.

“What’s not to like about this book?” Perla Flores said when asked about “Ramón and Julieta.” She is not only a fan of the book, but she is also the person responsible for bringing Quintana Albertson to Imperial Beach. Flores is an employee of the lmperial Beach library and chose Quintana Albertson because she is a Latina writer based in San Diego. The book signing and talk at Veteran’s Park was held through the San Diego County Public Library system. “In Imperial Beach, 55 percent of residents are Spanish speakers. It’s important to be a reflection of their community,” Flores said of both the author and the book.

Quintana Albertson is on contract with her publisher for three books - “Ramón and Julieta” being the first in the series. She has already written her second book entitled “Kiss Me, Mi Amor” which takes place during the Posada celebration and set in Santa Maria area to be published next year.

“Ramón and Julieta” has been optioned for television and Quintana Albertson is very excited abut the opportunity she hopes will come to fruition.

Quintana Albertson is a top three Amazon bestselling author and has written a number of book series including Deadly SEALs, Se7en Deadly SEALs (a romantic mystery series with more than 1 million views on Radish,) and Blue Devils. She is also an author coach and bookstagrammer.

She lives in Poway with her husband, two sons and her rescue dogs. Quintana Albertson hopes to inspire other Latina authors to write about their culture the way she was inspired to.

“Ramón and Julieta” is available for sale locally at Bay Books in Coronado, other local independent bookstores and online.

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