The daughter of Puerto Rican immigrants, Marisel Vera grew up in Humboldt Park. A product of the public school system, she went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Northern Illinois University with an emphasis in broadcast news. As a public relations specialist, she wrote and edited employee newspapers, newsletters and news releases, handled media relations and organized private and public events. Marisel was also a copywriter for Scott, Foresman and Co., the world’s leading elementary educational publisher. In pursuit of her literary fiction career, Marisel studied writing with Jonis Agee, Cristina Garcia, Rosellen Brown, Paulette Roeske and Margaret Gibson. Two of her short stories won fiction prizes from the Willow Review Literary Magazine.