Lilliam Rivera is a writer who was born in the Bronx and now lives in Los Angeles.


  • Placing my fiction in a futuristic or horror setting is my way of making sense of real horrors.
  • When I first read Junot Díaz’s short story collection Drown I felt seen for the first time. Perhaps my first forays into writing fiction are nods to Díaz or Sandra Cisneros or Octavia Butler’s work until I was able to find my own voice.
  • This idea of “fake news” didn’t arrive with the current administration. If you follow the colonial history of Puerto Rico where my family originated from you can easily see how “fake news” has and continues to infiltrate the island and people of color. One of the first songs I remember being taught as a kid is a song in Spanish depicting how Christopher Columbus “discovered” Puerto Rico. Innocent lyrics fed to a young mind can be considered fake news.
  • (Do you feel that writing is revolutionary?) I really do believe this. Throughout history, journalists, writers, and poets have always been incarcerated, censored, killed. Even if I’m writing fiction in a dystopian world, I am striving to uncover current realities.
  • As a Latinx, borders have always played a part of my history, especially if you consider Puerto Rico’s history as a colonized island. My writing comes through this prism.
  • My high-school English teacher gave me a copy of Anthony Burgess’s A Clockwork Orange. I was obsessed with the book and Stanley Kubrick’s movie. I always wondered what it would be like for there to be a gender flip to that world, if it were girls who incorporated violent traits. Dealing in Dreams is my rendition of what that world would look like where young women use violence as their way out of their social status.
  • everyone’s family is messy. When you’re young, you’re just seeing that mess for what it is. There’s that moment for every young adult when you finally see your parents as flawed characters or people who had their own dreams, which maybe were never fulfilled.
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