Title: The Autumn of Andie
Author: John V. Madormo
Genre: Young Adult
High school junior Paulie Passero considers himself a social misfit. He is sixteen years old and has never had the courage to ask a girl out on a date. He thinks he's a poor excuse for the average male...until he experiences something far worse. Paulie witnesses an unspeakable act by a member of the football team under the bleachers one afternoon. The star linebacker threatens him with physical harm if he tells anyone what he has seen. Paulie is at a crossroads. Should he protect a girl's reputation? Or defer to the oversize bully intimidating him? Dating has suddenly taken a back seat to this new dilemma.
Mickey grabbed me by the shoulders. “Paulie Passero, I want the truth,” he said.
“Will you please stop? I’ve been telling you the truth. I don’t know what else I can say to make you believe me.”
“I want you to admit you made up this Andie Walker business. Come clean, buddy. You’ll feel better getting it off your chest. This is your best friend talking.”
I laughed and plopped down on the bed. This was just another typical day for me and my best bud, Mickey Hannigan. I’d lost count how many times we had had these kinds of conversations in my room. Neither of us could believe the other guy could actually get a date with a real girl. We weren’t what you would call experienced.
We were entering our junior year of high school with the hopes of erasing a bleak—no, make that pathetic—history with the opposite sex. Mickey had gone on two dates in his whole life. One of them you couldn’t count since it was with his cousin. And the other was a disaster. He ended up puking on his date following a spin on the Tilt-a-Whirl at Kiddieland. So, I guess I could see why he didn’t want to believe I had a date with Andie Walker. I’d be catching up to him, and he didn’t want to hear that.
“Eat your heart out, Mick,” I said.
“All right, how about if I just show up at the tennis courts tomorrow and see for myself? How’d you like that?” He smirked.
I shrugged. “I could care less.” I knew that would make him crazy.
“Give me a break. You don’t care if I’m there? Really?”
“Just do whatever you want.” I got up off the bed. “I can’t believe you think I made this whole thing up. You think I’d lie just to impress you.”
Mickey’s sneer soon melted into a smile. “You had me going there for a minute, partner. I almost believed this whole thing.”
I stomped my foot. “Damn it, Mick. Come with me tomorrow. You’ll see. But then make some excuse why you have to leave. I don’t need anyone critiquing my moves.”
He nodded. “It’s a deal.” He glanced at his watch. “Hey, I gotta get out of here. I’ll see you tomorrow. What time are you supposedly meeting her?”
I shook my head. The Mick killed me. “Noon.”
“Perfect. I’ll get here about eleven. The buses don’t run as often on the weekends. We’ll need the extra time.”
“Fine. Eleven it is.”
He winked. He was toying with me now. “I’ll let myself out.”
“You do that.” I waited at the top of the stairs until I heard the front door close. Then I fell back onto my bed and put my hands behind my head. I couldn’t stop thinking of Andie. This was going to be great. I was actually going to be spending some one-on-one time with the girl of my dreams. And if I played my cards right, this could be the first of many.
I thought back to how all of this had come about. It all started with Guennie. If it hadn’t been for her, I would never have had the courage to talk to Andie. Let me back up. Guennie—Guinevere Thompson—was what you might call my summer fling. All that came about when my dad asked me to accompany him to Leroy, Pennsylvania to visit his dying mother. This was the same woman who hadn’t spoken word one to him for the last twenty years. You see, she disowned him when he moved from Leroy to Chicago after he and my mom got married. When he learned my grandmother had only days to live, he decided to return to his boyhood home to say goodbye. He asked me to come along to help with the six-hundred-mile drive.
While there I met the most amazing girl. She was gorgeous. And she taught me how to act around girls. We even hugged and kissed. It was heaven—until Grandma died, and it was time to head home. For a while there I was trying to figure out a way to get back to Leroy to visit her, but when she wrote a letter telling me she was going to a dance with a boy she met at school, I knew it was time to move on. It took me a few days to get over her. But the minute I saw Andie—Andrea Walker—in the hallway at school one day, I started to forget about Guennie.
