#RavsWriters: Matthew Joseph Diaz - Native Brooklynite, 'Hamilton' Superfan, Pokemon Sun Aficionado

Getting to know the inimitable Matt Diaz.

Welcome to #RavsWriters, an opportunity for you to get to know some of the outstanding human beings who fervently type to make Ravishly the awesome place it is. 

1. Name.

Matt Joseph Diaz.

2. Tell us about your family, or your cats, or your elaborate paper napkin collection.

I grew up as part of a huge family. My father is one of seven, all of whom have kids, most of whom now have kids themselves. I’ve got more cousins than I can count, and our family is always growing. During last Thanksgiving, I looked down from the table and saw a stroller with a newborn in it, looked around and literally said “Whose kid is this?”

I have one brother who’s seven years older than me. No one in our family has left New York City in two generations, but last summer I moved to the Twin Cities in Minnesota, and a month later my brother moved to Dallas, Texas.

It’s safe to say my parents are empty-nesting hard.

3. When did you start writing? Why?

When I was ten years old, my aunt gave me the first book in the Harry Potter series as a birthday present. I read through the whole book over the course of two days, and while I’d always loved reading, it was the first time in my life that I felt like a book had swept me away into an entirely new world. As someone who always had pretty severe social anxiety from a really young age, it provided a sense of escapism and freedom I’d never felt before, and from that moment I knew it was something I wanted to help give to other people.

4. What do you like to do when you're not doing the thing you have to do?

I’m a huge video game and comic dork. I just got a 3DS after months of not having one, and I’ve been playing so much Pokemon Sun that it’s seriously starting to bleed into my social and professional life. Last week, I bailed on drinks with a friend because I had “so much work to catch up on,” when in reality, I sat in bed and caught imaginary creatures to raise them to fight each other.

Sorry, David. I’ll see you next week.

5. What music do you love? (Barry Manilow is an acceptable answer.)

Being from Brooklyn, I was raised on Hip-Hop. However, also being an oversensitive dweeb, I enjoy indie and alternative music. My most listened-to album of 2016 was indisputably the soundtrack to Hamilton, and some of my other favorite artists include Nathaniel Rateliff and the Night Sweats, Run The Jewels, The Mountain Goats, Chance The Rapper, Marian Hill, and The Roots.

6. Favorite pizza topping.

I was going to say Bacon, but that feels uninspired. I really like putting feta cheese and spinach on my pizza to give it kind of a mediterranean vibe. I know that sounds pretentious, but nothing is pretentious when it’s ordered from Domino’s.

7. Favorite donut.

The Trés Leches cake donut at Doughnut Plant in Brooklyn is my personal favorite. It’s bittersweet though — while I’m glad I’ve had such a wonderful doughnut in my life, I no longer live in NYC and therefore I have to stock up on them anytime I visit.

8. Last book you read.

I’m personally a big advocate of reading multiple books at the same time in order to keep yourself engaged, and so I’m currently working on My Life On The Swingset, which is an incredible and hilarious book by my friend, Cooper S. Beckett, about his experiences with kink, swinging and polyamory. I’m also slowly chipping away on the biography of Alexander Hamilton written by Ron Chernow, which is the same biography my personal hero and forever #ManCrushMonday Lin-Manuel Miranda read that inspired him to write the musical.

9. What's your sign?

I’m a Virgo, and I’m not entirely sure what that means, but those in my life who are into astrology tell me that it’s a very on-brand description.

10. One word to describe you.

A woman at a coffee shop once looked up at me and immediately said, “Oh, you’re eccentric,” and I appreciated it — mostly because it’s been a dream of mine to be an eccentric billionaire, and it’s good to know that I’m halfway there.

 
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