Thank you for clicking ABOUT and visiting this page. You came by hoping to know more about me, which is really nice, so I will try to say something interesting.
I grew up in the 70’s wearing pigtails like Cindy Brady and wandering the country like a gypsy, except my curly locks weren’t blonde, they were frizzy and brown.
Although I seem a bit grumpy in this photo (lol), I was happy. Whenever Papa received a new contract or bonus money, my mom allowed my brother and I to pick a new outfit from the J.C. Penney’s catalog, so I thought we were rich. And in a way we were.
My parents were proud Brooklynites. They loved the neighborhoods they grew up in and spoke fondly about singing on the street corner with a guy named Louie Geeba-Geeba and dancing at PS-29, a school young people met to get off the streets. So when they moved to Texas for what they called “a better life,” and all it ended up being was a “different life,” they pined for the good old days in Brooklyn my entire childhood.
Every day after school my mom had a Little Debbie’s snack cake waiting for me. Some days I’d climb the dusty desert hills with my friends or sit on our faux leather couch and watch The Brady Bunch and I thought life in Texas was pretty grand. But there was always the pining for “another life,” the one my parents were promised when they left Brooklyn all those years ago.
Now, today, even this very minute, I still pine for “another life” just like my parents did for so long, and I do this because it’s what I know, it’s become a part of me, it’s who I am.
And so this I believe is one of the many reasons why I write. I am searching for a place to belong in the voices of my characters, in the settings I create, hoping to find that other life, the one where I fit, where I finally find my place in the world.
I was destined to become a middle grade and picture book writer. Not because I believe in destiny, but the circumstances of my life put me here, and honestly, there’s no other place I would rather be.
My middle grade book, LITTLE MISS WANDERLING (who is now the Grand Prize winner of the SCBWI Equity and Inclusion Grant for my San Diego Chapter) is based on a true story. It’s about belonging and finding ones’ place in the world.
(Main characters, Abby and Louis are based on my cousin Wilson and me, and a life-altering accident we experienced moving across the country in the middle of winter.)
POSTCARDS FROM ABUELO, A PINEROS STORY is a multicultural nonfiction picture book about the unsung heroes of the forest.
ELLA ON THE CORNER OF CRANBERRY ST., a middle grade novel set in the 1950s based on how my parents met in Brooklyn, the beginning of their love story, and the struggle of racism, poverty and wealth. ￼￼￼
G.E.O.R.G.E. THE SUPERFLY, is a humorous and lighthearted chapter book series based on Dr. Robert Wood’s invention of the RoboBee, which was developed at Harvard University’s Applied Science Department.
Although RoboBee is fictionalize, our superhero saves the day without any fanfare, battling loneliness and his own insecurities, which is something only a true superhero will do.￼￼￼
My other books are about science, history, feeling rejected, finding a new family, and looking for friendship. All of my characters are desperately lonely and searching for something or someone to fill that hole.
I may have grown up listening to tales about a magical place called Brooklyn, but I now live in Southern California with my husband, young son, and an African Sulcata tortoise named Leonardo Da Vinci who roams my garden in the summertime. I’m a Latina author and a long time SCBWI member.
Here’s a video of our African Sulcata tortoise, Leo, having lunch. If you have children, nephews, or nieces, share this video with them. Leo is the sweetest.
At last, if you’ve read all the way to the end … thank you for coming by and visiting my blog today. I truly do appreciate it! Here’s my official bio:
Nessa Bellido Schwarz is a Latina author who writes about history, science, nature, and the joys and perils of growing up. She lives in Southern California with her husband, young son, and an African Sulcata tortoise named Leonardo Da Vinci, who roams her garden in the summertime. She’s been published in The Writer’s Journal, Hopscotch for Girls, and Fun for Kidz children’s magazines. A short story about her “Grandpop” who grew up in Cebu City in the Philippines was selected to be on display with the Smithsonian Institute’s Traveling Waterway Exhibition and published by Highlights for Children magazine. Her middle grade novel was the grand prize winner of the SCBWI Equity and Inclusion Grant for her local chapter. ￼￼She writes for the educational market and was on the application committee for the WeNeedDiverseBooks Mentorship Program, as well as a longtime member of the SCBWI.