Meet Abel Peña

Abel G. Peña is a contributor to the Europe From A Backpack series. His story, “Between Naples and Memphis” appears in Italy From a Backpack. He’s best known for his features, fictions, and essays written for Lucasfilm’s Star Wars franchise. His most recent story “Eloquence,” a humorous short about road rage, was just published by Amazon.com.

Growing up in Southern California, Abel was exposed very early on to a witches’ brew of cultures and was drawn to friends of all manner of diverse ethnic background. His Mexican-born parents were entrepreneurs and intellectuals, resulting in Abel learning the value of a dollar and becoming one of those kids who always wanted to know how or why. His fondness for travel began when he was chosen as part of a journalism expedition to visit Poland, Bulgaria, and Israel in 2002. Head over heels, he went on to live in Italy in 2003, where he learned to speak the language while living with native Italians and traveled far and wide across the European continent. Since returning to the United States, he has focused on his writing, telling tales about alien lands real and imagined.
A word from Abel about his story:

If there was one European country I always wanted to visit, it was Italy. The way I saw it, France was too lovey-dovey, Spain was too loosey-goosey, but Italy was just right. I blame my affection for the country on The Godfather movies, Italian food, and Dante’s Inferno. And of course, on the country’s language, that sublime sound I knew wouldn’t be too difficult to pick up thanks to my fluency in Spanish. But I wasn’t going to take any chances. Even though I’d be taking Italian classes, I decided to take the plunge and move in with an Italian family for a few months. It turned out to be a momentous decision. I had a few romantic flings while abroad, but only one lasting love. The bond that I developed with my nonna, or “grandma” as I called the sweet elderly woman I lived with, was a unique relationship that transcended continents, languages, and age. She was such a charming and adorable lady that I wanted to share my experience with her. Enjoy the story!

1 comment:

Saveth said...

Abel, I would to hear more about your time in Italy. I have sent you an email to your gmail account. Hope to hear from you real soon....I am planning a trip to Italy with my boys and puppy Lucy.