Teacher writes to inspire teen boys to read

Teacher writes to inspire teen boys to read

June 29th, 2011 in Local Regional News

East Brainerd resident Greg Wilkey is writing an eBook series that he hopes will entice teens, especially young males, to read by using creative and action-filled plots.

Greg Wilkey works on the next novel in his young adult fiction series "The Life and Undeath of Mortimer Drake" at Starbucks on Hamilton Place Boulevard.

Photo by Rebecca Miller/Times Free Press.

Wilkey noticed that not many young adult fiction novels are written for a male audience, but focus rather on female readers by using romance-heavy plots.

"I hope that boys will enjoy the action part of it," said Wilkey, who is assistant principal at Tyner Academy. "I wanted to draw on the friendship that middle school boys have by playing on the boy dialogue and interaction, something that's been largely missed in books today."

Wilkey recently self-published the first of many eBooks to come: "Growing Up Dead: The Life and Undeath of Mortimer Drake." His young adult novel is about middle school student Mortimer Drake, who is struggling to fit in while discovering he is anything but a normal boy.

Wilkey gives the vampire myth a unique twist, steering away from Twilight-style romance. In his first novel, true-born vampires (those who were born vampires) and cross-blood vampires (those who used to be human) are battling for supremacy in the world. Mortimer is suddenly mixed into the battle of bloodlines when he discovers his mother is human, but his father is a centuries-old true-born vampire.

Wilkey said he used Greek mythology when creating the complex lineages and interactions of vampire history with the human world. Most of the novel takes place in a town named River Turn, Tenn., which is based loosely on Chattanooga.

Wilkey completed most of his novel while sipping coffee and working on his laptop at the Starbucks on Hamilton Place Boulevard. "Growing Up Dead" is now available for purchase on Barnes and Nobles' website at www.bn.com for eReaders like Nook.