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. Her favorite escape from a grim home life was telling stories to her siblings. 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, and with family pressuring her to settle down and start a family, 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.

Photography returned into her life during the Dark Culture years and grew into a successful new career. She photographed music performances, travelscapes, and commercial subjects.

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, five 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.

Now returned to her first love of storytelling, Kristen is writing furiously and working to hone her technical skills. She is currently studying copy editing at U.C. San Diego and is immersed in the un-dangling of participles and selling curated used books by female authors. The stories continue.

Charles Bukowski

“What matters most is how well you walk through the fire.”