If you're a fan of YA novels, Lilliam Rivera is definitely someone you want to keep in your cue of favorite authors. The Bronx, New York-born author is known widely for her first novel The Education of Margot Sanchez, and her second, Dealing in Dreams, will be released in March 2019. In her work, she leans into the Latinx experience, unapologetically and unequivocally. That's why she's included in this special edition of Bustle's Must Follow, in which we highlight the incredible Latinx voices you need to follow on Instagram and Twitter.
Describe yourself in one line, including how you identify and what you do.
“I’m a Nuyorican writer from the Bronx who loves writing young adult novels and short stories, and engaging in real talk.”
What do you hope people take away from following you on social media?
“Although I’m on Instagram and Facebook, I joined Twitter 10 years ago and still find the platform empowering. There is a sense of freedom of being able to write openly about my thoughts and passions. My tweets range from sharing what it was like to be in conversation with Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor and speaking out against the injustices being inflicted on the people of Puerto Rico. Maybe followers can connect to those awkward moments of being the only person of color in a room or they can relate a little bit to my current Bad Bunny obsession. I’m pretty much the same person I am on Twitter as I am in real life. I try to be authentic and true.”
When did you first feel that you were a voice for the Latinx community?
“I don’t know if I’m that person but I do feel my job is to use whatever platform I’m on to shine a light on the creative people of color who are changing the landscape. When I’m excited about a writer, artist, movement, what have you, I want everyone to know about it. I also want to dispel the romantic notion behind being a writer and getting published. I share how hard writing can be and I share the joys, both the highs and the lows. Some people might think I’m wasting my time online. I don’t care. Twitter is part of my process. I am able to use my voice without being censored and if that helps someone find the courage to use their own voice in the process, then it’s worth it.”
Who's another Latinx person you would recommend to follow on social media?
“There are so many amazing Latinx [people] on Twitter. Just plug in #latinx in search and you’ll find poets, artists and writers doing such groundbreaking work. I do want to give love to the actress, author and activist America Ferrera (@americaferrera). I interviewed her a while back and I’ve always been so impressed by how she’s able to balance political activism with a life in Hollywood. She’s very inspiring.”
Follow Lilliam Rivera on Twitter, @lilliamr.