Mike Padilla is a native Californian in love with his state and its inhabitants that inspire his stories. His characters run the gamut of personalities, from cholos to movie stars, from elderly comadres to party-seeking club rats. Padilla was born in Oakland, California in 1964 and grew up in neighboring San Leandro. He has received numerous awards, including the UC Irvine Chicano/Latino Literary Award and an Artist Fellowship from the California Arts Council. His debut novel is titled The Girls from the Revolutionary Cantina.