Jervey Tervalon was born in New Orleans and raised in Los Angeles, and received his MFA in Creative Writing from UC Irvine. He is the author of five books including Understanding This, for which he won the Quality Paper Book Club's New Voices Award and the Los Angeles Times bestseller Dead Above Ground. His new novel, Monster's Chef will be published June 2014. Currently he is the Executive Director of "Literature for Life," Literary magazine and educational advocacy organization, and Literary Director of The Pasadena LitFest. His new novel, Monster's Chef will be published June 2014 by Amistad/Harper Collins. An award-winning poet, screenwriter, dramatist and Disney Screen Writing Fellow, Tervalon teaches at the College of Creative Studies at UCSB and lives in Altadena, California, with his wife, Jinghuan Liu Tervalon and their 3 children.