David Michael Slater was born and raised in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He did not dream of being a writer. But as a psychology major at the University of Michigan, his second encounter with Tom Stoppard’s Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead, inspired him to write his own Absurd play. After Slater graduated, the play was produced in Flint, Michigan (even if the first night was cancelled because one of the two actors was in jail).
Slater still did not dream of becoming a writer.
Until, while completing a Master’s in English at Carnegie-Mellon University, he encountered the short stories of Jorge Luis Borges–and the switch was flipped for good. While he completed a Master’s in teaching at Lewis & Clark College, Slater wrote his own Borges-style short stories, which were published in various literary magazines.
David began to dream of becoming a writer.
Fast forward twenty years, and Slater is a veteran middle and high school teacher who was named the City of Beaverton, Oregon’s Educator of the Year in 2012. And he is an acclaimed author of over 20 works of fiction and nonfiction for children, teens, and adults. His work for children includes the picture books Cheese Louise!, The Boy & the Book, and Hanukkah Harvie vs. Santa Claus; the early chapter book series Mysterious Monsters and Mr. Mensch and His Magical Meshugenahmmobile;and the teen series Forbidden Books. Slater’s work for adults includes the short story collection Dictionaries Out of Order and the comic-drama Fun & Games, which Spielberg’s Heeb Magazine called, “The funniest book about growing up Jewish since Portnoy’s Complaint.” The book as been optioned for film by Jay Lender Productions. Slater’s nonfiction work includes We’re Doing It Wrong: 25 Ideas in Education That Just Don’t Work — And How to Fix Them, which was called a “relentless page turner,” by Michael Fullan. David teaches middle school in Reno, Nevada, where he lives with his wife and son. You can learn more about David and his work at www.davidmichaelslater.com.
David Michael Slater’s YA novel Sparks will be released by Fitzroy Books in the fall of 2021.