My first reaction was to do nothing. I knew I’d never build up the courage to actually talk to her. That was how it had been for two years. I’d see her. I’d stare at her. I’d follow her home—not in a creepy stalker kind of way—more like an inquisitive way. I’d watch her from a distance on the tennis courts. I even sat across from her at lunch but never managed to start up a conversation. So, when I saw her in the hallway the other day, I never expected anything to happen. But something did happen. I began to think about the time I had spent with Guennie and how we had talked endlessly when we were together. All at once, I realized I could do this. I could actually talk to girls.
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What makes your featured book a must-read?
Which is stronger—the courage to right a wrong…or the fear of revenge. Paulie Passero is at a crossroads. When he witnesses an unspeakable act by a fellow student, he must make a choice to either speak up and save a girl’s reputation or hide behind the fear of threats.
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John Madormo, a Chicago area screenwriter, author, and college professor, has created a body of work that has attracted the attention of motion picture producers and publishers. John has sold a family comedy screenplay to a Los Angeles production company, is the author of a mystery series with a major New York publisher, and was recently named the Grand Prize winner of a national writing competition.
Here are just a few of his accomplishments:
- John is the author of a four-book series with Penguin Books for Young Readers. The middle-grade mystery series, "Charlie Collier, Snoop for Hire," is a tale about yours truly, a 12-year-old private detective, who sets up shop in his parents' garage and solves cases for fellow sixth-grade classmates. The debut novel, "The Homemade Stuffing Caper," was released in May, 2012. The sequel, "The Camp Phoenix Caper," was released in February, 2013. Book #3 in the series, "The Copy Cat Caper," hit bookstore shelves in September, 2013. And Book#4 debuted in 2017.
- John sold a family comedy screenplay, "Coach Dracula," to Dog & Rooster Productions, Studio City, CA. (Sheri Bryant will produce; Greg Aronowitz will direct).
- He optioned a family comedy screenplay, "Two-Faced," to Doris Roberts ("Everybody Loves Raymond") Enterprises. Ms. Roberts and her manager-son, Michael Cannata, held the rights for 3 years.
- John Madormo completed a screenplay adaptation of the young adult novel, "The Ghost of Lizard Light" by Elvira Woodruff, for Flatiron Films (producers of the 2000 release, "Pay It Forward," starring Kevin Spacey and Helen Hunt).
- John signed a contract with Zumaya Publications (Austin, TX) for a middle-grade series titled, “The Adventures of Rutherford, Canine Comic.” Book 1 debuted in September of 2020.
- He signed a contract with The Wild Rose Press (Adams Basin, NY) for a young adult novel titled, “The Summer of Guinevere.” The book was released in the spring of 2019.
- John also signed a contract with The Wild Rose Press (Adams Basin, NY) for a young adult novel titled, “The Autumn of Andie.” The book will be released in the summer of 2020.
John has placed in the following screenwriting competitions:
- Grand Prize winner in the Reno Film Festival Best Synopsis Contest, and received First Place Award for Best Family Film Synopsis ("Paulie Perkins, P.I.")
- First Place winner for Best Family Film Synopsis at the Reno Film Festival for Best Synopsis Contest ("Dream Machine").
- Top 10 finalist in the BenderSpink Open Door Screenwriting Contest ("Paulie Perkins, P.I.)
- Finalist in the StoryPros Award Screenplay Contest ("Paulie Perkins, P.I.")
- 2nd Place in the Comedy Division of the Chicago Screenwriters Network Midwest Screenwriting Contest ("The Boys' Club")
- Top Ten Finalist in the Movie Script Contest Golden Brad Awards ("The Boys' Club")
- Semi-Finalist in the Scriptapalooza International Screenplay Competition ("The Boys' Club")
- Finalist in the WriteMovies.com International Writing Competition ("Kid Comedy")
John has also entered into option agreements with the following production companies:
Paulette Breen Productions
Bonnie Raskin Productions
Doris Roberts Enterprises
Dog & Rooster Productions
You can read more about John's writing projects at www.johnmadormo.com.
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