“You must be the change you wish to see in the world.” – Gandhi
I always knew I was a writer. The first time I held a pencil, I knew it was my instrument. I followed the scent of words the way other people salivate when inhaling fresh-baked pie.
Through my writing, I’m being that change Gandhi spoke of. Though I choose varied topics, humanity is at the core of everything I write. “What” happened is not nearly as interesting as “why” it happened. Whether I’m writing about the Revolutionary War or last week, I’m really writing about people, about us. What’s in our hearts never changes. So what’s the change I wish to see in the world? Love. We need more love, and compassion.
The Dalai Lama said: “Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries. Without them, humanity cannot survive.”
Success hasn’t come overnight for me. I’ve worked hard, and experienced mega rejection. But I always believed in my work, and knew it would prevail. This is my strongest advice, no matter what you choose to do: believe in yourself.
Henry Ford said, “Whether you think you can or you think you can’t, you’re right.”
The other thing you have to do besides believe is to study your craft. I did that too. I hold a Master of Fine Art degree in Creative Writing from New School University, and a Bachelor of English degree from New York University.
My favorite writer is William Shakespeare. Shakespeare’s most famous quote is how I try to live my life: “This above all: To thine own self be true, and it must follow, as the night the day, Thou canst not then be false to any man.”
Books which have influenced me include William Faulkner’s As I Lay Dying (which I pay tribute to in my novel Signs of Life), The Catcher in the Rye (which was one of the inspirations for my novel The Girl Next Door) and Choke by Chuck Palahniuk.
My favorite color is purple, and I tend to surround myself with it.
My favorite dessert is flan.
Oscar Wilde said: “Anyone who tells the truth is bound to be found out sooner or later.”
It is my aim to tell the truth, at least as it appears to be, to me.
I’m quite blessed to be able to do this daily.
What do you think of my work? Let me know! I welcome all comments, questions, and above all – compliments. (Wouldn’t you?)
For daily fun and inspiration, “like” my Facebook author page! You can also follow me on Twitter (@scastrovilla) and Instagram (@SeleneCastrovilla).
Here’s my official bio:
Selene Castrovilla is an award-winning YA novelist and nonfiction author. Her third young adult novel Melt, Book One of the Rough Romance Trilogy, was the recipient of six honors including the SCBWI Spark Award. Revolutionary Friends, her third nonfiction picture book, was the recipient of four awards including Booklist Top Ten Biography for Youth. Selene holds an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from The New School and a B.A. in English from New York University. She is a member of the Bank Street College Writers Lab and PEN American Children’s Book Committee. She is the Long Island Liaison for the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators Metro-NY Chapter, and a former chair of the Long Island Children’s Writers and Illustrators, Jacqueline Woodson, Selene’s teacher at The New School, calls Selene “a writer worth watching.”