School Projects

If you are doing a report on Mel, here is some information that should be helpful. Many thanks to Rick Riordan's website for the structure!

Melissa de la Cruz

Born: September 7th (A lady never reveals her age! Older than Britney Spears and younger than Demi Moore.)

Place of Birth: Manila, Philippines. My family immigrated to the United States in 1985.

Education: Salutatorian at The Convent of the Sacred Heart High School in San Francisco, B.A. in English and Art History from Columbia College, Columbia University in New York.

Work Experience: Art editor and fashion and social columnist for her high school newspaper junior year, Yearbook editor-in-chief senior year. Fired from half-a-dozen library jobs in college (never could show up on time!). Had a day job as a computer programmer for nine years. I wrote my first published article when I was 25 years old. My freelance journalism career began then, by writing for The New York Press (book reviews, nightclub reviews, fashion show reviews, first-person journalism), founded hintmag.com with three friends (won Webby Award for fashion), worked as a beauty editor at Allure, and wrote numerous articles for women's magazines covering celebrities, relationships, fashion and style. Quit day job in 2001 on the publication of my first novel Cat's Meow.

Childhood influences: I've always loved books ever since I can remember. As a kid I loved Enid Blyton, Gordon Korman, Louisa May Alcott, Sweet Valley High, VC Andrews, Stephen King, JRR Tolkien, Anne Rice and Frank Herbert. I particularly liked funny books, fantasy and sci-fi books and fabulous-life books. I also snuck in a lot of books I probably wasn't supposed to be reading by Jackie Collins, Harold Robbins, Sidney Sheldon and Judith Krantz. Growing up my family had a subscription to Star and National Enquirer and I still can't seem to shake the tabloid habit! I went to college in New York because I loved Jay McInerney's Bright Lights, Big City. I also loved Bret Easton Ellis's Less Than Zero. I went through a Charles Bukowski phase after college. I love anything by Agatha Christie, PG Wodehouse and Julian Fellowes. In the YA genre I love Elizabeth Scott, Rachel Cohn and E. Lockhart. These days I mostly read lady novelists. My favorites are Lionel Shriver, Cheryl Mendelsohn, Kate Christensen. I also like food memoirs. Anything by Ruth Reichl and Anthony Bourdain is fine by me. I like to keep up with the culture and I tend to read whatever everyone is talking about. My favorite book of all time is War and Peace. And not just because it sounds impressive. It really is my all-time favorite book.

Childhood Writing Awards: I won a city-wide private school poetry contest in high school and also a journalism scholarship for a summer.

Early Family Life: I come from a family of bankers. Everyone in my family has an MBA or an Accounting degree. My dad owned his own investment bank in Manila and my mom was a vice-president at Bank of America. I was the "weird sister". My parents were always incredibly supportive of my artistic endeavors. I had private art lessons in high school and when I was published they attended every book reading they could. My dad once told a guy who heckled me at my first book reading (I used to be a rather controversial writer in NYC back in the day) to "Bring. It. On!"

Current Family Life: I am married and have a daughter. We live in New York, Los Angeles and Palm Springs.

Pets: None. Mattie has an Aibo. Does that count?

Favorite book I wrote: My favorite books to write are definitely the paranormal ones: Blue Bloods, Wolf Pact and Witches of East End. They feel the most like the books I loved as a kid.

Favorite character in my books: Oh dear. Probably Mimi. I am very fond of my villains.

In my spare time: I hang out with my family, go shopping, go to museums, read as many books and magazines as I can, and travel to places that I want to write about in my books.