Juan Alvarado Valdivia
Juan Alvarado Valdivia was born in Guadalajara, Mexico and was raised by his Peruvian parents in Fremont, California, a suburb of San Francisco. He is a fluent Spanish-speaker, but claims that his Spanish skills are currently declining. Juan is a young author of two screenplays, three novellas, one book, and is currently writing a memoir. Juan started writing when he was just 19 years old, when one of his fellow Latino professors, Stephen D. Gutiérrez, encouraged him to continue to write. He does not think that he would still be writing today if it had not been for that professor. Today, Juan attributes most of his inspiration to comedians such as Carlin, Bill Hicks, and Pryor. It is no surprise that Juan Alvarado Valdivia is inspired by comedians because he is extremely humorous. Throughout the course of his life, he has also been inspired by people who are "unafraid to chase their dreams." Juan earned his undergraduate degree in Film from San Francisco State University. Subsequently, he worked as an HR coordinator at CORA (Community Overcoming Relationship Abuse), as a Human Resources Assistant at IHSS, and as a Grant Writer at Prescott-Joseph Center for Community Enhancement. While working on his Master's degree at Saint Mary's College of California, he was battling lymphoma. Juan states that being at school helped him survive because he had so much support from the community, his classmates, his professors, and he was around what he loved, which was writing (Alvarado Valdivia). When asked why he became a writer, Juan responded, "Boredom? My ceaseless restlessness? Insatiable curiosity? My dad, who encouraged me to become a writer when I was a 25-year old who dabbled in film, music, and writing? I think all of these are true, but in the end, I feel like people are born with dispositions and talents that can allow them to grow a certain way. We're like flowers that way-one's direction in life is a matter of being exposed to certain kinds of light, of water. Consciously or not, we decide what to retain, where we decide to bend. It seems as though I also have a talent for not making much money, so of course I've leaned toward the arts. It makes for a more interesting life, and I'd rather be dead than bored, you know." It is easy to admire Juan Alvarado Valdivia's easygoing attitude. Plain and simple, Juan writes because he truly loves it. His favorite writer when he first began writing was Charles Bukowski. Today, his favorite writers include: Tom Robbins, Sherman Alexie, James Baldwin, Orwell, J.D. Salinger, Sandra Cisneros, and David Foster Wallace. He likes to write about love, doom, death, and suburbia. Today, you can find Juan Alvarado Valdivia living in California with his girlfriend and their stuffed animals. He is currently working on his memoir which he has been working on for the last three years. This memoir has helped him find out who he wants to be in his Life After Lymphoma (Alvarado Valdivia). Juan Alvarado Valdivia is a person of many hobbies other than writing. He enjoys reading, camping, hiking, bad-ass movie watching, and playing guitar. In the future, Juan hopes to have his memoir finished and hopes to work on a collection of short stories with a Latino American Protagonist.