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All Owen Macready wants is to be an average eighth grader. Then his mom goes to Africa to find herself, his dad moves him to Las Vegas, and Owen discovers an easy-to-understand guide to magic that actually works.

But when he uses sorcery against a school bully, a chain of events is set in motion that will make Owen the target of a ruthless millionaire, get his father arrested, and possibly upend the natural order of the entire world. No pressure.

SORCERY FOR BEGINNERS is a middle-grade fantasy novel that deals with magic in the Internet Age. It is the first in a proposed series that will explain ancient, complicated topics such as spell casting, alchemy, and cryptozoology to the modern young person in an exciting way. Part novel, part “For Dummies” help guide, and every bit a fun, fast-paced adventure, SORCERY FOR BEGINNERS will appeal to fans of J.K. Rowling, Rick Riordan, and anyone who ever wanted to be a sorcerer, but didn’t want to do a bunch of hard, boring work.

ABOUT ME

I have been writing since I was a middle grader myself. In 2001, I graduated from USC’s School of Cinematic Arts with an MFA in Film Production. I have sold and optioned screenplays to production companies, and my work has received accolades from the FOX Comedy Script Contest, the Austin Film Festival, and the prestigious Nicholl Fellowships. In 2010, I wrote and produced a feature-length movie called Fugue that won Best Horror Film at the Mississippi International Film Festival. I have also written articles for the Cleveland Plain Dealer, the Akron Beacon-Journal, and the textbook Elements of Literature. SORCERY FOR BEGINNERS is my first novel.

ABOUT THE FORMAT

SORCERY FOR BEGINNERS is a novel, but it’s meant to look like a "For Dummies" guide. This means that every page has an extra element -- an image, a historical reference, maybe even a spell -- that will expand your enjoyment of the story. But since a picture’s worth a thousand words, here’s a sample of the layout: