People don’t usually stumble into becoming a New York Times Bestseller. They write several articles, even books while honing their craft until they are good enough to earn the coveted writing status. This is exactly what happened to Shea Serrano. That’s not to say he didn’t earn it nor possess the talent to be one, but it wasn’t a goal of his.
Serrano was a man who simply tried to make a few bucks by writing. His talents cover writing, journalism, illustrations, and social commentary and he is also a TV writer and producer – he simply does it all.
Shea Serrano’s Bio
There was nothing extraordinary about Shea’s childhood. He grew up in Valley Hi although he was born in San Antonio, Texas. For his education, he attended Sam Houston State University where he joined a fraternity, Omega Delta Phi. His exact major at Sam Houston is unknown at this point but as a talented writer, there is a chance he majored in something related to the arts.
As mentioned earlier, Shea’s resume is pretty diverse. When he graduated from college, he worked construction in Houston and worked a blue-collar job before he moved on to teaching. Serrano taught 8th-grade science students for nine years after college.
When responsibilities increase and the income is not enough to keep up, the logical step was to find a way to increase the income and that, Shea Serrano did. When his wife, who was pregnant at the time was placed on bed rest, Shea needed an extra income to supplement his teaching salary. Desperation to make extra income would launch the journalism and writing career of Shea Serrano.
His first writing gig was for Near Northwest Banner. As an ardent hip-hop fan, Shea tapped into the lack of subject writers for hip-hop. His writing style and opinion quickly became a hit among editors and publishers nationwide. He started getting referrals and not long after, he was writing for GQ, ESPN, LA Weekly and other notable media platforms in the country. He currently writes for The Ringer.
With his hip-hop opinion pieces such a hit among readers, Serrano decided to take it further and write a book. He published his first book, Bun B’s Rap Coloring and Activity Book in September 2013. His book was a warm up to the success that was in store for Shea’s writing career.
In October 2015, Serrano published the book that would establish him as a writer and thought leader. The book, The Rap Year Book: The Most Important Rap Song from Every Year Since 1979, Discussed, Debated and Deconstructed hit the shelves on October 13 and made a splash on The New York Times Best Seller List. While that might have been an appropriate success for a man who isn’t a traditional writer, the book was optioned for a documentary series in March 2016 and made the Billboard list of the 100 best music books of all time.
Serrano’s success with books was not finished. He had found a genre that he was great at and he was not going to relent. He published another book, Basketball (and other things) in October 2017 and like the predecessor, it made the New York Times Best Seller list. The book’s brand of success was a stamp of approval given by President Obama in a Facebook post, declaring it was one of his favorite books of that year.
When he’s not writing for media publications, he’s on social media debating and talking about several issues that range from hip-hop to basketball to writing. He regularly interacts with fans and his social media usage has helped him create a cult following.
The Mexican-American is also a philanthropist who uses his voice and a newsletter he created along with his partner, Arturo Torres to raise money for several charities.
They say he who finds a wife, finds a good thing. The case has never been truer for Shea whose success inadvertently came from his reaction to helping his wife in her time of distress. The couple has been together since they met in college in 2000. Despite planning a wedding, the two couldn’t go through with it because his wife, Larami was hospitalized a day before the wedding and so they got married in the hospital. They share three children who Serrano affectionately refers to in public as Boy A, Boy B, and the Baby. A French bulldog completes the beautiful family.