Well-known authors Eriq La Salle, Joseph Wambaugh, Jr., and Victor Villaseñor will be present at the 30th Anniversary SDSU Writer’s Conference.
Actor/director Eriq La Salle is best known to worldwide television audiences for his award-winning portrayal of the commanding Dr. Peter Benton on the critically acclaimed and history-making medical drama ER. Educated at Juilliard and NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, his credits range from Broadway to film roles opposite Eddie Murphy in Coming to America and Robin Williams in One Hour Photo. La Salle has maintained a prolific acting career while at the same time working steadily as a director, taking the helm for HBO, Showtime and NBC, in addition to episodics such as Law & Order, CSI: New York, A Gifted Man, and The Night Shift, to name a few. La Salle published his debut novel, Laws of Depravity, to stunning reviews, the coveted Kirkus Star, Reader’s Choice Named Best Thriller of 2013 and overwhelming 5-star reviews. Now La Salle is set to release his 2nd book in the series.
Joseph Wambaugh, Jr. transformed the sub-genre of the police novel into serious writing that is both harrowing and humorous, comic, and tragic. His first four books, and his work on the Police Story television series in the 1970s, set new standards for subsequent writers, and many acknowledge their debt to him. He began to moonlight, writing about life on the city streets while maintaining his job as a cop. He worked through three best sellers, but eventually his growing fame made police work impossible for him and his colleagues. When, after multiple appearances on many TV talk shows, his longtime detective partner actually opened the car door for him he knew it was time to go. With regret he resigned from the LAPD in 1974 after 14 years of service, but his writing never stopped.
Victor Villaseñor sold his first novel, Macho!, which the Los Angeles Times compared to the best of John Steinbeck (after producing 9 novels, 65 short stories, and receiving 265 rejections). This began a journey that would eventually lead to the publication of the national bestseller Rain of Gold. Used by thousands of teachers and school systems across the nation as required reading, Rain of Gold tells the story of his family, taking the reader from war-torn Mexico during the Revolution of 1910 to the present day. Villaseñor’s body of works includes a number of nonfiction books, all used in schools throughout the country: The first family trilogy was Wild Steps of Heaven, Rain of Gold, and Thirteen Senses; the second family trilogy was Burro Genius, Crazy Loco Love, and Beyond Rain of Gold. Several of his titles are national bestsellers and Pulitzer Prize submitted. The screenplay for The Ballad of Gregorio Cortez, starring Edward James Olmos, was also written by Villaseñor. A miniseries on Rain of Gold and Thirteen Senses is in the works.