October 29, 2014
Professor Publishes Eighth Work; Set for Halloween Release
Peter Galarneau, Jr., assistant professor and chair of the communication department at West Virginia Wesleyan College, is no stranger to fiction. In fact, to date, he has published eight works of fiction in the last 20 years. The latest installment, Crazy House, will be available to the public Friday, October 31, 2014.
Written between the summer of 2013 and September 2014, Crazy House is a “heartfelt story,” according to Galarneau. The novella, totaling less than 100 pages, is a work of fiction that is geared toward the young adult crowd that grew from a very personal experience that Galarneau faced.
“My father had a stroke a couple of years ago, and he was put into a rehabilitation center where he was not able to move around very much,” accounts Galarneau. “My father was the epitome of health, so to see him in this facility was difficult. The facility, the way people could not move, the smell, the way patients were treated, all sparked this idea.”
Crazy House, set near Wheeling, WV, follows 12-year-old Jeremy Stone as he struggles to find his way through some life-changing events, including the disappearance of his life-long best friend, Teddy, two years before the start of the story. Jeremy knows the abandoned asylum near his home had something to do with Teddy’s disappearance, and the audience follows him through this journey of self-discovery and maturity as he searches for answers and his best friend.
“I chose Wheeling as the setting, and I was looking for the reason as to why,” stated Galarneau. “I found a closed down asylum within 15 miles of Wheeling, so I did a lot of research. At the time I was researching, I was also seeing my dad in this situation. Those ideas married, and the story was born.”
Galarneau’s favorite part of the novella is the way it is so relatable for the target audience.
“Jeremy is a young boy being forced to be a man, and he is struggling with that,” commented Galarneau. “His mom is single after a divorce, his great-grandmother is in a rehabilitation center, and he finds he has to mature beyond his years in these situations. My challenge, however, was finding the balance between maturity and playfulness—things like giving Jeremy enough latitude to get on his bike and explore the West Virginia mountains while knowing his family needs help.”
As for the book’s title, that was all Galarneau’s father’s doing.
“My father created the title for this book,” remarked Galarneau. “I went to see him for a second time in June, and I was hunting for a title. My father remarked, ‘This place is a crazy house!,’ referring to the rehab facility. It was absolutely perfect for this story.”
Dedicated to his namesake, Galarneau’s Crazy House was something that had to happen. Galarneau said that whenever he experiences something new that has such a big effect on him (in this case, his father’s admittance to a rehab facility), writing is how he deals with it.
“This was the only way I could actually tell my father how I felt,” he stated.
Crazy House, published by P.T. William Publishing Company, will be available at the Buckhannon Fast Stop locations on Tallmansville Road, the Exxon station on Route 20, and online at Amazon and Barnes and Noble on Halloween.
For more information on the author, please visit www.petergalarneau.com.
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