“Imagine all the great writing that’s being done secretly by people who are ashamed to share it.”
Exciting new episode today with the one-and-only Matt de la Peña! Matt is one of the most grounded human beings and great observers of the world, and just so happens to be the 2016 Newbery Medal-winning author of Love and Last Stop on Market Street.
Today’s episode is filled with personal stories about creative and personal growth that will inspire you. We discuss a whole lot about being present and living in the moment, how our experiences and honesty in our work create vibrancy, pacing ourselves to avoid writer’s block, the impact of having mentors, and so much more.
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“I don’t even know what my books are about until I finish it.”
“You will never finish a book if you don’t write the book.”
“I think sometimes writer’s block is a function of looking at the big picture too soon.”
What You’ll Learn From This Episode:
- Personal stories about creative growth and personal growth that will inspire you (and make your day!)
- How reading changed Matt’s life and how it teaches the writer about the writing process
- Living in the moment and how that effects us and our work
- Vibrant work created from experience and honesty
- Breaking through writer’s block by pacing yourself and working on the “now”
- How you and your work will benefit tremendously by ‘keeping it simple’
- Mentorship and how its effected Matt and his career as an author
Learn More About “Last Stop on Market Street“
Last Stop on Market Street is the Winner of the 2016 Newbery Medal, a 2016 Caldecott Honor Book, and a 2016 Coretta Scott King Illustrator Honor Book, a New York Times Book Review Notable Children’s Book of 2015 and a Wall Street Journal Best Children’s Book of 2015.
Every Sunday after church, CJ and his grandma ride the bus across town. But today, CJ wonders why they don’t own a car like his friend Colby. Why doesn’t he have an iPod like the boys on the bus? How come they always have to get off in the dirty part of town? Each question is met with an encouraging answer from grandma, who helps him see the beauty—and fun—in their routine and the world around them.
This energetic ride through a bustling city highlights the wonderful perspective only grandparent and grandchild can share, and comes to life through Matt de la Pena’s vibrant text and Christian Robinson’s radiant illustrations.
Learn More About Matt de la Peña
Matt de la Peña is the New York Times Bestselling, Newbery Medal-winning author of six young adult novels (including Mexican WhiteBoy, We Were Here, and The Living) and four picture books (including Love and Last Stop on Market Street). In 2016 he was awarded the NCTE Intellectual Freedom Award. Matt received his MFA in creative writing from San Diego State University and his BA from the University of the Pacific where he attended school on a full basketball scholarship. de la Peña currently lives in Brooklyn NY. He teaches creative writing and visits high schools and colleges throughout the country.
*The New York Times followed Matt into Tucson High School after his book was banned from the curriculum (along with the work of several other Hispanic authors). Read article here.
*Matt shares his views on the saving powers of literacy and creativity in an NPR essay. Read essay here.
Matt’s Recommended Books & Resources:
The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros
The Color Purple by Alice Walker
Drown by Junot Díaz
Linda Sue Park 2002 Newbery Medal Winner for “A Single Shard”
Inside Out & Back Again by Thanhha Lai
Okay for Now by Gary D. Schmidt
The Wednesday Wars by Gary D. Schmidt
Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson