Reyna Grande

Reyna Grande


What we should aspire to is not to just have a job that pays the bills, but to have a job that fulfills us, that we want to wake up and be thankful for every day.


By Roadtrip Nation

Reyna Grande


My road in life took a while to figure out.
I was born in Iguala, Guerrero, Mexico, which is one of the poorest areas in the country.
My parents both immigrated to the U.S. when I was very young, but my siblings and I remained in Mexico until I was 10 years old—that’s when I entered the U.S. as an undocumented immigrant.
Attended Pasadena City College for two years, then transferred to the University of California, Santa Cruz, where I earned my bachelor’s degree in creative writing and film and video studies.
After graduating, I struggled to find work within my field of study—I ended up becoming a middle school teacher so I could pay my student loans while I searched for work as a writer.
It took four years to finish my first book and find an agent; and, over fourteen years to become a full-time author.
Attended Antioch University where I earned my master’s degree in creative writing.
I’ve written five books, including “Across a Hundred Mountains,” “The Distance Between Us,” and “A Dream Called Home”—and I’m currently working on my sixth novel.
In addition to being an active promoter of Latino literature, I also speak at a variety of events across the U.S. and teach creative writing at UCLA Extension.
Keep following my journey


High School
Associate's Degree
Pasadena City College
Creative Writing
University of California, Santa Cruz
Film & Video Studies
University of California, Santa Cruz
Creative Writing
Antioch University



I am an award-winning novelist, motivational speaker, and writing teacher.

Career Roadmap

My work combines:
My work combines:
Being Creative

Day to Day

There are different components to my day as a writer. There is the physical act of writing, but then there is also the promotional aspect of it that involves a lot of traveling and speaking at events, etc. Every week is different for me.

Advice for Getting Started

Here's the first step for college students

Have a plan! School can be a cocoon of comfort, but you have to remember that you will one day emerge from that cocoon out into the world. Having a plan will help you on path while you are getting started. Start networking as early as you can and making those connections that could lead to exciting opportunities. Volunteer and intern as much as you!


The Noise I Shed

From Myself:

"Latinos don't write books."

Challenges I Overcame

Career Change
First-Generation Immigrant
Mental Health Issues