So I’ve been talking about this book that I’ve written, but you may be wondering what it’s about (or at least I hope you are.) Here’s a brief, unofficial synopsis:
Set in the early ’90s, The Mixtape to My Life centers around Justin Ortega, a seventeen-year-old who just doesn’t know what his place in the world is. He’s not Mexican enough for the people in his South Texas town, not manly enough for his father, and is sometimes too much of a smart mouth for his mom. His only solace comes from the mixtapes of 80s hair metal bands, which he listens to on his beloved Sony Walkman. Music fills his life and helps him navigate through all the hurdles life brings.
However, it may not be enough to get him through what is going to be a bumpy two weeks of the latest hot August summer. Not only does he find out that he must try out for cymbal captain, a position he thought was his as the oldest upperclassman, but his best and only friend Benny has just announced that he has a new girlfriend. Justin is down, but things start to look up when a blast from his past, football player Dominic Mendoza, moves in next door. In the eighth grade, Dominic stopped another kid from beating Justin up, and the two shared a moment while they were waiting to be punished. Justin strikes up a friendship with Dominic, and eventually, the two find out they have more in common than they thought.
As someone who grew up in the 90s, I felt it was important to tell the stories that many young LGBT like myself were going through. While some people were becoming more accepting, there were still some areas where you just wouldn’t dare come out unless you were sure things would be okay. Even then it was still a risk.
I also wanted to put a bit of my own story into it. Now the people and situations are made up, but the emotions were real. Even if you didn’t grow up during the 90s, I honestly hope you can see yourselves in all or at least one of the characters.
If you want to check out the music that inspired The Mixtape to My Life, click on the Spotify icon below. I’ll talk a bit more about the music next time.