Say hello to Mika and Lolo
I had the idea for this book when I was pregnant with Eric, before I knew whether he was going to be a girl or boy. I wanted to write a book that I could give him or her that didn´t fall under a gender stereotype, and encouraged them to be who they wanted to be. A feminist book, that fights against toxic masculinity, and that would be different to all the books that I found in bookshops, where the protagonist was always a he, and where the stories and drawings always perpetuated the same old examples and stereotypes.
I imagined some characters with whom children could feel identified and that I, as a mother, wanted as role-models. Normal kids, curious, full of games and questions, different and happy.
I wanted to write a bilingual book so that his father and I could read it him each in our own language and he would know that the message was the same, even though the words were others.
I found the best illustrator in the world, Paula Vigil, who introduced me to my own characters, full of colour and life. It was impossible not to fall in love with them as soon as they hit my inbox, and now I can’t imagine them any other way.
20 minutes before entering into the operating theatre for my c-section with Nora, I was changing the font and sending the final touches of the book to the publisher. I was going to finish the book and have my daughter at nearly exactly the same time!
Many months passed and many things happened between time the idea appeared in my head and today, when the final colour test arrived and we gave the final ok and Mika and Lolo are becoming a reality. As I write, Mika and Lolo is rolling off the printing press and a new stage in the journey is beginning.
It’ll still be another month until they are ready for sale, we’ve still got to finish the website and work out how to get them over to Belfast from Spain, but right now all I can feel is euphoria to have gotten so far.