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Culture North Crowley teacher publishes first novel, has strong views on monsters

North Crowley teacher publishes first novel, has strong views on monsters

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Robert Francis
Robert is a Fort Worth native and longtime editor of the Fort Worth Business Press. He is a former president of the local Society of Professional Journalists and was a freelancer for a variety of newspapers, weeklies and magazines, including American Way, BrandWeek and InformatonWeek. A graduate of TCU, Robert has held a variety of writing and editing positions at publications such as the Grand Prairie Daily News and InfoWorld. He is also a musician and playwright.

David Harrell

Courtney Fillmore

Fort Worth Business Press

David Harrell has always had an active imagination. However, when the ninth-grade English teacher completing his first year at North Crowley High School, sat down to write his own young-adult novel in 2013, not even he could imagine where it would go. Less than a year and a half later, Harrell is now a published author with his eyes on a trilogy. In his first published book, Confederation Of Monsters: The Ambassador’s Apprentice, Harrell delves into a realm of science fiction, mystery and adventure. The book is about the adventures of three middle-school students as they discover that the monster under the bed is not only real, but also in good company. The book, published by Black Rose Writing in San Antonio, has sold almost 500 copies, a pleasant surprise to Harrell. “I couldn’t be happier,” he said.

Harrell is also pleased with the book’s reception, especially with its target audience: young adults. He even allowed his students to read his book for their final book reports, an exercise that proved to be reassuring for the author and educator. “They did very well on their book reports,” Harrell said. “A lot of them related to the theme of the book, which is bullying.” Harrell, 38, married and the father of two young boys, connects to the experiences and trials of his young characters as well as his students. As a teacher and a coach, he has spent almost 10 years working with children, and he places tremendous value on nurturing their imagination and confidence. “I relate to young adults,” Harrell said. “I let kids use their imaginations. I don’t want them to ever lose their imagination.” “When I was growing up bullying was, ‘Oh, I get picked on on the bus.’ You got home and it’s done. But nowadays, with social media, you can’t get away from the bullies.”

Harrell hopes that his book will help young people find their confidence, so that they will be equipped to deal with their own bullies, whatever forms they may take. “They need to be built up and reassured that they are special,” Harrell said. “You cannot count them out.” Harrell reports that he has received a lot of positive feedback from adult readers, including a rave review from the mother of his ex-girlfriend from high school. Harrell, a Star Wars fan from his youth, is now working on the second installment of his trilogy. “I’m in the process of writing the first two chapters of the second book,” Harrell said. “I know how it [the trilogy] is going to end. I just need to get there.” Harrell also has a message for readers of Confederation Of Monsters: “Have fun with the book, let your imagination go.” Harrell, a graduate of Texas Christian University (Class of 1998), is married to fellow alum, Darcy Harrell. They have two sons, Bailey, 11, and Corbin, 8. For more information on Harrell and his book, visit www.confederationofmonsters.com or like the book’s page on Facebook. Confederation of Monsters can be purchased online, through Amazon and Barnes &Noble, or can be found at the Barnes & Noble on the corner of Hulen and Overton Ridge Blvd.  

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