Check this out!

A young adult novel (for teens and adults alike), told with humor and pathos, that deals with bullying, sexual identity, and feeling isolated from the norm.

Available at Amazon.com!

Book Club.

What a delight last week…sharing thoughts about Charles Siskin’s stories with friends and readers! Thanks, gang!

What a gorgeous book. Though intended for young adults, I can’t imagine anyone wouldn’t enjoy it. Sort of a modern day “Catcher In The Rye” but funnier and if you can imagine, a bit more profound. This would be an incredible addition to an English teacher’s cannon for a high school class—-a beautiful and funny novel for ANYONE who’s ever struggled with figuring out and getting comfortable with who they are. Honest and lovely. Read this!
- Heather, via Goodreads
At that moment I could have very cheerfully crawled into a hole, if one had opened up in the floor anywhere near me, and pulled the hole in on top of me.
At that moment I could have very cheerfully crawled into a hole, if one had opened up in the floor anywhere near me, and pulled the hole in on top of me.

At that moment I could have very cheerfully crawled into a hole, if one had opened up in the floor anywhere near me, and pulled the hole in on top of me.

"This is not that kind of book."

an excerpt from The Thousand Natural Shocks

     When I was in the first grade I was in love with most of the boys in my class.
     Now it may be at this point that I lose a good number of readers. “We didn’t know it was going to be one of those kinds of books,” you may be thinking. “We like stories about normal people doing normal things like a boy playing with trucks and coming of age and falling in love with a girl who is slightly out of his league but his winning personality causes her to reevaluate her previous standards and she breaks up with her football-player boyfriend in a juicy scene that takes place in the cafeteria and she sees that there is so much more to a person than just muscles and she and the hero go to the prom together and dance to a song by Spandau Ballet.”
     I feel really bad that I am disappointing you so early in the story, but this is not that kind of book.

Publishers Weekly Select, October 2013

Exciting Review for Shocks!

We are thrilled to announce that Publishers Weekly loves The Thousand Natural Shocks!

The Thousand Natural Shocks
Michael Sáenz, illus. by Alex Fox
CreateSpace, $8.50 paper (204p) ISBN 978-1-4825-7740-2

In a compelling debut, Sáenz offers a clever coming-of-age period piece primarily set in 1979. At 13, Charles Siskin already knows that he’s gay. Hoping to improve on “the daily tortures and humiliations of middle school,” he starts his freshman year of high school at St. Ignatius Loyola, an all-boys Catholic military institution. He soon becomes an outcast; his only friends are fellow misfits, like Stuart, who lisps, and Phaedre, a student from the girls’ school across the street. As Charles is tormented by homophobes and bullies, he explores his newfound gifts of creative writing and acting, winning a key role in a production of Hamlet. Likewise, he slowly explores his sexuality, leading to some awkward, even regrettable moments. When the bullies take things too far, Charles’s inner strength is sorely tested. Incorporating vocabulary footnotes and whimsical New Yorker–style spot cartoons, Charles’s story unfolds with sensitivity and humor, a wry tongue-in-cheek self-awareness letting his voice leap off the page. The book abruptly closes on a positive if inconclusive note, followed by an epilogue set eight years later. Ages 12–18.

-PW Select, October 2013

Publishers Weekly Selectis a monthly special issue highlighting what’s new and exciting in self-publishing. Of this issue’s 177 new title listings, Shocks was one of only 27 books selected for review. They’re pretty excited about it…and so are we!

Don’t forget to check out The Thousand Natural Shocks for yourself.

HEY BOSTON AREA! MARK YOUR CALENDARS!The Peabody Institute Library and TPC Pages are pleased to announce that “The Thousand Natural Shocks” author Michael Sáenz will be reading from “Shocks” and leading a discussion about his debut teen novel. Saturday, October 19, 2013 2:00 PM to 3:00 PM Peabody Institute Library - Sutton Room Copies of Michael Saenz’s novel will be available at the library before the event or can be purchased that day. Michael Saenz is an actor, director, playwright and teaching artist in New York City. "Shocks" is a brave and very special YA book about a teenage boy making his way through his freshman year in high school as the new kid … the odd kid … the kid with a target on his back. Touching on a couple of today’s hot-button issues (bullying, isolation, being different), Shocks isn’t just a great read, but an important book … for kids and adults. NO TICKETS NECESSARY. See you there!
More details on Facebook!
HEY BOSTON AREA! MARK YOUR CALENDARS!The Peabody Institute Library and TPC Pages are pleased to announce that “The Thousand Natural Shocks” author Michael Sáenz will be reading from “Shocks” and leading a discussion about his debut teen novel. Saturday, October 19, 2013 2:00 PM to 3:00 PM Peabody Institute Library - Sutton Room Copies of Michael Saenz’s novel will be available at the library before the event or can be purchased that day. Michael Saenz is an actor, director, playwright and teaching artist in New York City. "Shocks" is a brave and very special YA book about a teenage boy making his way through his freshman year in high school as the new kid … the odd kid … the kid with a target on his back. Touching on a couple of today’s hot-button issues (bullying, isolation, being different), Shocks isn’t just a great read, but an important book … for kids and adults. NO TICKETS NECESSARY. See you there!
More details on Facebook!

