Since he drowned, Henry has remained isolated with the same group of teenagers and he keeps wondering why. After all, what could he possibly have in common with a Mohawk-sporting punker from the 80s, a roller skater from the 70s with a thing for kimonos, and an English “rocker” from the 60s? Henry can hear the other groups but he never sees them. Soon, Henry learns that his new friends all possess unique skills for making themselves noticed by the living. Is Henry’s group kept isolated because of their abilities? If so, are they considered gifted or seen only as a potential bad influence?
Before Henry can reach any conclusions, he witnesses his sister being kidnapped. He knows who did it, where she’s being held and what will happen if the kidnappers don’t get what they want. As the police chase false leads, Henry comes to realize that he’s his sister’s only hope. But for Henry to even have a chance, he has to convince a group of teenagers that dead doesn’t mean helpless.
David Pandolfe has been a bartender in Seattle, the front man for an alternative rock band in Los Angeles and a college writing teacher in Richmond (among other things).
One day, it occurred to him that sometimes these experiences felt like completely different lives altogether. Which got him to writing Jump When Ready, a novel about of bunch of teenagers trying to get over their past lives while getting ready to jump into their next.
While he’s still writing about himself in third person, David Pandolfe should probably mention that at one point he received a Master of Fine Arts degree in Creative Writing at Virginia Commonwealth University. He has had short stories published in Millenniumand the Georgetown Review. Jump When Ready is his first YA novel but he’s currently working on another, to be released in the fall of 2013.
Guest Post :
Defining moment during your youth when you realized you wanted to be a writer.
I would love to know more about this with regard to other writers, if many had sort of an epiphany moment where they just totally knew they wanted to be a writer. Or, if it was more of a gradual process of wandering toward being a writer. The thing is, for me it went more that way after years of dabbling with stuff. I was always a creative person, definitely, but writing (at least writing fiction, particularly novel-length fiction) wasn’t something I imagined myself doing years ago. As a kid I loved to draw and paint, mostly (but, when you think about it, pictures tell stories). Then, when I was a little older, for a while I really got into making movies, particularly these clay animations that took a ton of patience (but, again, I was telling stories). Later, as a teenager and in the years to follow, I was pretty much completely a musician. I played guitar and fronted bands and that’s what I thought defined me. Even as I went to college and majored in English, I still thought of myself as being a musician. I was just going to school because it seemed like the thing to do at the time. I still considered myself a songwriter (you know where I’m going here—songs are just another way of telling stories). I was always a big reader too. I loved books and totally admired writers. But, to me, they were these sort of elevated people, these intellectuals who could create worlds with words, not a basic person like me.
Then, as more time passed, I started dabbling with writing short stories. That felt somehow doable. A few pages, longer than a song for sure, but nothing like a novel. Then, one day I decided to go back to school, so I applied to some writing programs, not really thinking I’d get in. But I did get in and one day I found myself in my first fiction workshop, sitting around a table with a group of writers all about to critique each other’s work as they tried to move toward publishing either a novel or group of short stories. I guess that was when I had the defining moment that I not only wanted to become a writer, but over time had gradually become one. Yeah, it was a pretty cool moment.
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