My name is Pedro Chávez García and I am The Mexican Next Door. It’s probably a good idea to tell you a few things about me, just in case it matters. I was born on July 19, 1946, in Mexicali, Baja California. It was a small town then, right on the Mexico-U.S. border. I went to elementary and high school there and at age sixteen went across the wire to the land of the big BX (Base Exchange). That’s what my Air Force buddies called America when we were deployed overseas.

I love to write and to tell stories. I also love to read. I’ve been writing since I was a kid. I had two or three short stories published in a local Mexicali daily, El Mexicano, in the late nineteen fifties. I was to get a book as payment for every story published, but that never materialized. I’m still waiting for them.

After a twelve-year stint in the Air Force, I got into the bilingual newspaper publishing business and in January 1980, launched my first weekly rag in Stockton, California. That venture lasted for about nine months, but the shot at informing the people got me infected with the newsprint virus. The weekly broadsheet was called “Portavoz.” Its Cinco de Mayo, 1980 edition is buried in a time capsule under the San Joaquin County Annex building in Stockton. The county board of supervisors selected the publication as one of the items to be stored for posterity.

I’ve been publishing my drivel ever since, in my own newspapers (which I no longer have), in a few mainstream dailies and some oddball pubs. Lately, the writing bug has taken me to cyberspace and for the past few years I’ve been posting stories and sly remarks online (in Spanish and English).

Several authors have affected my writing style. In Spanish, for sure, Edmundo de Amicis, José Rubén Romero, and Gabriel García Márquez. In English, mainly John Steinbeck and Ernest Hemingway. There you have it, in a nutshell, a few bits about me and what I’ve done as a writer wannabe.