Thursday, July 16, 2020

"Danny Constantino's First (and Maybe Last?) Date"

Paul Acampora writes novels and short stories for teens, middle grade and elementary school readers. He was born and raised in Bristol, Connecticut and now lives in Pennsylvania's Lehigh Valley. He is a full-time development officer during the day and writes fiction early in the morning and late at night. Acampora is a former kindergarten teacher, a member of the Rutgers University Council on Children’s Literature, and enjoys leading writing workshops with students of all ages. He is also a writing instructor for local colleges, high schools and middle schools.

Acampora applied the Page 69 Test to his new novel, Danny Constantino's First (and Maybe Last?) Date, and reported the following:
On page 69 of Danny Constantino’s First (and maybe last) Date, Danny is trying to prevent his very strong-willed mother, who is running for Mayor, from turning the upcoming date with Natalie Flores Griffin into a community-wide celebrity event.

In my opinion, all stories are about relationships. My own stories often have family relationships at their center. Additionally, middle grade stories – especially mine – are often about young characters encountering opportunities to have new relationships outside their at-home families. By these measures, the Page 69 Test works pretty well. That said, I think Danny’s failures and successes as he moves into the unknown world of new relationships is more interesting (and entertaining) than stresses and struggles involved with moving away from the familiar. Page 69 features what Danny is moving away from and not what he’s moving toward. For that reason, page 69 might feel like downer. Not good for a book that’s supposed to be a comedy!

One thing that page 69 reveals is my love of dialogue. Pretty much the whole page is dialogue, which is my absolute favorite thing to write. I’m really excited to hear the audiobook version which will be read by the actor Michael Crouch. I’m curious to hear if he will make things flow and sound like the voices in my head!
Visit Paul Acampora's website.

--Marshal Zeringue