Winners circle

Published Graduates

Marie Mercado
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Marie Mercado

Published Work: La Ch’ uupalo: The Conqueror

Marie is a graduate of Institute for Children’s Literature. View Course Catalog >

Welcome to the Winners’ Circle where we celebrate the success of our ICL students. Today we are celebrating published author Marie Mercado!

The Conqueror by Marie Arruda Machado-MediciWhat is the name of your book? Who is the publisher?

La Ch’ uupalo: The Conqueror

Palmetto Publishing

Give us a short summary of your book.

This book is a YA First Nations Fantasy novel. The main character is a teenage girl who sets out to save the girls of her tribe, and the girls of the world. She defies her grandfather in the beginning, but earns the respect of grandfather, the Warriors, and all in the end. This is a novel about empowerment for young women.

Tell us a bit about your path to publishing, from idea to submission to published.

I began writing the story a little over a year ago and I had most of it on paper within two months. My biggest motivation to write was after watching a few MMIW documentaries and reading the book “Destruction of the Indies,” combined with all my personal family research regarding my European ancestral colonizers (King James, etc.) and my Indigenous American ancestors. This book is a conversation starter for First Nation’s rights.

How long have you been writing?

More than 30 years, but it has been on the back burner and I suffered a huge mental block.

What’s your favorite genre to write and why?

Surprisingly, fantasy is now my favorite.

Please list the course or courses you’ve taken with us.

Writing for Children and Teens

How has taking our courses helped your writing and/or career?

It was helpful being critiqued by Cindy Savage. I have mentioned her in the foreword of my book.

Have any of your class assignments been published? If so, where and when?

Not yet.

Do you have a favorite writing tip you’d like to share?
Just that I get my best ideas in the middle of the night.

If you could travel back in time and give yourself one piece of writing advice, how far back would you go, and what would you tell yourself?
30 years or more. I probably would’ve just said, “Be an author instead of special education teacher, which takes a huge toll on the body and mind.”

Please tell us the best or most valuable thing you learned from your experience with ICL and IFW.

How to really get into the character and to use people you know as inspiration for characters.

What is one of the things on your bucket list?
I publish a book as a bestseller and it’s made into a movie.

Marie Mercado is a disabled military veteran and a mother of three girls. She has two grandchildren. She loves her family, being part of indigenous American culture, taking DNA tests and studying DNA chromosomes, family history, and genealogy. Find out more about “La Ch’ uupalo: The Conqueror” here. More information about Marie’s second book “Black, Red, Yellow and White Lies Matter Too” is available here. Marie writes under the name Marie Medici.

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