By Trevor Pacelli
2023 is ending, so I figured now would be a good time to share some of my upcoming projects for 2024, as well as how working on these projects has given me multiple opportunities to be a storyteller.
In 2023 I published the first book in a series, What Movies Can Teach Us About Disabilities, which discusses the good and bad representation of disabilities in film. For example, Good Will Hunting is an example of positive representation of mental disorders because it depicts people with such disorders as fully human and needing professional help. On the contrary, The Elephant Man is an example of negative facial disfigurement representation because it depicts a man like Joseph Merrick as totally helpless without the guidance of an able-bodied person.
My approach to writing that book, however, was much different than the next book in the series, What Movies Can Teach Us About Bullying. For this one, I had to focus less on categorizing types of bullying and more on delving into how specific movies portray bullying. For example, a whole chapter is dedicated to how Mean Girls shows the toxicity of class royalty and how it can taint anyone who comes too close to the cult-like behavior of a social clique. I discuss ten movies in this upcoming book with more depth than I could do with my previous book, in turn opening up my storytelling capabilities as I help raise awareness of why some movies would be considered good and others not so good.
Another book I published in 2023 with Pacelli Publishing was The Kindergarten Adventures of Amazing Grace: What in the World is Autism? It was written by my sister and illustrated by me in 2008, and in 2023, I formatted, illustrated and published a new edition of the book. I’ve gotten great feedback on the quality of my illustrations, and it makes me feel good knowing that I can convey emotion through static images to help children understand the stories they’re reading. So now, as I enter 2024, I’ll begin writing and illustrating the next installment of this series, The Kindergarten Adventures of Amazing Grace: A Field Trip to the Zoo.
There’s one more book I plan to publish in 2024, a grade-school novel called The Fruit Virus, where the plants throughout San Diego mutate into durian trees, causing mass hysteria across the city. I wanted to write a fiction book for a while because I see this as my ultimate outlet for storytelling; being a film studies major with an emphasis on screenwriting. I have enjoyed applying what I learned in college. I want to write for this age group specifically because second through sixth grade was my peak time period for reading books I actually enjoyed, and I’ve been told I’m good at relating to kids. A deeper reason is that I don’t want the lower attention spans of children to lead to lower quality in storytelling.
Besides my books, I will continue to tell stories about myself through blog posts such as this one. I’ll be sharing my life experiences so others can get a taste of what it’s like living on the autism spectrum. Each experience will be a story that includes a beginning, middle, and end. They will speak the truth about what will best help parents and their autistic kids during holidays such as Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas.
All around, I’m glad to say that since I started working at Pacelli Publishing over two years ago, I’ve gotten closer to realizing my potential as a storyteller. I’m now writing three different book series for three very different age groups and in three different styles. My writing skills are not perfect, but I hope for 2024 to be a year of improvement in my body of work.
In the meantime, I want to thank all of you for being such loyal followers of Pacelli Publishing in the last year and for giving us the chance to make our stories heard. Can’t wait to see what kind of stories await us all in 2024!
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