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May 1, 2013

Local teacher pens young-adult novella

By Eric Czarnik
C & G Staff Writer

It’s a fact: a local English teacher has recently entered the competitive world of young-adult fiction.

Angel Favazza, who teaches seniors in Utica Community Schools’ Stevenson High School, recently released her science-fiction paperback novella, “Saving Death,” for sale through Sam’s Dot Publishing, in February.

Favazza, 37, of Shelby Township, said her students, coworkers, friends and family are excited about the final product.

“A couple of people think it should be made into a movie, and I laugh,” she said. “It’s a step in the right direction.”

Favazza said she has been writing since she was a young teen and has submitted poetry and stories for many years. She said her path to success led her to join writing organizations and build “publication cred.”

She said she wrote “Saving Death” over the course of two summers and spent another three to six months editing it. She said the inspiration to pursue the young-adult fiction market came from a fellow author, Jay Asher, at a writing conference.

The novella is about a 17-year-old boy who lives under alien occupation and tries to form a militia to reset time. A love story and a time paradox offer unexpected twists, she said.

Sam’s Dot Publishing managing editor Tyree Campbell said Favazza knows how to work the human condition into her stories and get readers to experience the story through the protagonists. “Her concepts of what the future holds for us, and how humans will relate to that, make her work compulsory reading,” he said in an email.

Favazza said fiction writing is different from poetry, especially when it comes to moving the characters forward. She also said she didn’t want to make the time paradox theme too confusing for teens.

“When you have to write fiction, you have to couple character upon character’s interactions and have it make sense,” she said. “It becomes much more challenging, I think, on some levels.”

Although “Saving Death” is Favazza’s first young-adult novella, she has written other materials in the past. Her published poetry collections include “An Avid Eye” and “A Rinsing Rain.”

In offering advice for aspiring writers, she encouraged people to go against the cliché to “write what you know” and to instead “write what you love.”

“It’s a lot of hard work, and it’s a lot of rejection,” she said. “It wasn’t very easy coming up (for) me, even though I love literature. Just sticking with it is the advice recommendation that I can give them.”

Learn more about author Angel Favazza at www.angelfavazza.com. To purchase her book, “Saving Death,” visit www.sdpbookstore.com.

You can reach C & G Staff Writer Eric Czarnik at eczarnik@candgnews.com or at (586)498-1058.