Hope and Fortune by Marissa Bañez: Blog Tour and Giveaway

Monday, February 06, 2023

I'm so excited to launch the blog tour of Hope and Fortune by Marissa Bañez. This book is perfect for anyone – young and not-so-young – who has ever felt sad, lost, or in need of advice or messages about empowerment and self-discovery. Continue on to find out more about this amazing book and read an interview with the author.

But first, here's more about the book:

Hope and Fortune is a modern-day fairytale, featuring multicultural, multiracial (e.g., Filipina, African-American, Latina, Asian, Muslim, etc.), multigenerational, and multigender (including a boy) fairies of different shapes and sizes who help a sad little child who has lost her way to find her path.  Each fairy represents an ideal - Hope, Innocence and Wonder, Truth and Virtue, Generosity and Kindness, Strength and Courage, Respect and Dignity, Confidence, Imagination, Happiness, Beauty, Wisdom and Intelligence, and Love and Friendship. Although the protagonist is a little girl, the life advice given by the fairies is non-gender-specific and could resonate with anyone facing a difficult situation at any point in her/his/their life.

Publisher: Black Rose Writing
ISBN-10: 1685131174
ISBN-12: 978-1685131174
Print copy pages: 46 pages

Purchase a copy for yourself on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or Bookshop.org. You should also add it to your GoodReads reading list.

About the Author, Marissa Bañez

A first-generation immigrant to the U.S. from the Philippines, Marissa Bañez is a graduate of Princeton University and a lawyer licensed to practice in New York, California, and New Jersey. She has published legal articles for the prestigious New York Law Journal and the American Bar Association, but her true passion is in her children's stories. She currently lives in New York City with her husband and daughter, whose childhood was filled with many original stories and puppet shows made up entirely by her mom. In her free time, Marissa likes to travel, design and make clothes, cook, binge-watch Star Trek shows and Korean dramas, and occasionally strum a guitar.

She is currently working on her second book, Hues and Harmony (How the Singing Rainbow Butterfly Got Her Colors), a story about mixed or multiracial children, self-discovery, and respect for others as told through the life and adventures of a caterpillar. It is scheduled for publication on July 20, 2023.

You can find her online:

--- Interview by Nicole Pyles

WOW: First of all, congratulations on your book, Hope and Fortune. What are you working on now that you can tell us about? 

Marissa: I’m currently putting the finishing touches to my second book, Hues and Harmony (How the Rainbow Butterfly Got Her Colors). It’s about multiraciality, empowerment, self-acceptance and belonging as told through the life and adventures of a singing caterpillar (because why not a singing caterpillar???), using common shapes, primary colors, and basic chemistry concepts. 

Like Hope and Fortune (see response to No. 3 below), Hues and Harmony is a re-write of story and puppet show from my daughter’s childhood entitled The Singing Rainbow Butterfly. Then, I created the puppet caterpillar in the story out of round silver pot scrubbers held together by a wire, string, and popsicle sticks (not to mention a prayer). I think I still have that caterpillar somewhere and intend to use it when I do public readings for Hues and Harmony

Esperanza and the Fortune Fairies from Hope and Fortune make a cameo – yet important –appearance in Hues and Harmony, but it’s not a sequel. 

I used the same illustrator, and the dialogue/songs are also in rhyme so it will have the same look, feel, and sound as Hope and Fortune. I’m happy with how Hope and Fortune turned out and I want Hues and Harmony (as well as any other subsequent books) to have the same quality. Hues and Harmony is scheduled for official release on July 20, 2023.

WOW: That's amazing and I love the synchrony of both books! I love the symbolism in Hope and Fortune. Can you tell us a bit more about that? 

Marissa: I deliberately designed Hope and Fortune to be more than what meets the eye. Because children’s illustrated books are usually limited to 1000-1500 words, I expressly curated my illustrations to supplement the text of Hope and Fortune and create a multi-layered story with deeper significance. In writing and illustrating Hope and Fortune, I learned that numbers, colors, and animals represent or symbolize certain ideals and principles that dovetail nicely with what I wanted to say in the book. I then incorporated a lot of that symbolism to make the story as multifaceted as possible. 

Each of the characters in Hope and Fortune represents or symbolizes something. 

For example, “Esperanza” is the Spanish word for “hope.” Also, I read the number 12 symbolizes emotional, mental, and spiritual growth and enlightenment, which makes it the perfect number of fairies for this book! 

One of my favorite fairies is the Fortune Fairy of Beauty, who I deliberately chose not to depict “beauty” with a person’s face because what is beautiful is a personal concept informed by one’s world view. I remember a wonderful episode of Star Trek, about a race of aliens that were evolving from their corporeal states into beings of pure energy. That made me think of energy as our spiritual essence or life-force. To me, a beautiful spirit will always win over a gorgeous face with an ugly personality. Thus, the Fortune Fairy of Beauty as a heart radiating positive and bright energy was born. As she says: “Beauty is not what you see with your eyes but with your heart.” 

