At 17, Mark hopes finding his first girlfriend is as effortless as his ritualistic morning runs, but an unwanted admirer humiliates him by spewing her feelings in a school-wide trainwreck of a display. He soon learns that not all of the negative attention hurts his chances when a senior, notorious for partying with college guys, notices him and has no reservations about pressuring Mark into doing much more than holding hands.
Mark Lender is openly desired by Katy, the most outlandish girl in school who isn’t afraid to profess her love and embarrass him at any time. Katy’s unorthodox and delusional gestures towards “her Marky” are witnessed by nearly the entire school--including Angel, the standout, flame-throwing softball pitcher who dwarfs him with her 6’1” frame and reputation of sexual experience. After she shows interest, Mark soon finds himself dominated by thoughts of her, especially during his early morning jogs past her house. While still evading Katy’s ridiculous stunts, Mark’s obsession and guilt both grow with the possibilities of Angel. Dad seems proud, but what must his deceased mother be thinking? The novel explores Mark’s attempt to outrun the social pressures of both being the pursued and pursuer, while discovering that despite his book smarts, his inexperience in dating leads to multiple erroneous assumptions.
AROUND THE BLOCK is a 58,000-word stand-alone YA novel. I have an English Degree from Ohio State and a Master’s Degree in secondary education from The University of Missouri-St. Louis. I am in my seventh year of teaching high school language arts and my eighteenth year as a professional stand-up comedian. Both careers contribute heavily to my writing. I self-published a nonfiction guide to comedy titled Don’t Wear Shorts on Stage in 2012 which has sold over 2,500 copies.
Thank you very much for your time and attention.