Meet Sera Taíno, Harlequin’s 2020 Mentorship Recipient!
To celebrate both Mother’s Day and the world of romance, we are so excited to introduce Harlequin Blog readers to Sera Taíno, recipient of Harlequin’s 2020 Romance Includes You Mentorship! In this Q&A, Sera discusses why she writes romance and how her family reacted when she got the call!
Incomparable is a contemporary romance set in New Jersey that follows a young woman from a Puerto Rican family who thinks she’s met Mr. Right, only to find out his family’s real estate business has plans that could change her beloved community forever. Sera’s Harlequin debut will be published in print and ebook format by Harlequin Special Edition in 2021. We chatted with her about her dreams of being an author and getting the call from Harlequin.
What inspired you to apply for the Romance Includes You Mentorship?
ST: As an educator, I have seen the value of the mentoring model for creating opportunities and entry points for students. The publishing industry appears inscrutable to those on the outside. More than publishing a book, I could not pass up the chance to try for an opportunity to participate in a structured mentorship program that would allow me to demystify a process I very much want to be a part of.
When did you first know you wanted to become a published romance novelist?
ST: I always knew I wanted to be a writer. I can’t remember when I made the conscious decision to write. I’ve always written in one form or another. However, it was only about five years ago that I began to take concrete steps towards becoming a published writer.
How did it feel to get the call from Harlequin’s editor?
ST: I couldn’t believe it and I was overwhelmed with joy and excitement. I had to keep the news to myself because the official announcement hadn’t been made yet so I immediately called my aunt, who is only a few years older than my mother would have been. (Editor’s note: Sera’s mother passed away when she was 14.) My aunt immediately texted me a picture of one of the Harlequins she’d just received in the mail. We were both blown away at the idea that one day, she’d be receiving one of my books in the mail, too.
Sera learned to love romance novels from her mother who read them to improve her English. It wasn’t long until she was writing her own stories, with characters like the people she grew up with in places she’s called home. Sera currently lives in central Florida where she teaches high school and runs a creative writing club. When she’s not writing or teaching, she can be found traveling, or wrangling her family. Visit her website at serataino.com.
Visit SoYouThinkYouCanWrite.com to read the full interview and to learn more about the Romance Includes You Mentorship initiative!