Another favorite is the Fortune Fairy of Wisdom and Intelligence. Oftentimes, old women in fairytales are depicted as old crones or witches. I wanted to change that narrative by depicting an old woman as representing wisdom and intelligence. I also wanted to honor and pay tribute to my alma mater, Princeton University. Orange and black are Princeton’s colors but orange is also a symbol of meditation, inspiration, and creativity – building blocks for wisdom and intelligence. The tiger, Princeton’s mascot, symbolizes high intellect and confidence. 

These are just some examples of the many things embedded in my illustrations. My hope is that the illustrations will result in further discussion and engender curiosity among all readers, both the young and the not-so-young. 

WOW: I love it! What inspired you to write this book and what led you to write children's books, in particular? 

Marissa: When my daughter was little, I wrote original children’s stories and created puppet shows from the stories. 

One of the stories from those days is the precursor to Hope and Fortune called The Lost Foal. For my daughter’s 7th birthday, I wanted to put on a show for her and her friends at her party. She wanted a story about cowgirls, fairies, and her little stuffed horse. I came up with a story entitled, The Lost Foal. In The Lost Foal, the stuffed horse was the one that got lost in the forest and encountered “cowgirl fairies” played by my daughter and her guests, each of whom wore fairy wings and pink cowboy hats and gave the horse life advice to get it back on the right track. 

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Fast forward 16 years later to the pandemic and lockdown in 2020. I felt bad for my daughter, her peers and those younger, all of whom faced unprecedented uncertainties in life. I then took The Lost Foal, modernized it with a diverse cast of characters, and created a message that I hope will resonate not only with the very young but also with those less so who may feel rudderless and lost (in however way you want to define and contextualize those terms) at some point in their lives. 

Writing children’s books is a great way for me to enjoy speaking to and connecting with young children. In December, I did a reading of Hope and Fortune at a local library in New York City. After I read the book, a 7-year-old boy took a copy of the book to read to himself. He then followed me around until he had my full attention to tell me how much he loved the book and that now he wants to write a book someday too. Even though the book is about a little girl with a Spanish name and fairies, the story still resonated with a little Asian boy – which is more than I could’ve hoped for. How wonderful to be able to touch the hearts and minds of young children with just a few words and illustrations. 

Here are a couple of pictures from my December 17, 2022, reading: 

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WOW: That is such a touching experience that led you to writing this book! I can see you already have a wonderful impact on children. Your book features multi-cultural and multi-generational fairies. Why was this type of representation so important to the book? 

Marissa: The Fortune Fairies are multicultural, multiracial, multigender and multigenerational because I wanted to demonstrate through vivid and relatable images that this world is comprised of many different types, colors, sizes, and shapes of people – all of whom have something valid to say and contribute to the betterment of humanity. The need for this type of representation was recently made obvious to me when I advertised my reading of Hope and Fortune at a local library on a public page on Facebook: 


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She deliberately chose to ignore my conciliatory tone and further challenged: “that doesn’t look like a white fairy.” What is a white fairy supposed to look like?!? I will confess that I have not ever seen a fairy of any type and that all the fairies in my book simply sprung out of my imagination. 

Hers is a type of closed-mindedness, unjustifiable vitriol and, yes, prejudice that warrants greater racial, cultural, gender, and generational representation in children’s books. 

WOW: Absolutely! How has being a lawyer prepared you for your writing career? 

Marissa: As a lawyer, I’m used to revisions and wholesale re-writes. Our documents usually undergo several revisions. This process continues until the very last moment and until we feel comfortable that we’d done everything in producing a good document. 

I treat my writing of children’s books the same way. The objective is to be able to sell the story (to the publisher, to the reviewer, to the buyer, to the reader) much in the same way that lawyers have to sell their arguments (to the judge, the opposing side, the jury, the client). 

So, this is my editing process: 

  • Write (or at least visualize) an outline that captures all the ideas I want to convey. 
  • Write a first draft that will likely surpass the word count requirement for children’s illustrated books of only about 1,000-1,500 words (most legal briefs also have word or page limitations). Remember: it’s easier to cut than it is to add or create new material. 
  • Focus on what’s essential and relevant and be ruthless in deleting or changing what’s not. As a lawyer, I learned not to be attached to any particular words or phrases. 
  • When I’m finally happy with a draft and think it’s as good as it’s ever going to be, I put it aside for a couple of days.
  • Often, when I look at it again, I find that it needs further editing. Sometimes, during the respite, new ideas bubble up in my consciousness that must be incorporated. 
  • “Shampoo, rinse, repeat” until the very last moment of my submission deadline. 
My manuscript editing process applies equally to the illustrations. Of course, because I work with an illustrator (as I do with paralegals, assistants and outside vendors necessary to produce a legal document), I am considerate of his time and capabilities. As a rule, I try very hard not to jam anyone up at the last minute with too many changes. I’ve found that being considerate of others in this way not only results in good working relationships but also a better work product. 

