Kristen Simental is an emerging LatinX author born in East Los Angeles and raised in the struggling rural outskirts of Oxnard.
Kristen tackled her world with curiosity, passion and defiance. More than once, Kristen’s intensity landed her in hot water with school officials who expected her to toe the line, keep her head down and target a career in retail or health services. But her muses kept calling, and at age eighteen she left Oxnard and fled to the LA music scene.
Without the benefit of formal college or literary training, Kristen pushed forward. She started one of the first independent online music sites, Dark Culture Magazine, which generated interviews, articles and reviews of the nascent LA Goth underworld. Both editor and principal author, Dark Culture’s direct and insightful writing earned a loyal audience.
In 2016, while sidelined with a long illness, Kristen wrote again. Stories long bottled up flowed, and within a year she had first drafts of four novels, numerous short stories and two novellas. She delivered her personal mix of sardonic wit and fatalistic optimism in a clean, direct style. Kristen submitted her work to literary journals in 2017, and her first piece was published in Sheriff Nottingham that year. Her novella, Why, Arizona was awarded the 2019 de Groot Prize.
Now returned to her first love of storytelling, Kristen is writing furiously and working to hone her technical skills. She is currently studying towards a degree in (probably) English. In April 2020, during the COVID-19 lockdown, Kristen started Five South, an online literary journal.
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