American Tumbleweeds: Marta Elva's story of life on both sides of the Mexican-American border

Well, this makes us very happy.

Marta Elva (Gibbons) who joined Green Rivers Writers Workshop last summer, has published her novel, American Tumbleweeds (Circling Rivers, publisher). The official release date is May 10, but already the book is receiving praise and wide coverage. No wonder. This is a lovingly told story of a young girl growing up in the 1960's, a time not so different from the present when language, culture, and gender are being used to divide people, to cause us to contemplate building walls to keep us separate from "those others." Marta's book breaks down walls and brings us together.

American Tumbleweeds is the coming-of-age story of Inez, a confused but gutsy adolescent who is trying to figure out who she is and where her true home is. Inez and her family tumble, psychologically and physically, between Juarez, Mexico and El Paso, Texas. Inez looses her footing when her charismatic father is sent to prison for drug smuggling; she trips, but she never really falls down.

                                                                                                     Marta Elva Gibbons

                                                                                                     Marta Elva Gibbons

Marta attended last July’s Green River Writers Workshop, traveling with her husband Michael Gibbons from their home on the Gulf Coast of Florida to New Mexico, to be part of the workshop and, especially, to spend time with Gerry and Lorry Hausman who have worked closely with her in editing the book. Marta’s focus on crafting the powerful story that she has to tell and her willingness to work hard at writing and re-writing shines through in the words of Inez and her family members. Marta brought the same humor, insight, and wisdom to the workshop as she brings to her writing.

Corrine, Marta, Diana, Megan, Jean, and Pam at the Plaza Hotel, Las Vegas, New Mexico, Eighth Annual Green River Writers Workshop July 2015

Corrine, Marta, Diana, Megan, Jean, and Pam at the Plaza Hotel, Las Vegas, New Mexico, Eighth Annual Green River Writers Workshop July 2015

Marta starts her author signing  and book tour at Alliance for the Arts in Ft. Meyers, Florida on May 12, before continuing on through Florida, New Mexico, New England, and Texas, demonstrating her own form of being an American tumbleweed. Check the Circling Rivers website for dates of her appearances—and request an appearance at your local bookstore or bookclub. Meet Marta and talk to her about her writing process and her story. She will enhance your life, just as she enhanced Green River Writers Workshop.

With American Tumbleweeds, Marta Elva pulls us into the minds of a half-dozen members of a border family in crisis, dramatizing the state of living ni aqui, ni alla, neither here nor there geographically and emotionally. A moving first novel.
                        — John Sayles, film director, author, and MacArthur fellow

Available on Amazon and Barnes and Noble and through your local bookstore.                

Published by Circling Rivers                                                                                                                                                                                       Jean Huets | 804-368-6833                                                                  

ISBN 978-1-939530-01-1 (trade paper)

trim 5.5 x 8.5 | 298 pp. | $14.99

ISBN 978-1-939530-02-8 (digital)

all formats $6.99


What story do you have to share? Think what a difference your story might make in someone's life, just as Marta's story will change lives. Don't wait. Sit down and write today.