WOW: You have a fantastic structure to your process. What surrounds you as you write? 

Marissa: My lawyer training has given me the ability to write and focus anywhere at any time, blocking out all distractions. I don’t need – or want – aromatherapy, music, food/drink, pet companions, or even a pristine desk or room. I just need space for my computer and space in my mind.

WOW: That's wonderful! Thank you again for your time and best of luck to you on your book tour!

Hope and Fortune by Marissa Bañez Blog Tour

--- Blog Tour Calendar

February 6th @ The Muffin
Join us as we celebrate the launch of Hope and Fortune by Marissa Bañez. You can read an interview with the author and win a copy of the book.

February 8th @ School Librarian in Action
Visit Zarah's blog for her review of Hope and Fortune by Marissa Bañez. 

February 10th @ What is That Book About
Join Michelle who will be spotlighting Hope and Fortune on her blog.

February 12th @ The Mommies Reviews
Visit Glenda's blog for her review of Hope and Fortune by Marissa Bañez. 

February 13th @ Mindy McGinnis' Blog
Mindy features a guest post by author Marissa Bañez about why publishing a book is not the end, but only the beginning in getting your book to a reader.

February 16th @ The Frugalista Mom
Join Rochie as she reviews Hope and Fortune by Marissa Bañez. You'll also have a chance to win a copy of the book too!

February 20th @ A Storybook World
Join Deirdra as she features a guest post by Marissa Bañez entitled, Getting Your “Tribes” to Help Promote You and Your Book."

February 20th @ Ronovan Writes
Join Ronovan for an interview with the author of Hope and Fortune, Marissa Bañez.

February 22nd @ Word Magic
Visit Fiona's blog where she shares a guest post by Marissa Bañez about using illustrations in children's books to add depth and meaning to the story.

February 24th @ Barbara Barth Art & Words
Join Barbara as she reviews Hope and Fortune by Marissa Bañez.

February 25th @ World of My Imagination
Join Nicole as she features Marissa Bañez on her weekly feature "3 Things on a Saturday Night."

February 26th @ Shoe's Seeds & Stories
Join Linda for her review of Hope and Fortune by Marissa Bañez. 

February 28th @ World of My Imagination
Join Nicole as she reviews Hope and Fortune by Marissa Bañez. You can also win a copy of the book too!

March 2nd @ Beverley A. Baird's Blog
Visit Beverley's blog for her review of Hope and Fortune by Marissa Bañez. 

March 3rd @ Writer Advice
Visit B. Lynn Goodwin's blog for her review of Hope and Fortune by Marissa Bañez. 

March 4th @ Beverley A. Baird's Blog
Join Beverley again for a guest post by Marissa Bañez about becoming a children's author in her mid-60s.

March 4th @ Boots, Shoes, and Fashion
Visit Linda's blog for an interview with author Marissa Bañez about her children's book Hope and Fortune.

March 5th @ Barbara Barth Art and Words
Visit Barbara's blog today for her review of Hope and Fortune by Marissa Bañez.

March 8th @ One Sister's Journey
Visit Lisa's blog for a spotlight of Hope and Fortune by Marissa Bañez.

March 10th @ Choices
Join Madeline as she shares a guest post by author Marissa Bañez about whether self-publishing is worth it.

March 10th @ Ronovan Writes
Join Ronovan again for a review of Hope and Fortune.

***** BOOK GIVEAWAY *****

Enter to win a copy of the children's book, Hope and Fortune by Marissa Bañez. Fill out the Rafflecopter form by February 19th at 11:59 pm CT for a chance to win. We will choose a winner randomly the next day and will follow up via email. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Angela Mackintosh said...

Great interview! Marissa ~ I love the concept of your book and the fairies. The illustrations are beautiful. Growing up, I always wished there were books with mixed race characters, like me, so thank you! That Facebook comment is ridiculous, and reminds me of why I'm not on FB anymore. Thanks for sharing your editing tips, and good luck on your tour! :)

Helga said...

Your book sounds like a really sweet story. I love that the fairies are diverse! I'll share this book with my students who are all immigrants!

Kirsten Lyon said...

Sounds like a wonderful book for me to give my niece!

R Struthers said...

Oh wow. This would be a perfect gift for my granddaughter. I like that the book shows empowerment and self discovery. Important concepts to learn.

kywave said...

I like the fact that each fairy is a learning experience

Heather Swanson said...

A sweet book from our winter reading list.

Gina Ferrell said...

I love that Hope and Fortune introduces children to self-esteem in an entirely age-appropriate way.

Anonymous said...

This looks like a delightful book for children!

EC said...

Can't wait for my niece to get ahold of this! Love it!

Andrea said...

I love that the fairies are multi-cultral. So great for children to learn about others and see themselves represented.

Marissa Banez said...

Hello, everyone. This is Marissa, the book's author. I'm so humbled and touched by all your encouraging and positive comments. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

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