About the Author

Shawn LaTorre

Shawn LaTorre’s appreciation of the Spanish language began while picking blueberries with her siblings alongside migrant field workers each summer in Michigan. She enjoyed being immersed in their music, joy, and conversations.

Her love of Mexico grew as she continued her studies at la Universidad Ibero Americana in Mexico City, where she lived with her “Mexican mother” and visited the pyramids of Teotihuacan, the coastal areas of Cozumel, and Acapulco. She felt a true affinity to the unnamed people who came to these areas long before she did.

Shawn became interested in the Alamo story while accompanying a group of eighth graders to the site. Texas History is taught in seventh grade, so it was not uncommon to take eighth graders to the Alamo and to a waterpark for the day. Being new to Texas, Shawn didn't know the story and couldn't seem to get clear answers from the eighth graders on the trip as to what the infamous limestone building was all about. From that day on, she began to seek out information about the Alamo story and found it interesting, complicated, and sometimes confusing.

Footfalls to the Alamo is the result of this extensive research, including a personal connection with the relative of the main character, Señora Candelaria.

Shawn worked with many migrant students over the course of her twenty-five year career as an educator, always focused on teaching students rather than subjects. She took the lead in organizing a Transitional Bilingual Education Program, served as an International Baccalaureate Middle Years Program Coordinator, and was the director for a law humanities magnet program. She also served as a teacher in the Migrant Attrition Prevention Program (MAPP) at St. Edward's University.

It is Shawn's hope that students today will be better able to imagine some of the issues surrounding San Antonio and Texas of the early 1800's with the help of her novel.

When not writing or reading, Shawn can be found reviewing books for Story Circle Network, researching, coaxing her patio plants along, stitching, or simply riding her bike around the neighborhood to ponder new ideas.

Some of Shawn's other works have been published in Seeing Through Their Eyes (2022) and Kitchen Table Stories 2022: Sharing Our Lives in Food.

"My book Footfalls to the Alamo is the story of an indigenous woman and her life leading up to the Battle of the Alamo. I feel like we are in short supply of women's perspectives on such a turbulent time. I'm amazed every time I think of the numerous places her family settled before arriving in San Antonio, and the colorful characters she met once there who made names for themselves. The result of over three years worth of research, it is a beautiful story."

—Shawn LaTorre