Beatriz Parga is a renowned Latin American book author. Her most recent work, La Maestra y el Nóbel, is a return to Macondo, the fictional town described in Gabriel García Márquez’s novel, One Hundred Years of Solitude. She is also the author of el Macho Latino. A true career success as a journalist, Beatriz was recognized by Hispanic Media as one of the 100 most influential Hispanic journalists in the United States.
Born in Bogota, Colombia by the age of 24, Beatriz Parga had a solid name in “El Tiempo,” the most influential newspaper in her homeland when she won a contest from the Inter American Press Association that allowed her to expand her studies of journalism in the United States or Canada. She chose Florida International University and got a second fellowship from Florida International University and a third grant from the Rotary Club in California. She took advantage of this last opportunity to interview United Farm Workers leader Cesar Chavez. By that time she was a syndicated writer with around sixteen newspapers.
What motivated you to become a book author?
The first person to ask me to write a book was Carmen Balcells, the most successful literary agent in the Hispanic world. I was an avid reader in those days, but at the same time I had too much passion for journalism to think out of the box. I missed then one of the best opportunities for any writer, but Carmen’s invitation stayed in my mind.
As a female book author, what are some of the biggest challenges you face and how do you manage to overcome them?
I am a multitasking woman who always wants to be number one in what I do. It has nothing to do with pride, but with doing a good job. I have to work very hard and many hours to be the best I can in each one of my tasks: as a writer, as a journalist, and also as a Realtor, a profession in which I also have been very successful.
What do you find the most satisfying part of your work?
One of the most satisfying parts of my work has been when Oscar winner Vittorio Cecchi Gori and Puerto Rican director Frank Marrero read one of my books and were interested in taking it to the big screen, as it happened with “La Maestra y el Nobel” (The Teacher and the Nobel Laureate) about Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s first teacher. I confess I am not insensible to past compliments on my writings from a Master like Garcia Marquez, but in the same way, I was moved when I discovered in YouTube that students and teachers in a very remote town I have never visited decided to take to stage a play based on one of my books.
What advice do you have for other women who have unusual (or challenging) career goals?
To be sure that they invest their energies in what they are good at and achieve career success. I have seen women with great talent work hard for something they are not the best at. I know a woman who is a great composer, but went on to study chemistry.
Give us an example of how you’re currently helping other women advance professionally or fulfill their career goals?
When I meet someone that can use my help, I am ready to give a hand. Two former employees give me credit for teaching them the skills to become editors of their own magazines. My manicurist’s niece, a bright young woman, with my help ended up working for Sony Music. Someone who wanted to be a radio DJ took my advice for a bright future in sales. Offering good advice and guidance or just sharing career strategies can help others achieve career success.
Could you mention one or more women who have helped you get to where you are now?
I would not be where I am without the support of Cristina Saralegui who gave me her hand after I moved to the United States, 34 years ago. She has also been a great inspiration and a great friend. As a writer, I have also received support from other women, but nobody to the extent of Cristina.
You can connect with Beatriz on:
Facebook: Beatriz Parga Carrizosa