Ashley Granillo is a Mexican American author. She has many degrees, including a BA and MA in Creative Writing with a concentration in Fiction and an MFA in Fiction and a minor in Screenwriting from UCR Palm Desert’s Low Residency program. Ashley got her start as a writer from the young age of 5. She was a member of Telfair Elementary’s Student Author Project. This project paired kindergartners with fifth grade students, where they mentored, wrote, illustrated, and promoted their book collaboration. Many of the themes Ashley writes about are inspired about her home, family, her love for animals, and music. Cruzita and the Mariacheros (Lerner 2024), is a testament to home, family, and music, as well as her Mexican American heritage. While she grew up in a predominantly Latinx and Hispanic community, Ashley was one of the only kids in her neighborhood who only spoke one language, and was never taught about her family’s heritage or traditions––aside from making delicious tortillas. She came to discover one tradition, Dia de los Muertos, after reading Ray Bradbury’s The Halloween Tree in fourth grade. The power of books, how they exchanged cultural knowledge and emotion, made Ashley realize how important her stories would become one day. As she continues to grow, so does the topics she writes about.