Most people know Mario Lopez as the sexy Latino host of "Extra." But now, you can add children's author to his list of accomplishments, too. His book, Mud Tacos!, just hit store shelves and is already getting rave reviews.
"Mud Tacos!," a picture book written by Lopez with his sister, Marissa Lopez-Wong, is a loving tale about their family and the nurturing bond between a brother and sister. The story follows Mario and Marissa and their cousins Chico and Rosie playing in their nana's backyard and using their imagination to have fun.
Momlogic sat down with Mario to talk about his familia, life, and everything in between.
Momlogic: Mario, can you talk a little bit about your heritage and how it influenced the book?
Mario Lopez: I am a first generation Mexican-American. After my parents came here from Mexico, we lived in Chula Vista (San Diego, CA). Both my parents worked, so my grandparents watched us during the day. We literally grew up playing in my grandma's backyard. Mud Tacos! represents the best of times with my sister, where we were in our own little world having fun right in the backyard. Too few kids experience this today. Too often, they plop down in front of the TV instead of playing. It's important to flex your creative muscle!
ML: Why did you decide to write a children's book?
Mario: I only write about things that I am very passionate about, and family is one of them. I've only written one other book, "Knockout Fitness," because fitness is also very important to me.
My sister and I got the idea for the concept when we were watching her kids play, how they interact, how they stick up for each other, even how they fight. And, it got us thinking about the good times we used to have together when we were small.
We also wanted a way to expose our culture to our audience and have fun along the way.
ML: What was it like working with your sister?
Mario: Working with my sister was great! She was the quarterback on our team. She brought so much input to the project, and for her to balance three kids and this book -- she's a superhero mom!
ML: Any plans for a second book?
Mario: Hopefully this is the first of many. My sister and I have a few stories in the pipeline, all with great themes and all sprinkled with our culture. Eventually we would love to do something in the animated world as well.
ML: It's great that the book is available in English and Spanish!
Mario: Writing a version in Spanish was really important for me. It's a great tool for children who speak Spanish or for those who want to learn how to speak Spanish.
Want more? Momlogic is giving five readers a copy of Mud Tacos! Visit the Latina Mamas group in the momlogic community to enter. Contest ends October 30, 2009.
Follow Mario on twitter!