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Invite an Author

Every month, we highlight an author in an initiative called "BCCLS Invite an Author". Many of these authors are happy to visit BCCLS libraries to chat with your book clubs or present programs either in person or via Skype. You can email them directly for more information or to schedule a library visit.

Previous Authors

September 2016

Nayda Rondon

Photo © Ariana Aguero.


Nayda Rondon


    nrondonwriter @


    Press Release


Letter of Introduction:

Dear Colleagues:

It makes me so happy and proud when one of our own has authored a book and our Ms. September has authored several but it’s her newest book that is so exciting.

She’s a staffer at the Montvale Public Library and I am delighted to present Nayda Rondon as BCCLS Invite an Author for September 2016.

Nayda Rondon, who was born in Cuba and has been a Bergen County resident for more than 15 years, is an editor/writer with more than 20 years of experience with diverse national and regional publications, blogs and organizations on wide-ranging topics such as parenting, lifestyle, kids and young adults, collectibles, multicultural issues, volunteering, non-profits, health and fitness, and wellness. She's also a proud member of the BCCLS family, happily serving as the Adult Program Coordinator at the Montvale Free Public Library. ALI AND THE NEW GIRL ¡HOLA MI AMIGA! is her first children's picture book.

A graduate of Syracuse University's S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications, she also holds a master's degree in Spanish literature from New York University

Her new book, ALI AND THE NEW GIRL ¡HOLA MI AMIGA! (Tate Publishing) is a picture book for young readers ages 5-8 and tells the story of Ali, a Cuban-American girl living a happy, comfortable life in an affluent Bergen County community. Ali’s world is disrupted when her maternal grandmother arrives from Cuba to live with her family. At first, Ali is impatient with and often embarrassed or amused by her abuela’s attempts to fit in. It is only when Ali befriends Lupe, a new girl in school who relocated from Mexico, that Ali starts to realize how scary it is to face new people and situations and not feel welcome. As Ali learns to understand the fears and feelings of newcomers to a new land, she also learns to embrace her own Hispanic heritage, as well as stand up to bullies.

About her book, Nayda says, "As for my young readers, I hope they enjoy the story. I don't want it to be boring or preachy. I want it to be as fun and engaging a read as it is educational and thought-provoking."

Click here for a link to a local press release about Nayda and her new book.

Don’t forget that National Hispanic Heritage Month is September 15 - October 15 and Nayda would be a perfect guest storyteller for your little ones.

You can contact Nayda at : nrondonwriter @ to arrange a library visit.

Warmest regards,





What are you reading? What's on your nightstand?

I'm actually re-reading The Sunne in Splendour by Sharon Kay Penman. Believing there are just "too many great books, too little time," I rarely read a book more than once. But this 936-page historical novel about Richard III and the Wars of the Roses is so compelling, well-written and filled with such complex, conflicted and fascinating characters that it draws me back time and again. It has it all – history, love, intrigue, betrayal, pageantry, mystery, tragedy! I love re-visiting that world and reveling in the writer's nuanced portrayals of these controversial historical figures.

And I find the writer's own story just as fascinating, and so motivational. In total, in took her about 12 years to write. The first manuscript was stolen from her car. Apparently it was at a time when there were only typewriters, and she hadn't made a copy of the original 400-page manuscript. Imagine how she must have felt when her one and only copy was gone! I'd have gone nuts! She was pretty devastated because she didn't write any fiction again for five years. But then she started again, and she wrote and wrote and wrote. The result: the 936-page epic tale that was eventually published. Now, that's a story of persistence and passion! I have two other books in the works – one is a historical fiction set in the time of Richard the Lionheart, the other a contemporary coming of age story – that I've been working on and off (mostly off) since my college days. Whenever I get totally discouraged that I'll never finish either, I remember Sharon Kay Penman.


Where do you go to get inspired?

My dreams and imagination


What's something that surprised you recently (in a good way)?

How much fun I'm having with the marketing/promotional aspects of getting my book out into the world. It's so energizing to go to book reading and signing events at places like libraries, schools and senior centers, and meet the people who are buying and reading my book. At my core, I'm shy and hate the thought of "selling" myself and my work, but I've been pleasantly surprised to discover how I'm pushing past my own self-imposed limitations and growing more open to putting myself out there, to be vulnerable and open to rejection and criticism. And really surprising and thrilling is the fact that reaction has been purely positive so far. Getting people's feedback and having them share their personal life experiences and anecdotes is so wonderful and encouraging for me. I'm a people person, and I'm genuinely touched and surprised by how many kind, caring people there are out there; how many people want to help, encourage and see me succeed.


Where do you write?

At my dining room table. I spread out all my papers – handwritten scraps of character notes; yellow legal pads scribbled with research and snatches of dialogue; journal entries with story ideas and inspirational quotes, etc., etc. – and then I read them and let them battle in my brain to live or die. The bits that survive, I write on my Mac. Once the words are on the computer screen, it's usually all about revise, revise, revise.


What/who makes you laugh? Why?

My husband and daughter are my favorite playmates. When everyday pressures get to be too much, it's not only fun but essential to be silly. It's also very liberating to feel so comfortable with someone that you can totally let go and be your zaniest and craziest. Sometimes we'll crack one another up by recalling some ridiculous thing we watched on TV or some misadventure that's happened to us (usually on vacation), and we'll laugh so hard that we'll literally be crying.


Favorite fictional character ever?

Honestly, I don't have one.


What do you want readers to know about you and your books?

We try our hardest to be our best and most authentic; we strive to be a genuine source of inspiration and encouragement, and a voice for acceptance and inclusion of diverse people, ideas and ways of life.


What are you working on?

A freelance editor/writer by day, I'm doing so much feature writing and editing work for magazines, proposal and promotional writing for non-profits, and ghostwriting for private clients that I'm afraid I'm currently not able to do much fiction writing during my "off" time, which between work, family, volunteer and social commitments, is essentially never.


What do you want libraries to know?

I would love to visit your library for a free storytime event consisting of a reading and signing of my new book, which could feature a Q & A section and an activity portion. The latter can be customized to suit your library's program needs and young audience tastes. For instance, we can make bookmarks or we can create crayon drawings based on some aspect of the story and/or its themes. Other options: The book features a Spanish glossary section, so perhaps we can present a mini class to learn Spanish words included in the story. If you have theme months, we can tie in age-appropriate discussions/activities centered around topics such as National Hispanic Heritage Month, Diversity, Anti-Bullying, Multicultural and Intergenerational, and Self-acceptance. For Grandparents Day, we can have an intergenerational social mixer where treats are served (can include flan, a Spanish dessert that figures in my story, acting as a tasty "friendmaker-icebreaker" between the little girl characters and their grandmothers). These are just some of the many possibilities, but I'm open to any and all suggestions! Please contact me and we can brainstorm ideas.