Selena Forever

The Selena Trial

The Houston Chronicles Files

Author wraps up authorized Selena biography

OCEANSIDE, Calif. (AP) -- Talk about timing.

Just one day after Selena's killer was convicted, author Victor Villasenor put the final touches on the first authorized biography of the Tejano star and fired it off to his publisher.

"I'm very happy with it," said Villasenor, who wrote the book in 24 days. "The angels were with me. Everything fell into place. It was magic."

Best known for his family biography "Rain of Gold," the Oceanside author said he doesn't dwell on the details of Selena's death and never touches on the trial of her killer, Yolanda Saldivar.

"I get into the family's heart and soul," he said.

The writer spent 10 days with Selena's family, friends and band members in Corpus Christi, Texas, where the singer lived and was shot to death in March.

"I spent a lot of time at the cemetery interviewing people who came to her grave," he said.

At least three writers vied for the rights to the authorized biography, including a Texas journalist who sued after Villasenor was chosen. That suit has since been settled after the family apologized.

The family also chose local filmmaker Gregory Nava, whose movies include "Mi Familia" and "El Norte," to write and direct a screenplay on Selena's life. His project will remain separate from the book deal, Villasenor said.

Villasenor's family moved to the United States from Mexico in 1915. "Rain of Gold" is considered by many to be a Mexican-American version of "Roots."

Selena, whose full name was Selena Quintanilla Perez, was shot to death March 31 at a Corpus Christi motel. On Monday, a jury took two hours to reject Saldivar's claim that she was bent on suicide and that the gun went off accidentally while she was waving it.

Villasenor's book is scheduled to be released in the spring, he said.