Welcome, readers, writers, and night creatures, too! We have a fang-tastic treat for you today. Mariana Llanos is here with us sharing her and Cocoretto's splendidly spooky book, Benita and the Night Creatures. Benita, a girl who loves to read, keeps getting interrupted by spooky creatures. The creatures can't believe Benita isn't spooked one bit - she's too enthralled in her reading. Now, Benita must try to convince the creatures stay quiet so she can keep reading. Will they listen? Want to know about Mariana, her fun new book, PLUS want a chance to win some awesome treats from her? Read on...
Q: Thanks so much for joining #SeasonsOfKidLit! We’re thrilled to have you Trick or Treat with us and hear all about your book, Benita and the Night Creatures. Please share a little about yourself and your journey.
A: I have been publishing children’s books since 2013. Benita and the Night Creatures is my 13th published book! I started by self-publishing my work. After a few books in, I decided to give traditional publishing a go… and here I am. Benita is my second book with Barefoot Books. I have two book series coming out next year with Reycraft Books.
Q: This story features monsters from Peruvian folklore. Please share the story behind the story and how you choose which monsters to include.
A: When I first wrote the story I didn’t think of creatures of Peruvian lore. I just had regular ghosts scaring the child. But as I revised and I realized how much I identified with the situation in the story, I decided to use creatures I had heard of as a child.
Q: What inspired you to add a hint of humor to your monsters?
A: As I tell in my author’s note, I grew up in Peru during a time of terrorism violence, so at night when I was scared, I took shelter in books. So my “creatures’ were of a different kind, and for the book I decided to make them fun.
Q: What is something about this book that you’re excited about?
A: I’m very excited to have it released simultaneously in Spanish! It’s really special when I can have my own books in the two languages that I speak. Also, I have a lot of friends and followers who appreciate having a book in Spanish written by the same author.
Your book really sounds fabulous, Mariana. Readers, make sure to check out the book trailer for Benita and the Night Creatures, here!
Q: What is one of your favorite things about Halloween and/or fall?
A: I love the colors of the fall, and all the sensory details that come with it. The crunchy leaves, pumpkin colors, cinnamon smell, cold breeze! And I am especially fond of Halloween, because I’ve always loved dressing up.
Q: BONUS QUESTION: What’s your favorite Halloween Candy? OR What candy pairs the best with your book?
A: The candy that pairs well with my book would be a Doña Pepa, a chocolate covered wafer with sprinkles, very popular in Peru and that my kids love. I can find it in the states at the Latino supermarket. However, in the book, she throws a peppermint lollipop at the monster, so I guess that would be Benita´s favorite candy.
Thanks again for joining us, Mariana! We can't wait to check out Benita and the Night Monsters!
Q: Would you like to leave a Trick or a Treat for the readers?
A: A Treat: I'd like to offer a two-book giveaway! One Benita and the Night Creatures and one Eunice and Kate to one lucky winner!
Oh WOW! Thanks for such a wickedly wonderful treat!
Contest Details: To enter to win Mariana's two-book giveaway, make sure to 1) share this post on social media and 2) leave a comment below thanking her for stopping by. GIFs are always welcome (and super fun)!
#SeasonsOfKidLit's Trick-or-Treat Winners will be chosen on or about November 5th.
*Books will be shipped in the US only*
Note: Those who leave a comment on all posts will be eligible to win one (1) of ten (10) Rate Your Story Speed Passes, perfect for quick MS feedback, provided by Agent Mentee Lynne Marie & Author Heather Macht.
About Mariana Llanos:
Mariana Llanos is a Peruvian born children’s books writer and poet. Her book Run Little Chaski won the 2022 Oklahoma Book Award. Other titles include Benita and the Night Creature, Eunice and Kate, Luca’s Bride, Kutu the Tiny Inka Princess among others. She’s the co-founder of LatinxPitch, an online event that looks to boost representation of Latinx creators in the children's books publishing industry. Mariana lives in Oklahoma with her children.
For more about Mariana, check out the below links:
Barefoot Books: https://www.barefootbooks.com/benita-and-the-night-creatures
For more about Cocoretto, check out the below link:
To purchase Mariana's books on Amazon, or to leave a review for them, click here.
A special thanks to David Rodriguez Lorenzo for the amazing custom-signatures!