Puerto Rican writer calls Selena series nothing but the truth

Puerto Rican writer calls Selena series nothing but the truth

Shot of actress Maya Zapata as the famed Tex-Mex singer Selena from the new movie “Selena’s Secret,” based on the like-named book by Maria Celeste Arraras and which premieres in the US this Aug. 24. EFE-EPA/Telemundo


Puerto Rican journalist and television host Maria Celeste Arraras, author of the book on which the new TV series is based about the murder of singer Selena Quintanilla, said her story is faithful to the truth and doesn’t take sides for or against anyone.

The family of the “Queen of Tex-Mex Music” and the woman who killed her, Yolanda Saldivar, have each criticized both the book “Selena’s Secret” and the like-named TV series in 13 episodes that Telemundo launches in the United States this Aug. 24 after its airing in Latin America.

In an interview with EFE, Arraras, executive producer of the series, said her intention was “to tell a story in the most objective, serious and believable way possible,” taking into account all the elements surrounding the Tejano singer’s tragic death.

The popular TV show host said that from the very start she wanted to “unravel exactly what happened to Selena.”


The Queen of Tex-Mex Music died in a motel in Corpus Christi, Texas, on March 31, 1995, after being shot by Yolanda Saldivar, the president of her fan club.

The killer is serving a life sentence in a prison in Gatesville, Texas.

Arraras believes this series will turn into “an X-ray of the murderer’s manipulative mind.”

Saldivar “tried to manipulate me on several occasions, and after I studied all the evidence I realized that’s how she manipulated Selena,” the journalist said.


The cast of “Selena’s Secret” includes Maya Zapata (Selena), Damayanti Quintanar (Yolanda Saldivar), Sofia Lamas (Maria Celeste Arraras) and Eduardo Santamarina (Ricardo Martinez).

Though it only took her two and a half months to write the book, the host of the Telemundo show “Al Rojo Vivo” (Red Hot) had to wait 23 years before she was able to sell the television rights and produce this series about the Tex-Mex Queen who died at age 23.

Arraras started thinking about the book she would write just a few weeks after Selena Quintanilla was gunned down and as a reporter she traveled to Texas to cover the murder trial.

She said she has “absolutely no worries” about what either Yolanda Saldivar or Selena’s family might say about the series.

“When everyone criticizes it, that’s when you see you’re not on anyone’s side in particular,” Arraras said.

With all that, she believes this television project will capture the same audience the Tex-Mex Queen did, since in her opinion, Selena Quintanilla “represents triumph among Hispanics, since she started with nothing and achieved success.”

“She was shot at the very moment she was on the point of really taking off, and that adds a degree of mystery and tragedy that is bound to captivate every generation,” Arraras said. EFE-EPA ab/cd