HEY BOSTON AREA! MARK YOUR CALENDARS!

The Peabody Institute Library and TPC Pages are pleased to announce that “The Thousand Natural Shocks” author Michael Sáenz will be reading from “Shocks” and leading a discussion about his debut teen novel. 

Saturday, October 19, 2013 
2:00 PM to 3:00 PM 
Peabody Institute Library - Sutton Room 

Copies of Michael Saenz’s novel will be available at the library before the event or can be purchased that day. 

Michael Saenz is an actor, director, playwright and teaching artist in New York City. 

"Shocks" is a brave and very special YA book about a teenage boy making his way through his freshman year in high school as the new kid … the odd kid … the kid with a target on his back. Touching on a couple of today’s hot-button issues (bullying, isolation, being different), Shocks isn’t just a great read, but an important book … for kids and adults. 

NO TICKETS NECESSARY. See you there!

More details on Facebook!

AN EXCERPT FROM THE GREATEST BOOK YOU’LL EVER READ

THIS IS THE INTRODUCTION

This is the introduction to my story. I have been told that introductions should be short, snappy and to the point. It kind of doesn’t really matter to me, because I usually skip the introduction when I’m reading a book, and I’m not really sure why a book needs an introduction when I think it’s better to just get right to the story. I guess it makes the story seem classy or important so I’ll give it a shot. 

My name is Charles Siskin. Nobody calls me Charlie or Chuck or Chuckles or Big C or anything like that. Everyone just calls me Charles. That’s about the only bit of real logistical information that you’re going to get. 

There are a lot of things that I won’t explain in this story. Or maybe I should say that there are a lot of things that I won’t explain in this narrative. My creative writing teacher, Brother Marvin, says I should practice using my vocabulary and saying exactly what I mean. But I also know that looking up a bunch of words in the dictionary can be a pain in the ass. So I have included, for your convenience, a handy set of footnotes on all of the new words I learned my freshman year. The definitions are official and correct and actually taken from the dictionary, but that seemed a little dry, so I’ve included my own little additions.

You know, I think it’s kind of funny how knowing and using a lot of words can be really great in some places and can get you into a shitload of trouble in others. Like in class. Teachers really pant and wheeze and get all excited when you use a lot of big words. On the other hand, if you use those same words in regular conversation with friends or students or other ordinary people, they think you’re a snob or a teacher’s pet or  a wuss and sometimes that leads to getting the crap kicked out of you.

Which bring me to an important point:  I’ll be leaving a lot of details out of this narrative. They won’t be the kind of details that someone reading this absolutely has to know. But I won’t tell you what city I’m in or what the real name of the school is and all of the names (except for mine) will be changed to protect the innocent (and the guilty). 

But these kinds of details aren’t that important. The important things, like the events, are real. 

Just imagine that this story is happening in any city in America … maybe any city in the world. I have to believe that my story is not so uncommon. Even though I might feel like I’m the only weirdo like me in the whole universe, that can’t be true. There must be boys like me all over the place. There must be. I have to believe that. If I don’t believe it, then what’s the point? 

So ends the introduction. As a start, I would say that this introduction has really classed the hell out of the story so far. What do you think?

The Thousand Natural Shocks
by
Michael Sáenz

And…Hey! It’s at Amazon!!!

CONFESSIONS

Confession 1: As much as I’ve been loving Mary Lambert in Same Love with Macklemore, I had NO IDEA that her lyrics came from her own single, She Keeps Me Warm.

Confession 2: I’m obsessed with Mary Lambert’s She Keeps Me Warm.