Hi, I'm Carmen Rodrigues. That's me to the right. Like everything else in my life, my website is a work in progress. So check back often for changes and exciting additions.
Now here's the skinny on me:
I was born in Ohio and lived there until I was ten. That's when my mom decided to transplant her four kids--I have two older sisters and a younger brother--to Miami. If you've been to Miami, you probably realize the city is magical but also a bit frightening.
Miami is magical because of its proximity to the ocean. I could write love poems to the ocean: sand trailing its way across my arms. Sunburns that leave freckles on the bridge of my nose. Water that feels like a warm bath. A good portion of my teen life was spent on sand or leaving sand, stuck on 836 West, toes hanging out of a rolled-down-passenger window, salt washed from my body by the wind.
But there are other things that make Miami special: palm trees and Spanish-inspired architecture. Night swims in your backyard pool. Jamaican, Cuban, Filipino, and a whole list of other tasty cuisines. And, of course, the people. In Miami, you learn to appreciate diversity. How some languages roll off the tongue and others sound hard, like words beat against a drum.
But Miami is also scary, especially when you arrive as a naive ten-year-old from a three-high-school town. See, Miami is also mega schools, mega malls, McMansions, and that feeling that you can exist among millions but still get lost.
I spent all of my preteen and teen years in Miami. I lived in the suburbs (Kendall) until I went to Florida State to study creative writing and theater. (BTW, love FSU. So, if you love FSU too, you just earned bonus points.)
After FSU, there was a brief stint working in New York City. There, I lived across the Lincoln Tunnel in New Jersey. My apartment had no central air or heat, but it did have a view of the NYC skyline, which made me decide it was rent-controlled fabulous-ness. This was where my writing career began when I begged my way into a staff writer position at a local paper, which led to my first writing group and novel, NOT ANYTHING.
Goodness, this is becoming the 'fat' on me.
So, what's happened since then? Well, I took a brief hiatus from professional writing to earn my MFA in Creative Writing from the University of North Carolina Wilmington. (Totally worth it.)
Now, I'm enjoying the release of my latest young adult novel, 34 PIECES OF YOU, which was published by Simon Pulse this September, while also staying busy writing my next young adult novel, CARRY YOU WITH ME, due out in early 2014.
I hope you'll stay tuned for more!