Earlier this week I published my first TPRS novel, a story that emerged in my classes some years ago and that has been re-written several times over the years. The story starts with Rodney, a kid who reluctantly works in a local hamburger joint in order to pay for the AP exams that his parents refuse to cover. As an adolescent joke, he decides to never wash his hands so that no one comes to the restaurant and he can use the time to study. That night the daughter of a major drug trafficker comes in with her boyfriend; when she gets sick, a chain of events is set in motion that changes everyone´s lives. Oh, if only he had washed his hands!
Although it is for the most part a tongue in cheek homage to the best adolescent goofball humor that appears whenever storyasking in class, there is also some serious culture built into the novel. Some cultural elements that come up include Mexican masks used in Carnaval celebrations, a painting by Goya, and the way Spanish speakers pronounce English names that begin with J such as “Jessica” (often pronounced as a Y). There is a full glossary at the end of the book and difficult phrases are also translated in footnotes so that students do not have to interrupt the flow of their reading by flipping to the back glossary. This version is written in the first person, but a different character narrates each chapter so that I was able to provide a view into multiple characters perspectives without using complicated language.
There are three ways you can purchase the novel:
(1) I actually get the best deal from the publisher if you purchase it directly through my createspace page
(2) but it is also available through Amazon. For those of you in Europe it is also available through country-specific Amazon distributors such as Amazon.co.uk
(3) If you plan on buying a class set and can pay via Paypal then please contact me directly: mikepeto AT gmail DOT com. Sets of 25 or more copies will sell at a discounted rate of $5.50 per copy, rather than the normal price of $6.49
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I brought the proof copy to NTPRS to show people just how easy it is for independent authors to publish a professional-looking novel. I think a future blog post will focus on the process, step by step, so that more of you will be encouraged to revise and publish your best stories. While I am enormously proud of this novel, I hope it is obvious that the main thrust of my work is to encourage more TPRS teachers to dream, write, edit, practice with their classes, edit further simplifying the text as much as possible and eventually publish their own class novels. Yes, have a native speaker who truly understands the concept of limiting vocabulary comment on your draft, but do not let anyone intimidate you into thinking that a mere classroom teacher cannot publish a TPRS novel. Over the last year as I have read a half dozen submissions to the FVR Cooperative Library I have been impressed by the quality of the stories. We need more TPRS novels by more TPRS teacher-authors.