My mother died when I was born, and I was raised by my grandmother; she was like my mom. My grandmother was from Merida, Yucatan and she always told me fascinating stories about her life and that part of Mexico. After I came to the U.S., I was taking some English classes at DePaul University and was asked to write a story in one of those classes. My professor liked the story, and this story basically evolved into Chapter 1 of Xtabentum. After taking a few years to focus on raising my kids, I decided to expand on this, and interweave real events from the life of my grandmother and other ancestors with the many interesting things that happened in Merida in the early 1900s, just after the Mexican Revolution.