Emmanuel Burgin is the former sports editor of El Sol de San Diego and the author of the novel Vagabond Blues, a San Diego Book Award finalist and is a co-author of the nonfiction book San Diego Drag Racing and the Bean Bandits. Emmanuel is a PEN America member

As Sports Editor of El Sol de San Diego, Emmanuel covered San Diego’s professional football, baseball, and soccer teams, and many of the major boxing events held in San Diego, Palm Springs, and Las Vegas. He also reported on education, environment, health, and politics, and has published in the Los Angeles Times, San Diego Reader, Rugby West Magazine, and Rugby News. His fiction has appeared in San Diego Writer’s Monthly, Tidepools, Weavings: an anthology of San Diego writers, and Solstice Literary Quarterly.

Emmanuel was born in Lynwood, California where sports kept him off the streets and out of gangs. He attended California State University at Northridge on a football scholarship. After three years of NFL and CFL tryouts including a contract with the LA Thunderbolts, Emmanuel landed in Yuba City, California as a Captain of the minor league football team, the Twin City Cougars.

After leaving football, Emmanuel helped create the largest event security company in the country. In 1986 he became the Security Director for the Bob Dylan/Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers North American Tour.

In 1999 he assisted in the start-up of the successful bakery Con Pane Rustic Breads & Cafe in San Diego, California and performed the duties of General Manager until 2020. Throughout his time at Con Pane Emmanuel continued to write and is now devoted full time to his writing career. He splits his time between Prague, Czechia and San Diego, California.


Above is the official line. It does not tell things of life, of what fills the days of time and motion, of what stirs the soul and lets one take flight.

My life is a tale of two cities: San Diego, and Prague, of two evocations: baking and writing.

Besides the written word, I am passionate for music of all kinds (really) jazz, blues and good old rock’ n roll is at the top. Another outlet of creative expression is photography. I use the camera to train my eye for the details of a story–lighting, color, tones, moods, and composition. It also lets me capture the beat of a moment and gives me a certain instant gratification something I cannot obtain from writing. It also gets me OUTSIDE.

I enjoy visiting museums. I get inspiration there and learn from great painters. Hemingway, it was reported, walked into a Paris café, where Picasso was having a drink, and Picasso, it stated, said of Hemingway that many painters wanted to be writers and many writers wanted to be painters.

Hemingway studied the great artist for the way they told their stories, for how they approached their subjects, for what was not only put on the canvas but, equally as important, for what was omitted. I find inspiration in both these men along with Edward Hopper. As for photographers, Man Ray, Edward Weston, and Robert Frank.

Last note on Hemingway and Picasso: When Hemingway took his son to the New York Met. and stood before Picasso’s masterpiece Guernica, which depicts the horrific scene of the Nazi’s carpet bombing of that small town of the same name he said to his son “He got it right.”

I was lucky enough to see Guernica at the Prado in Madrid, Spain and though I had seen it in several books and had read about the history of the painting and the atrocities it depicted it still took my breath away. I have a large poster of the painting in my office as a reminder of what happens when authoritarianism is not confronted.

Take those passions and throw in traveling, and meeting people and one begins to understand what makes me full, what puts me in motion. Life is good, and, when the little ones, children, are mixed into that element then life goes a little higher.