We had the good fortune of connecting with Diana Alonzo-Fritz and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Diana, what makes you happy? Why?
I am the happiest when I get to travel to a new place, playing sand volleyball with friends, and when culturally diverse stories are being embraced through literature. It is safe to say that puppies also make me happy. I have always been a reader, but I recently ventured into blogging about books. This has been one of the most fulfilling endeavors. Through blogging for publishers, I have been able to connect with some of my favorite authors. I have also been able to share some of my most favorite stories that are crucial for diverse reads. Diverse books are extremely important for advocating for human emotions and experiences that can build an empathetic community.

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I initially went to school to become an English teacher. After completing my internship in Texas, I moved to Arizona and had a career change. I began working in government. After getting my first experience working with our budget, accounts and vendors, I decided to go back to school. I always had this idea that I was not a “math person,” but completing a Master of Business Administration made me realize that I did love numbers. Deciding to pursue a career in government, lead me to also earn a Master of Public Administration. That is how I ended up working in one of the most unique and coolest places. I now work in aviation as a Budget Analyst. This has been one of the most unique opportunities that I would have never thought I would be part of. I love that I can see airplanes take off and land from my office window. The road getting here was not easy, but believing that I was capable of this and more is why I say yes to new opportunities.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I am a taco enthusiast! Two of my favorite taco spots are La Frontera Taco Truck in Phoenix, AZ and Unos Tacos y Birria in Mesa, AZ. Downtown Chandler and Gilbert are so much fun to eat, drink and be with friends as well. You can’t go wrong with either one on any given night. The Gilbert Farmers Market has become a favorite Saturday morning outing. I come for the coffee and stay for the dogs.

As a book nerd, I love visiting indie bookstores like Poisoned Pen (Scottsdale, AZ) or Changing Hands in (Tempe, AZ). If friends are visiting, I love taking them to Changing Hands in Phoenix, AZ because you can shop and drink at First Draft Book Bar.

For a longer stay, I always recommend taking a day trip to Sedona, AZ. The Devil’s Bridge is one of the coolest hikes and it is suitable for even a novice hiker. Sedona also has restaurants with great food and beautiful views. While you are there, you can take a detour trip to Jerome, AZ and see the rich history of the former copper-mining town and maybe a ghost or two.

If it is basketball or baseball season, you can guarantee that I will persuade you to attend a Diamondback’s or Sun’s game. The ambiance and crowd engagement are the best during these games.

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
First and foremost, I have to thank my parents. I was born in Mexico and for years, I had to cross Bridge of the Americas from Mexico to the states in order to attend grade school. My parents did so much for us to make a permanent move to the states, and I will always be thankful for that. They have always been supportive of my adventures, encouraged my desire to travel and always knew I had it in me to attend graduate school. Since beginning my blogging adventures, I always carry books around for photo opportunities. I have to thank my husband for always helping me carry my books around, waiting for me to snap a picture before he eats his food, and for always being a loving and supportive husband. My friends have also been supportive through every stage of my life, always there, always ready to go along with my shenanigans. I am just extremely grateful that my friends and family are my biggest supporters in all that I do.

Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/diana_bibliophile

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