ADRIANA HERRERA was born and raised in the Caribbean, but for the last 15 years has let her job (and her spouse) take her all over the world. She loves writing stories about people who look and sound like her people and gives them unapologetic happy endings.
When she’s not dreaming up love stories, planning logistically complex vacations with her family or hunting for discount Broadway tickets, she’s a social worker in New York City working with survivors of domestic and sexual violence.
Her debut novel, American Dreamer, has been featured on Entertainment Weekly, NPR and was one of the TODAY Show on NBC’s Hot Beach Reads picks. She’s one of the co-creators of the Queer Romance PoC Collective and serves as the VP of Programs for the Romance Writers of America New York City Chapter.
Find out more at her website: https://adrianaherreraromance.com/
American Dreamer (2019)
American Fairytale (2019)
American Love Story (2019)
Biggest literary influencers:
That’s a hard one! I read really widely so mine are from different genres. Edith Wharton is one of my favorites. I always loved how unflinching she was on her social critiques. Laura Esquivel also had a lot on influence on my writing, especially rendering of culture. In romance, I love KJ Charles, Beverly Jenkins and Helen Hoang among MANY others.
Last book read:
Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller. I read Circe last year and was so blown away by it, and Song of Achilles wrecked me even worse. It’s just gorgeous.
The book that changed your life:
That is another very hard question! I’ve always been a voracious reader, like 100+ books a year, so it’s hard to pick just one. There have been many that have had a huge impact on me at different times.
One book that really changed me is The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind and Body in the Healing of Trauma by Bessel Van der Kolk. My day job is working with survivors of violence, and this book completely changed the way I looked at trauma and how people walk in the world. It also really has influenced how I wrote relationships and power dynamics in my books.
Your favorite literary character:
Xiomara from The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo because she was the first character I ever read who I could see my WHOLE story in. That book brought home to me the power of representation and why it’s so important for marginalized authors to be present and supported in the literary space. Xiomara is the character I wish I could’ve been able to read when I was a young Dominican girl trying to figure out who I was going to be.
Currently working on:
I’m working on the last book of the Dreamers series. It is Juan Pablo’s story, and unlike the first three books in the series, which were M/M romances, Sweethearts is M/F. It’s a second chances romance and, because it’s me, has a pretty strong dose of intersectional feminism and sex positivity!
Words to live by:
This quote by Oprah has been vibing hard with me lately: “You get in life what you have the courage to ask for.”
Advice to new and aspiring authors:
Cultivate friendships, build community and surround yourself with friends that will lift you up and give you a talking to when you need it.
Articles / Reviews:
“[Adriana Herrera] is writing some of my favorite Afro-Latinx characters and giving us beautiful love stories along the way.”
—Elizabeth Acevedo, National Book Award Winner for The Poet X
“With American Dreamer, Adriana Herrera positions herself as a fresh and vital new voice in romance.”
“Adriana Herrera writes family—all kinds of family—better than anyone else writing today.”
—Cat Sebastian, Bestselling Author of The Ruin of a Rake