My guest today is drama teacher, writer, singer and insatiable book lover Christopher Mannino. Christopher’s love of reading, and his work with young people, inspired him to write YA fantasy – and Christopher’s well qualified to write in this genre, having studied mythology and literature both in the US and at Oxford. How cool is that!
Good to meet you, Christopher, and welcome back to England.
Where is your favourite place in the world? My three favorite cities are Rome, London, and Boston. This’ll sound sappy, but my favorite place in the world is honestly anywhere my new wife Rachel (we’ve been married a month) happens to be.
I saw your photos on FB, Chris. What a gorgeous bride! And that’s not soppy at all! (Soppy is Brit for sappy :) )
Being a writer is a great job. What’s the worst job you’ve ever had? Just last year, I was teaching middle school English at a terrible school, with a dictatorial principal. During a meeting with English teachers, she complained that while teaching the same syllabus, the four of us were not using the same sentences at the same time. In other words if she couldn’t walk from one classroom to another and hear a complete sentence (starting with one teacher and ending with another) we would be disciplined. During another meeting, we were screamed at for dismissing an English department meeting five minutes early to make copies for our students. We were banned from using the school copiers for a month. It was the craziest work environment I’ve ever experienced.
Oh my goodness!! That really is crazy. That lady has some serious issues. I feel for the school kids as well as the teachers.
What book do you wish you’d written? If I’d written the Harry Potter series, I imagine my wife and I would have an easier time affording house :)
What’s your favourite song? I have far too many. Stars from Les Miserables and Defying Gravity from Wicked are my favourite songs to sing aloud. Karl Jenkins’ Adiemus is my favourite song to write to. Favorite pop song is currently John Legend’s All of Me.
A musical lover! Man after my own heart :)
If you could meet anyone in the world, dead or alive, who would it be and what would you say to them? Question for Jesus: What would you do?
That’s a great answer.
What’s your happiest childhood memory? My parents built a log house in the Berkshire Mountains, in Western Massachusetts. It was in the middle of nowhere, an hour in any direction to the nearest city. I used to sit on the porch, looking out over the beaver pond during the summers, and read nonstop.
I used to read non-stop, too. Yours sounds a lovely location for reading.
If you had to marry a fictional character, from film, television, or books, who would it be? Elastigirl from the Incredibles. You can already tell she’s an awesome wife, plus she’s a superhero.
I loved that film :)
What’s the most important lesson life has taught you? If you want something, pursue it. It might take time, hard work, and determination, but dreams do come true.
And finally, please tell us about your latest book, where we can find it, and where we can find your blog/website
School of Deaths, a novel recently released by MuseItUp Publishing, is the tale of thirteen-year-old Suzie Sarnio. Forced to become the first female Death (or Grim Reaper), Suzie is alone in a world where all the Deaths are men. Her schoolmates and teachers bully and harass her. In the School of Deaths, she finds herself training to bring souls from the Living World to the Hereafter. Attacked by both classmates and strangers, Suzie is alone in a world where even her teachers want her to fail. The novel is a Young Adult Fantasy, but also contains many aspects of mystery, as Suzie tries to discover why she’s been brought to the School of Deaths, the first female Death in a million years.
You can find the book on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and wherever eBooks are sold. I’m also currently in the middle of a contest. I recently released a book trailer, and anyone who shares the trailer five times could win a twenty dollar Amazon gift card. For details on the contest visit: http://www.christophermannino.com/events-and-contests.html
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Thanks for coming today, Christopher, especially so soon after your honeymoon. Hope you’ve enjoyed your trip back to England!
If you’ve enjoyed Christopher’s interview, or have any questions or comments at all, please let us know. We’d love to hear from you!