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War-torn El Salvador is setting for CV novelist Jeanne Becijos | Fri, May 01 2015 02:26 PM

Chula Vista author Sherrie Miranda has recently released a historical novel “Secrets & Lies in El Salvador.” It is the story of an American girl who goes to war-torn El Salvador hoping to help victims of the war. It is also a love story between a young American woman and the Salvadoran people.

Although the story takes place in El Salvador, Miranda explains that it stands for the stories of all Latin America, as well as other developing nations. The book exposes death and destruction at every turn, but also validates the power of love and embodies the gift of hope. Shelly, the protagonist, is an American photographer who hears the secrets and lies of the Salvadorans while she photographs them.

On April 11, the Barnes and Noble bookstore in La Mesa hosted a panel of writers and their recent books, including Miranda and her novel. The event was an opportunity for Miranda to speak about her book and answer questions in a public forum.

Miranda held a book launch event at the Chula Vista Woman’s Club in late February.

Miranda’s self-published novel is available in bookstores and on Amazon.

 “After a few years of hearing people tell me how I should tell my story, I ran a Kickstarter campaign and began to plan how I could publish my novel independently,” Miranda explains. “Fortunately I made enough money to pay for an editor.”

Besides hiring an editor, she found a cover designer, a formatter and someone to upload her novel.

Miranda says, “If you read my novel, you will find that I tell many people’s stories there: men and women, the young, the old and the middle-aged. I tell the Salvadorans’ stories but I also tell the stories of several Americans. When my niece recently told me she didn’t like history, I told her that’s because she hasn’t learned history the way I teach it. We must begin now to let the world learn the history of the people, not that of the leaders and their dogma.”

Miranda’s former husband was Salvadoran. They were active in the Salvadoran anti-war movement. She was active in the Committee in Solidarity with the People of El Salvador from 1981-1992 when the Peace Accords were signed. She visited El Salvador during the war, then again in 2002 — 10 years after the Peace Accords were signed — with a CISPES fact-finding delegation.

She met with union leaders, the U.S. Embassy and a women’s cooperative in Usulatan where they grow organic crops and help women and children have permanent homes.

Miranda and her current husband, Angelo Miranda, live in Chula Vista and have taught in the Sweetwater Union High School District.

Now that her book is finished, she realizes she has other stories to write, including a prequel and sequel to her novel.

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