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Julia Amante | 2024 Latina of Influence

Hispanic Lifestyle is honored to recognize author, educator, entrepreneur Julia Amante as a Latina of Influence. Ms. Amante will be recognized for her leadership in our community during Hispanic Lifestyle’s Connecting Latinas of Influence | Inland Empire to be held on May 23, 2024 in downtown Riverside, California.

Julia Amante, Women’s Fiction author of Let Us Begin, This Is Now, That Was Then, Say You’ll Be Mine, and Evenings at the Argentine Club, writes emotionally rich stories about family, love, and the passion of chasing and achieving one’s goals.

Julia began her writing career in 2000, writing Latina romance under the pseudonym Lara Rios when Kensington Publishing released a new line of Latino romance books. These books reflected the flavor and rhythm of Latino communities in the U.S. and delivered richly textured commercial fiction about a population that had been mostly ignored by publishers at the time. Julia sold four romances to this publisher before moving on to write longer Chick Lit novels for Berkley Publishing by 2006. Her book Becoming Latina in 10 Easy Steps was optioned by Disney’s ABC Family to become a future TV series.

In 2009, Lara Rios became Julia Amante when she changed her writing style to reach a new audience. Amante wanted to expand her writing to include not only romantic relationships but the more complex bonds women have with parents, children, and friends. These novels continued to feature Latino characters and the cultural flavor of Hispanic life in America, but they also dealt with universal issues that appealed to women of all cultures.

Julia’s journey has taught her to cherish her roots, embrace her Latina heritage, and appreciate the life her parents built in the U.S. She weaves the two cultures together in her novels, illustrating the unique beauty of America. To Julia, being Latina is not a separate identity from being American; her immigrant story is a vital part of this country’s rich history, a sentiment that resonates with readers of all backgrounds.

Julia’s dedication to education is as strong as her passion for writing. She earned her B.A. at the University of California, Riverside, and her M.F.A in Fiction from California State University, San Bernardino. Currently, she shares her knowledge and love for writing as a business writing instructor at the same university. Her commitment to education extends beyond the classroom, as she has presented workshops at various prestigious events and organizations, such as the Latino Book and Family Festival, the Mexican-American Organization Foundation, and the Latina Business Women Organization, spreading her love for literature and Latino fiction.

Nominated by Delila Vasquez
I would like to nominate Julia Amante for the Latinas of Influence award. In the time I have known Julia, I have not only enjoyed her writing but also cherished her friendship. She embodies a woman of conviction who fearlessly speaks her mind while exuding genuine care and compassion.

Julia’s dedication extends beyond her personal relationships; she is deeply committed to the growth and development of her students. In the classroom, she offers her authentic self, fostering an environment where students feel supported and encouraged to thrive.

Furthermore, Julia’s impact extends beyond academia. She passionately supports fellow writers by spearheading the Comadres Bookclub in the Inland Empire for the past 12 years. Her leadership has provided a platform for aspiring writers to connect, learn, and grow together.

As a friend, Julia’s honesty and kindness are not only refreshing but also empowering. She creates a welcoming space for everyone, exemplified by her role as an active member of Comadres IE. Julia graciously opens her home to host meetings, where she extends genuine care and hospitality to all attendees.

Julia’s unwavering commitment to her students, her fellow writers, and her community truly exemplifies the essence of a Latina of Influence. Her passion, dedication, and authenticity make her a deserving candidate for this prestigious recognition.


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