One day everything was normal for Cassie, and in a few moments her world turned upside down. In Moving Target, Cassie’s family is being chased down by a secret organization because she has something special. This organization wants to find Cassie because she was born into a special blood line that can alter the world.
Cassie is in a special bloodline that can control the Spear of Destiny if it is found. Anyone who controls the spear can control the destiny of others. If Cassie finds this spear, then she can change her world for the good or for the bad. Despite her turmoil, she has two friends who are willing to help her search for her father and also escape from the Hastati.
Christina Diaz Gonzalez is a young adult writer and loves to write adventure stories. She also has a joy for history too. In Moving Target you will find themes similar to The Da Vinci Code and The Bourne Identity. Cassie is running from a dangerous council where Cassie and her friends set out on a European adventure.
“I am fully bilingual, bicultural, and very closely tied to my Cuban roots. I was born in the U.S. as a first generation; my parents went to school here. They always maintained that awareness and that Cuban culture. My kids are bilingual as well, but not like Cassie. In the end I know that it will serve them well. What I see at home, what I experience at home I write what I know.”
“I love action-adventure stories because they have a hero and children love to see themselves as a hero. In this case, I wanted kids to where their interests are. I have seen many female protagonists, and in most action-adventure stories, the boy is taking the lead. I wanted kids to see Cassie as a hero and adventure stories are a great avenue for that. For me, I love reading adventure stories, and as a kid I gravitated towards those stories. But to reach more kids, you have to go to where their interest is. I knew that I wanted to write this action-adventure story.
“Slow Down!” I yelled, rubbing my upper arm. “You’re going to get us killed!” What’s going on?” I asked again. We don’t keep secrets from each other, remember? “There’s so much to tell you,” he muttered. “It’s a long story.” He shook his head and started to mumble to himself. “I just didn’t think they’d trace the calls back to me.”
I was just very interested in the Cassie. I knew that I wanted it to be a character that I would have seen when I was a girl growing up. So I knew that I wanted it to be a female character since a lot of So I wanted this girl, in terms of diversity. I wanted her to consider her to consider herself fully American but in terms of her roots.”
Before writing Moving Target, the books that Gonzalez came across were missing characters with diversity. In Moving Target Cassie has a Latino cultural background but speaks English and lives in Italy. Cassie is exposed to a lot of surprises that she could have never encountered in another city. She is still learning about her culture but has a diverse background. Gonzalez wanted to make sure that there was a protagonist with a cultural background so youth of different cultural backgrounds could identify with Cassie.
In many action-adventure stories, the main characters goes on an adventure without his or her parents. Cassie was reminded of her parent’s teachings, but was stronger and had to lead her friends to on the right path. Gonzalez explained in Moving Target, “Choices determine destiny. It was similar to something my dad used to tell me when I was little. He’d remind me of how my mother would say that beauty of life was its uncertainty. It had never before been more true. I had to choose to be brave.” Cassie at that moment thought that she could be preyed upon or find the truth about her past. Even though her father was missing and her mother was gone, Cassie was determined to discover the world.
“It was important for Cassie to go on this action-adventure story without her parents. She discovered more about herself and her friends. When the spear of destiny was introduced, it had religious connotations. This information came when I was doing research for my historical fiction books. I also love the stories of Indiana Jones and even the thrillers from the Bourne Identity. I do love the Da Vinci Code, even though it was not written to the Da Vinci Code. However, when you read the more you get influenced with that idea of the Da Vinci Code because she is running around Europe.”
“I never try to write for the market or to catch a trend. I do have my readers in mind so I know that when I am writing I know that younger readers will read it. But it is the story that evolves out of me. I know the story that I write comes out of my head. I write it for myself, as I am writing it. I am that 10-year old girl wanting to read that story. I am the writer wanting to be that 10 year old. That’s part of the missing elements in today’s books. I am really happy to see more diverse books. But I do not want to see books about being about race, ethnicity. It should be about a great story, a funny story but happens to a character.”
Gonzalez wants readers to see how Cassie and her friends follow their dreams. Youth can have a large impact on their community, and Cassie is fulfilling a large responsibility in the story.
Read more about Christina Diaz Gonzalez