I love hearing the news that a former student is making waves in writing. In my One to Watch series, I highlight up and coming former students who are using writing to do great things.
David Pino was in my Advanced Placement English Class seven years ago at a school called Sacramento Charter High. He knew more about most of the curriculum than I did, and was an encyclopedic resource for our Mythology and Archetype unit. Also, I can never read Frankenstein again without thinking of his brilliant dramatic presentation of the Monster. He was a wonderful student in a group of wonderful students. I still look back on that school year with joy and gratitude that I got to be there for that.
David Pino’s articles and online commentary are an important part of my own consciousness-raising today. He’s also writing fiction with an emphasis on fantasy, and I’m sure it’s just a matter of time before I’m standing in line at a book signing, asking if he remembers his old teacher.
What follows is an interview between us from yesterday.
Old Teacher: What do you love about writing?
David Pino: There are a myriad of things I love about writing, which (to be perfectly honest) would have to be an entire longpiece article. For non-fiction, I like illuminating truths and presenting facts about the world. I consider myself an iconoclast, so I always challenge notions about what we assume to be true and what we uncritically support. For example, I’ll challenge the very premise of American Exceptionalism (America the great) so long as poverty exists and entire communities remain marginalized. Or, I’ll challenge some famous person’s so called “intrinsic benevolence” or “squeaky clean image,” simply because no human being is capable of being a complete angel. I feel a lot better when I write about truth and reality, instead regurgitating the same sugarcoated hagiographies.
For fiction, I enjoy worldbuilding and creating my own mythos/universes. I also love telling OUR stories, stories where marginalized communities (Black, Latin@, Queer, etc.) are the main subjects. After all, we all have our own cultures, which are distinct from the usual Eurocentric/Classical models prominent in the West. So, being able to imagine “the other” as “the main” is what I love most about writing fiction.
Old Teacher: What advice do you have for young writers?
David Pino: My advice to young writers would be to love what you’re doing, be willing to accept constructive criticism, and READ as much as possible. I LOVE criticism and feedback simply because it means that I can improve upon drafts and ideas. Without criticism, it is almost impossible to grow, since we all have blindspots. The same goes for reading. Read other authors and absorb as much knowledge as possible.
Old Teacher: What are you working on now?
David Pino: I am currently working on articles for a new website called “The Daily Twenties.” I write articles about anything from politics, culture, sports, and the media. I am also in the process of revising and editing a sci-fi novel of mine, which I hope to submit for publishing sometime this year.
Check out David Pino’s work on The Daily Twenties here.
I look forward to the future of this young writer, and the wonderful worlds he builds.