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Student Author Launches Black History Month at SU

Feb. 1, 2008

SELINSGROVE, (Pa.) – William Paris '10, the first black male to enroll in the Honors Program at Susquehanna University, will present a reading on Feb. 4 from his novel, The Great Journey: Beginnings of the Soul Keeper (PublishAmerica, 2006). A book signing will follow the reading, which begins at 4:30 p.m. in the Office of Multicultural Affairs' Resource Center for Diversity and Cultural Awareness, located in the lower level of Degenstein Campus Center.

Paris published the novel when he was only 18 years old. He now studies creative writing at Susquehanna's highly regarded Writers Institute.

The Great Journey is a psycho thriller that tells the story of Michael Hemington, a boy with the gift of foresight. But his gift becomes a nightmare when strange dreams become dark omens of things to come – a series of kidnappings by a madman known as the Phantom. As Michael slowly becomes immersed in the Phantom investigation, he begins questioning who he is and whether he can trust the people around him. Underlying the action is Michael's personal journey to answer these questions and discover the great strength of the human spirit, as well as the darkness of the human soul.

But the story doesn't end there. Paris is working on a sequel to The Great Journey. “In the next novel,” Paris says, “I continue the story of the characters introduced in my first work. I explore how they have changed and matured over time, and how friendship and the bonds of family give strength through the most difficult times.”

Paris credits Susquehanna faculty with helping him perfect his creativity and talents. “The Writers Institute,” he says, “has helped me see how to develop the complexities of character and understand what makes a good story. Before, when I wrote my first novel, I had only a preliminary understanding of this, but my professors have helped find new depths to explore in my craft.”

Paris is a native of San Antonio, Texas. In addition to being a member of the university's Honors Program and majoring in creative writing, Paris is a presidential fellow and staff writer for the Office of Multicultural Affairs.

Paris ' reading kicks off a series of student-driven activities during Black History Month. These events include a voter registration drive sponsored by The Gentlemen of 312 University Avenue, an organization of young men living in the Multicultural House, and Sigma Gamma Rho, Susquehanna's first historically black sorority. The university's first historically black fraternity, Phi Beta Sigma, will also be holding membership interviews this month.

Contact: Gerald Cohen


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