Matt is available for readings, school-library visits and presentations throughout the year.
Contact Matt for event details:
Or you can contact Lisa McClatchy to set up an event through Random House:
Join Matt on Facebook here
Follow Matt on Twitter: @mattdelapena
What type of presentations do you give?
I have three main presentations. The first centers around my journey as a former reluctant reader turned author (most frequently requested). The second presentation concentrates on the process of adapting Ball Don't Lie (along with director Brin Hill) into script form. The third presentation is more of a creative writing lecture/workshop. In addition to writing I teach fiction classes at NYU and Gotham Writers Workshop. But I'm always open to other ideas. If it's a keynote, and I'm presenting to a big crowd, and I'm nervous . . . that's when I break out the inspiring story of my old man's literary awakening.
How do I go about setting up a visit?
Feel free to contact me directly over email and we can work out the details: schedule, author fee, logistics.
Or if you'd prefer to go through Random House that's fine, too. Please contact Lisa McClatchy at
So, how the heck are we supposed to pronounce your last name?
Funny you should ask. The good people at TeachingBooks.net just asked me the same thing. Hear the recording here.
What inspired you to write Mexican WhiteBoy?
MWB was definitely a very personal journey for me. Growing up half Mexican I was often confused in terms of my racial identity. I believe as the Hispanic population grows more and more kids will find themselves asking similar questions. To hear more about this, and to listen to me read an excerpt, go here.
What about We Were Here?
I follow another bi-racial character in WWH. The book was also inspired by two major elements that I pulled from my own experience. First, for two years I worked in a group home in San Jose, California. These kids were just out of juvi and thuggish, but many of them also had an incredible amount of heart. I wanted to show them to readers. But I also had a basketball teammate in college who had unintentionally committed an awful, unthinkable crime. I often watched him. Sometimes he would laugh and joke with the rest and then drift away, his eyes emptying out. In the book I use his crime.
The novel is also my ode to some of the literature that inspired me to pick up a pen myself including: Of Mice and Men, The Color Purple and Catcher in the Rye.
Do you still play basketball?
Definitely not as well. It's kind of sad, man. I wrote a bit about my current relationship with hoop here.
Who the heck is "omhsd" on your blog?
That's my dad. He collects quotes from most of the books he reads. And sometimes he drops them into my blog. I've been asking him to break it down for us after the passage, but he says he'd rather let the passage itself do all the work . . . at least for now. Leave him a comment if you like what he's put up.