About Debra Castaneda
To find out what I’m reading, what I’m working on now, and what books I recommend, click HERE.
Debra Castaneda grew up in the San Gabriel Valley of Southern California as an only child. Finding adult conversation boring, she found companionship in books. She wrote her first murder mystery in the fifth grade and turned it in as a homework assignment.
After college, she became a journalist working in television, radio, and online. Her work has been featured on Marketplace, This American Life, and National Public Radio (one story took her behind bars at San Quentin Prison to cover a baseball game). Most recently, she worked as a TV news director on the Central Coast of California.
Now, she devotes herself full-time to writing horror and dark fiction. Her novella, The Monsters of Chavez Ravine, is a 2021 International Latino Book Awards gold medal winner for Fantasy/SciFi-English. It also made two CrimeReads Best of 2021 lists: Horror and Historical Fiction.
For much of her professional life, she has worked under her married name, Debra Monroe, but she writes fiction under her family name of Castaneda.
For inspiration, Debra draws from her experience as a journalist, as a third-generation Mexican American, and as someone who has lived in various parts of the country, including Dallas, Chicago, Salt Lake City, Portland, and the San Francisco Bay area.
Debra lives in Capitola, California with her husband. She enjoys rediscovering the Mexican dishes of her childhood and texting her two daughters about her latest binge-watch.