In this cover image released by Celebra, "To Selena, with Love," by Chris Perez, is shown. Perez says the book, released Tuesday, allows him to share his memories of his wife, the late Selena Quintanilla, who was shot and killed on March 31, 1995, two weeks shy of her 24th birthday. (AP Photo/Celebra)
Updated: April 12, 2012 9:56AM
The new book To Selena, With Love reveals intimate details about the late Tejano star’s life, but the book’s author — her widower, Chris Perez — doesn’t consider it a “tell-all” kind of book.
“I thought it should be honest, with dignity. I knew there would be things that would make me feel uncomfortable, but I think I wrote the book with respect,” Perez, 42, said in a recent interview.
Perez says the book allows him to share his memories of Selena Quintanilla, who was shot and killed on March 31, 1995 by Yolanda Saldivar, two weeks shy of her 24th birthday.
Here are some things you’ll learn from the book:
◆ Perez met Selena when he became the lead guitarist for Selena y Los Dinos. It was a band formed by Selena’s father, Abraham Quintanilla Jr., and also featured her siblings Suzette and A.B. Quintanilla.
◆ Their romance started behind Selena’s father’s back, as depicted in the 1997 movie starring Jennifer Lopez, “Selena.” Selena’s father was opposed to their relationship. He only accepted Perez after the couple eloped in 1992. Perez describes his father-in-law as an admirable person. “We had our differences but I love him and respect him like my own father.
◆ Perez says that music was really a “business” for Selena; her real passion was fashion. “I have pads and pads of sketches,” he said. “Most of the clothes she wore were her own designs.”
◆ After Selena’s death, the guitarist, who lives in San Antonio, struggled to cope with his loss but eventually moved on. He formed The Chris Perez Band, which won a Grammy in 1999. He also married Venessa Villanueva in 2001 and the couple had two kids, but they divorced a few years later.
◆ Perez confesses that he feels remorse for not protecting his wife. He wonders if things would have been different had he told someone that Selena told him days before her death that Saldivar had shown her a gun. Perez also addresses rumors, including one that Selena was pregnant at the time of her death (she wasn’t).