The tale of DC Gomez

Local author travels world


Photo by Margaret Debenport

Author DC Gomez presents her published novel, “Death’s Intern” at Books-A-Million. Gomez wrote previous works of literature such as, “Charlie, What’s Your Talent?”

Story by Margaret Debenport, culture editor

In one lifetime, a person may dream of learning a second language. They may dream of serving their country through service in the military, or of influencing young lives by becoming a youth minister. Some may dream of writing a fiction series or children’s books or aspire to go to film school at New York University.

A lucky few may accomplish their dream; they may achieve the one goal they have hoped to achieve their whole lives.

And some do it all.

Local author Sil Gomez has accomplished every one of those aforementioned goals, goals that most people can only fathom. “According to my brother, my five-year plan is as big as everyone else’s bucket list,” Gomez said.

Her journey begins with a drastic move­ from the Dominican Republic to Salem, Massachusetts at the age of 10. Gomez is currently writing her third book in “The Intern Diaries” series and has also written a children’s book, “Charlie, What’s Your Talent?” 

“I started here in the sixth grade. I didn’t know a single word of English,” Gomez said. “When I hit high school, I got into a television class, and it changed my life. I became a storyteller.”

While working at an access station, one of her mentors suggested she go to New York University because of her desire to attend a film school to pursue broadcast television. Without even visiting the campus first, Gomez’s parents made the five-hour drive from Salem to New York City, dropped off her stuff, gave her a hug and left. 

“Being the first child and only girl in the house, I realized my parents either really love me or are completely insane,” Gomez said. 

One would think that New York, the city every artist seems to flock to, would become a perfect home for someone like Gomez. But after finishing her degree, Gomez made the unconventional decision to leave the Big Apple. 

“At the time, I only knew about film school and the Dominican people, and I was like, ‘This does not make for a really exciting film.’ It would have been limited. We need to add something else. I wanted to write stories about people, so obviously, I joined the military,” Gomez said. “Because where else are you going to find people? Staying in NYC made way too much sense.” 

In a total change of course in 2001, Gomez joined the Army and became a mechanic. From the Dominican Republic, to Salem, to New York, serving in Iraq was just another chapter in a book that seemed littered with plot twists.

“The military did change my life,” Gomez said. “I was in basic training when 9/11 happened, so my experience is different than most of the world. It changed the way I saw life and made me more compulsive than I could possibly imagine.” 

After serving in Iraq, she was offered a job at Red River Army Depot in Texarkana.

“I’ve been bouncing around, and there is something extremely fascinating about Texarkana,” Gomez said. “There is something very amazing about having two cities within a line of each other — and the southern hospitality. I think the rest of the country has missed that.” 

I’ve been bouncing around, and there is something extremely fascinating about Texarkana. There is something very amazing about having two cities within a line of each other — and the southern hospitality. I think the rest of the country has missed that.”

— DC Gomez

Despite traveling the globe, Gomez chose an unexpected place as the setting for her series. “The Intern Diaries” takes place in Texarkana.

“My mother asked, ‘Why didn’t you make it in Salem?’ [But] I’m officially fascinated with Texarkana. I’m fascinated with small town stories, so the urban setting was kind of fun because Texarkana would make a really great setting for something totally different.” 

But, as can only be expected of someone like Gomez, having one job at a time just isn’t enough. Once she settled into Texarkana, Gomez began serving as the youth minister at St. Edward’s Catholic Church. To Gomez, her writing career is a tool she can use to prove to her students that anything is possible.

“If you’re used to seeing your youth minister be a writer, at no point in time are you ever going to question that it’s something that you can’t do,” Gomez said. “There is never going to be a question in your mind if that is possible.” 

Although she holds many passions, Gomez prioritizes her writing. Ambitious with her goals and adamant about meeting them, she takes on daunting tasks with nothing but determination.

“A novel had always been in the process,” Gomez said. “When I finally decided, ‘We are doing this,’ it started with, ‘I have a goal: I’m going to write a book.’ I’m a huge dreamer. I want to inspire [the reader] to dream big.” 

After noticing a lack of representation of female Dominican writers, she decided she wanted to be the change that could inspire young girls. 

“It is interesting when you see authors all over the place, and people are like, ‘Oh, I wanna be like that!’” Gomez said. “When I was growing up, there wasn’t somebody that looked like me doing what I wanted to do.” 

Her friends and family know her as Sil, short for Silvida, but Gomez decided that she was “not brave enough for hate mail” and chose a pen name instead: DC, which, according to Gomez, is “kind of funsy and all exciting.” DC stands for her middle name, Del Carmen. 

Whether she goes by Sil or DC, Gomez’s name is surely synonymous to inspiration. Even if she fears being vulnerable, she pushes those fears aside in order to do what she knows is right. 

“For a while, I wanted to separate the writing from who I was and create this whole wall to protect me, and I had enough people going back saying that doesn’t work anymore. It’s not about trying to sell the books themselves, but trying to sell the concept of ‘You can do this.’”