Super Brief Biography

(Photo Charles Lenida)

I was born and raised in the Inland Empire of Southern California.  If you have never been to Southern California, the Inland Empire is about 40 minutes from Los Angeles and 30 minutes from the beaches. It is a lot of desert, winds, warehouses, citrus, and freeways. It is beautiful and it is ugly, and it is my home.

My parents were born in Mexico. My dad is from Sinaloa, and mother is from Guanajuato. They met after they had both crossed the border and had been living in the U.S. a few years. Those early years for them were tough. My mom worked looking after an older couple and cleaning their house, and later in the kitchen of a convalescent hospital. She often worked double shifts, to make ends meet. My dad worked putting RVs together, and later as a cabinet installer, which he still does now.

As a kid I grew up in Corona-a small city that used to be filled with citrus, and even touted a racetrack, now one of the main streets. Because my parents worked so much, an elderly couple helped raised me, Victor and Lucia; they became my abuelitos. Both of them have now passed away, but I still miss them very much. I went to Garretson Elementary School, Corona Fundamental Intermediate School, and Santiago High School, and when I graduated, I went to Cal State San Bernardino. I had some of the best teachers, and some of the not so best teachers, but all of this help me become who I am today.

When I was a kid my mom would walk my brother and I to the library, a couple miles from our house in Riverside. That library will soon become the The Cheech Marin Center for Chicano Art, Culture, and Industry of the Riverside Art Museum, or “The Cheech.” I would always take home too many books to carry, but my mom always helped me with the load. She was always very encouraging when it came to school and reading. Some of my fondest memories of time spent with my mom are when I was learning how to read and she would sit and read Amelia Bedelia to me.

I have one younger brother, and he’s pretty cool, but I still do my best to embarrass him by dancing in public or making inappropriate jokes. An older sister’s job is never done.

I write fiction for children, young adults, adults, older adults, and ghosts. I also write poetry. I am an avid pizza and taco eater. Pizza being my favorite food, and tacos a close second. You can read about why I write in my first blog post, titled, “Why I Write.”

20 thoughts on “Super Brief Biography

  1. This book was amazing I cannot tell you enough how much I loved your book. I you hope make more and continue to write. Gabi, a girl in pieces is our new favorite book. If it wasn’t for our wonderful librarian we would have never found this great work! Sorry for fangirling to much! I only wish we would have found your book sooner because if so your entire book would have been our ENTIRE senior quote.

    Two mexican girls in a white village

  2. I finish my master’s degree in library science this year. Working at a public library and being of mixed Mexican-American/Native American ethnicity means I’m the minority. It means I see what literature like yours can do for people like me–for the Gabi’s of this world. Reading your book brings me back to my childhood–I lived so much of what Gabi and her friends went through.The audiobook floored me, it moved me to tears–you get it. I can’t stop telling people about this book. Part of me wonders if they’ll understand the power behind it, part of me doesn’t care if they ever do. We need literature like this, not just the library community–but the young boys and girls who walk the fence of assimilation, who don’t fit in with their own kind–who carry burdens on their shoulders heavy enough to shatter a grown man. I love reading stories about teens who defy the odds–who refuse to be another statistic. Keep writing, we need you. I hope you make your way to Northern California one day, I would love to attend an author discussion.

    Best wishes,
    a former teenager mother–who refused to be a statistic

    1. Thank you for your kind words. You don’t know how much they mean to me. Really, you don’t. This is why I write-because we exist and we are often relegated to the margins or viewed as caricatures. I am happy that you connected with Gabi.

      All the best,


      1. I was in love with that book you showed me everything high school is about as I am a freshman, and I also want to attend University of Berkely . I love Gabi

  3. Gabi was our YA book club selection for March. (I’m the senior member at 71 with a 14 year old granddaughter.) I LOVED Gabi for her humor, for her determination, for her smart mouth, for her loving heart, for her earthy innocence, for her honesty and appetites… She is unique and you voiced her perfectly. Stay well and keep writing. Lucky you, I think Martin is modeled after Fernando Flores Garcia. =:-)

  4. PS. I think you’d enjoy the works of Francesco Stork if you haven’t already read them. “Marcello in the Real World” is my particular favorite. It illustrates the danger of wanting too much to be “white.” And Marcello himself is such a sweetheart.

  5. Hello, I left you a post on FB and wanted to offer my self as local support on your trip to the Central valley in a couple of weeks. I quickly realized that after gushing all over you and your book. My offer would have sounded a bit stalkish. lol. I have my MA in YA Latina Lit so yeah I am a bit stoked at the quality of your work and your success. I am so freaking happy for you!
    Our local Tulare County League of Mexican American Women wanted to offer you a reception before your reading on the 15th but the library folks said you were booking back to back readings in the area. Please if you need any thing, feel free contact me.
    559 381-1781
    See you soon!

  6. Hi Isabel, I loved your book so much I read it in 2 days! I frequent our local public library and saw it was a hot pick teen read. It was so honest and inspiring. Please continue Gabi’s journey in Berkeley. Keep up the excellent writing I look forward to reading your books. Thank You!

  7. I liked your amazing book about gabi and everything about mexican stuff que los taquitos y toda la comida mexicana y esas palabras en el libro me gustaron y muy interesante

  8. I’m in love with this book! I’m looking forward for the rest of your books! The best book I’ve read! Arriba la vida mexicana!

  9. i love your book i can indentify with your friend cindy i hope the best for you i love you book i still read i been reading like 10 times already i just love i love u kiss

  10. Dear, Ms. Isabel Quintero I’m a student in professor Wilson’s English 60B class. I really enjoyed your book because I can really Realte to your book. My class qnd I would love if you could come to the Moreno Valley college. On December 2, 2015 for our potluck. Thank you for your time.
    Christian Amezquita

  11. Dear Isabel Quintero,
    I love your book because I can relate to it in some ways. I would love to meet you. Please come visit us at Moreno Valley College, Rm. 203 on Dec.2. We look forward to meeting you. Thank You
    Sincerely, Naylen Rivera

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s