Throwing my hat into the ring...
With The Scythe Wielder's Secret behind me, I'm moving away from YA into the big scary world of books for grown ups (insert audience gasp here). As such, I've decided to enter the annual #PitchWars contest as a prospective mentee. This is my first attempt at PW, so here's a fun look at me and my writing.
Five Facts about Me
1. I teach high school theatre. With 6 drama classes, over 200 students, and 4-5 shows a year, it's one of the most active theatre programs in the Washington DC area. While many authors dream of seeing their works in film, my personal dream is to one day see an adaptation of my books on stage. (Cursed Child looks amazing by the way!)
2. I'm married to fabulous romance author Rachel Mannino (who's also doing PitchWars), and any day now we are going to be having our first BABY!
3. I never drank coffee or alcohol until I met my wife.
4. I've wanted to be a full time writer since I was ten. My series The Scythe Wielder's Secret is a YA Fantasy trilogy traditionally published by small press MuseItUp, with book three releasing this September.
5. I sing all the time. I sing while writing, driving, even while teaching.
But what's he doing now??
My entry for PitchWars is a polished adult sci-fi thriller.
PILLARS OF CHAOS
After a noted geneticist is crucified in front of the White House, his protegee is thrown into a tangled web of riddles and lies, hoping to uncover the dangerous truth about his research. Strange half-visible towers emerge across the entire world, and a group of scientists threaten to bring nations to their knees. The future of humanity lies encoded in our DNA.
If you enjoy Dan Brown
or Michael Crichton
then you'll love PILLARS OF CHAOS.
If you've never tried an audiobook, now's the perfect time to start! The first audiobook I ever listened to was Stephen Colbert's I am America: And So Can You! I had two long commutes daily, one to my job, and one to night school, and I was tired of the radio, which seemed to keep recycling the same five pop songs over and over again. All of a sudden, I found myself laughing and enjoying an entire novel, without opening a single physical page, or flipping through the screen on my kindle.
Audiobooks are a wonderful way to experience more emotion and more depth in a world. As an author, hearing my works read back by a professional narrator gives my stories a new depth and new emotion, even to me. These books are vibrant and alive in a way unlike any other type of reading.
I'd like to extend a special invitation to those considering Audible. Audible is a subscription based audiobook provider- basically it's Netflix for audiobooks, where you pay by the month, and read as many books as you want. But here's the catch- if you're unsure if you'd like a service like this, or if you'd enjoy an audiobook at all- try audible absolutely free for 30 days, and listen to book one of The Scythe Wielder's Secret at no cost! You're getting School of Deaths for free in audiobook, just for trying Audible out, and if you don't like it, you can cancel! You couldn't REAP a better deal!
Don't forget to try AUDIBLE free HERE, but if you already have it, click the books below!
This year, I wanted to push my Drama Two curriculum, which includes a focus on
world drama. As part of the process, I decided to pair the class with a World Wise
Schools active Peace Corps Volunteer Stephanie Edwards. The students had
previously researched a unit of non-Western theatre and taught the class, focusing
on their findings.
Once paired with Stephanie, my students received videos she had prepared,
showcasing information about her time in the Peace Corps, the local (Guarini)
culture of her village in Paraguay, and other videos relating to what Stephanie was
doing to help improve people’s lives. With each video, my students watched via
Google Classroom, and then wrote a response, leading to larger class discussions
later. My kids also sent Stephanie several email introductions and questions, and
later video interviews. After one video on Guarani myths, my students performed
their own interpretation of the myths.
The most rewarding part of our WWS exchange was when the students got to meet
Stephanie in person. She took a brief vacation, and used one of her vacation days to
come to our school, where she spoke to the kids, shared photos and a native drink
from Paraguay, answered questions, and even presented one of the lessons she’s
worked with in her host village. My principal attended and all of the kids really felt
that the exchange was rewarding and a great way to end our partnership.
I thoroughly enjoyed how WWS gave my students a unique and personal
perspective into another part of the world. I have already registered next year’s
class to participate in WWS again.