This week author Matt de la Peña will be visiting schools all around Seattle. Matt was born in National City, California, a town between San Diego and Mexico. He was the first in his family to go to college, and he went to the University of the Pacific on a full basketball scholarship. He currently lives in Brooklyn, NY, and teaches creative writing and visits high schools and colleges throughout the country. Matt has written four books for teens Ball Don’t Lie, Mexican Whiteboy, We Were Here, and I Will Save You, and a fifth book will be released next week entitled The Living.
The 1st book anyone gave him b/c they thought he’d love it – it was the 1st book that got him emotional – that made him want to read for entertainment.
You can find out more about Matt
by visiting his Facebook
, VOYA interview
, or newspaper articles. Yesterday I sat down with him and asked him a few other questions to help Seattle teens get to know him better, here are his answers:
PTT: How many rejection letters did you get before you were published? Did you keep them?
MdlP: I received four rejection letters before my first book was bought. I received about 50 rejection letters for my short stories, which was how I got started writing. I didn’t keep any of the rejection letters, but I did have a teacher in college who kept all of her rejection letters, made them into a dress, and wore it for Halloween!
What character from a book would you love to eat lunch w/, go camping w/, or date?
I’d love to have lunch with Esperanza from The House on Mango Street
. I would love to camp with or date Remedios the Beauty from 100 Years of Solitude
. She seemed like a spirit and it would be fascinating to see what she was all about.
What’s the hardest job you ever had?
Landscaping, digging ditches and laying pipe with my uncles over my college summer break. <PTT aside – this would have been summer in hot San Diego. Imagine digging ditches in that kind of heat!>
What was your favorite toy as a child?
A skateboard, although I did have some bad falls.
There are a lot of skate parks in Seattle. Do you have any advice for our readers who also like to skateboard?
Don’t have loose trucks. The skateboard wobbles too much.
Is there a question you wish people would ask you during interviews?
I travel all over the country and I wish people would ask me about my favorite places to visit. Seattle and Portland are two of my favorite cities to visit because I like the people and the food there.
🙂 There you have it Seattle teens – Matt de la Peña
loves the people of Seattle. I hope you get a chance to meet him if he comes to your school. This week Matt will be visiting students at Chief Sealth
, Pathfinder K-8
, Nathan Hale
, Pinehurst K-8
, Catherine Blaine K-8
, University District Youth Center
, Interagency Academy
, and Whitman
Is he coming to your school? Has he already visited your school? What do you think of his books? Let us know in the comments.