CHANTILLY, Virginia (WDVM) – If you wander through the fiction section of the library, the romance and slice of life books by Filipino-American author Tif Marcelo might grab your attention with their minimalist color block cover patterns . However, open one and you’ll soon find out that it has local connections.
“I love to read when I was a kid, and I used to go to the library like that, because the library was where I hung out after school,” Marcelo said.
However, like some in the Asian-American community, Marcelo was pointed in a different direction by his parents.
“My parents were immigrants, okay they were like you know you really need to eat,” Marcelo said. “You have to support yourself. And they said, no, that doesn’t mean you don’t write but you have to find another career, so they directed me to health care and I became a registered nurse.
After working as a nurse, Marcelo took to blogging. This is where his writing erupted.
“Ironically enough, this is my mom, who came to me after years of blogging and told me that you know you really are such a lovely writer that you should write a book, and I was like oh my God, I have three children now, ”Marcelo said. “But when I was pregnant with my fourth child, I was as you know sometimes moving, so I started to write seriously.
One of Marcelo’s books takes place in the old town of Alexandria; Northern Virginia is the closest second home for his military family.
“We love this place… my kids consider this place their home,” Marcelo said. “It’s pretty neat to have two kids graduating from local schools and to be able to write about the old town, which is a wonderful place to visit. “
Marcelo hopes to bring more representation to the book industry as a Filipino-American author.
“We know that as an entertainment industry, including the book industry… there aren’t enough Asian-American voices, and most importantly I believe in Asian-American commercial fiction that is about joy. to live, ”Marcelo said.
She believes that writers from different backgrounds can help readers learn and understand other cultures, so she emphasizes the importance of reading beyond your culture for her children.
“Even for my kids, because they are growing up, I like to give them a selection of many different books, so that they can somehow, you know how to learn on their own and see other cultures and maybe experiment and ask questions ”. Marcelo said.
As for others in the field who look like Marcelo or come from similar backgrounds, she gives advice on continuing to write as a Pacific Islander of Asian-American descent.
“For the future, author to come up there. I would say he’s your writer because you write, and the most important thing is to write your book, and everything else will come. With reading comes empathy, and with empathy, I believe that so many of the world’s problems can be solved, ”Marcelo said.
For a list of Tif Marcelo’s work, click this link here.