“This is Useful for Teachers”
So, Kellee and Ricki made me an offer I can’t refuse; a guest post slot on their website to help promote my book. The only requirement is that my story and presentation be useful to teachers. It’s a wonderful offer that fills me with grating nerves, stress, and apparent writer’s cramp. Yes cramp. My head hurts from the effort.
What about my book could possibly be useful to teachers? Sure, it’s probably the best work of fiction since Orwell’s 1984, but it’s a middle grade fantasy about a boy who repeatedly finds himself in near-death experiences at the hands of a genetically enhanced killer, and who finally falls into a coma while a lonely giant races to save him. Not much use in the classroom I’m afraid. But then I read their requirement a little closer and detected a flaw in their thoughtfully, but not entirely fool-proof, request. They never stated it should be helpful to teachers, in the classroom.
Now you and I know that’s what they meant. But that’s not what they wrote. Without that qualification, the entire world has opened up to me, and since I’m a fiction writer I feel at home with the entire world. In fact, I’m entirely at home in any world, even worlds that don’t exist outside of my dimente― I mean my fertile imagination. So without further ado, I present to you an earthly list of possible uses teachers can get out of my book, outside of the classroom.
First and most obvious, the hardcover version can be used as a paperweight. It can prop a door open, even in inclement weather. It can be used to flatten out older paperback books that just might have a use in the classroom. When tied properly about with a string, it can place-hold a kite for hours at a time. (The neighbors will be awed at your endurance.) Have a Formica countertop? Place hot pots and pans atop Tamar & PJ, and rest assured the worst that can happen is a small kitchen fire, easily put out with, perhaps, a second copy of my book. Finally, since the book is liable to sit idly on a shelf for years at a time, you can bore out a cavity in the inner pages and store valuables like jewelry, false teeth, and even marbles confiscated in the classroom. Do kids still play with marbles? I suppose no one really knows. Well, you’ll think of something to shove in there.
Of course there’s a paperback version of my book as well. However, lacking the weight of the hardcover, I’m quite at a loss to come up with any significant uses. Do they still have corporal punishment in school? If they do we may have stumbled upon the perfect, in the classroom, use for my book. I’ve just been told that CP went out of style quite some time ago and that I should expect a visit from the authorities. No problem. I have time for anothe― I mean my very first courteous chat with whoever they send for these types of misunderstandings. I am a writer after all.
Wait? I just thought of a few helpful contrivances for my paperback. Say you have a draft under your front door. Let’s face it, winter’s upon us folks. Five or six copies of my book should plug that gap nicely and friends will see how cultured you are.
“Are those paperback books you’re using as a draft-dodging-device? My, how cultured you are.”
See how that works? Contact me for a discounted price on multiple copies designated for insulation purposes.
Have cats? How often have they scratched the sofa and you’ve had nothing to throw at them. A three or four foot stack of my paperback books will not only be an attractive addition to any living room, they can be aimed extremely well and cause minimal collateral damage, all the while teaching your cats proper conduct through positive reinforcement. I personally guarantee, each book will stand up to dozens of slings before becoming unsightly, at which point they make great stocking stuffers or fire kindling. Unfortunately I can’t offer a discount for this particular use. The benefits to the purchaser vastly outweigh any reduction in cost I could offer. Visit my website to read the thousands of happy pet owner testimonials. Finally but not last. (What?) The paperback version of Tamar & PJ is a known construction tool standby. Installing drywall? Throw a few copies on the floor to prop up the panel just the right amount. Have an old ladder that leaves gouges on every surface it touches. An opened book, judiciously duct-taped to each top guide bracket provides years of worry-free laddering. (Can you believe that’s a real word? Who am I to argue with spell check.)
I hope you teachers have found this post informative and that you will each commit to purchasing tens, if not hundreds of copies of the best middle grade novel to come out in the last several minutes. I’m available to speak to your class on any topic I’m able to successfully convert into something I’m comfortable speaking about. Beer comes to mind, but we can discuss that at a later date.
Oh yeah, regarding Tamar and PJ: One Giant Adventure. There is at least one valuable lesson it teaches. Sometimes you can rely on friends, even new friends. And sometimes those friends will come through for you in the end.
Thanks again, Kellee and Ricki!
-Mark F. Geatches
About the Author: Mark has a Master’s Degree in trumpet performance from Florida State University and loves music of all kinds. After performing for several years, including a three year stint in Germany, he entered the business world. He built two small businesses before beginning a new chapter in his life; Mark now builds fiction. As he nudges his creativity and ambition in a new direction, music remains his constant companion. Mark finds music and writing the perfect mental connection, the nexus of focus and inspiration. Visit his website at markgeatches.com for links to his online published short stories.
Tamar and PJ: One Giant Adventure
Author: Mark F. Geatches
Published October 30th, 2016 by World Castle Publishing
Summary: What do you get when you cross Shrek with Star Trek? Tamar & PJ: One Giant Adventure! This fantasy adventure story leaves barely enough time to catch your breath as a giant named Tamar races to save fourteen year old PJ from a malicious Prince of a forest dwelling race of genetically enhanced humans.
Though initially successful, Tamar’s heroic actions have unforeseen consequences that lead the pair, boy and giant, on an epic and tumultuous adventure. When Tamar’s mortal enemy attacks, a fight for survival ensues. Just when you think PJ has survived his second ordeal unscathed, he falls into a life-threatening and baffling state of delirium. Once again Tamar must try to save his young friend, only this time not in the secluded forests of Western North Carolina, but he must kidnap him from a busy Northeastern hospital, subjecting himself to imprisonment or worse.
Discovering that PJ has been poisoned by the Vorteh Prince, Tamar hurries to create an antidote before time runs out. The epic final scene is a confrontation between centuries old enemies as Tamar offers to sacrifice himself to the Vorteh Emperor in one last attempt to save PJ and his family.
This wholesome MG Fantasy novel will be enjoyed by readers young, old, and everywhere in between.
Thank you, Mark, for this most useful post! 🙂