My name is Scott Pestka and I wrote a non-fiction book based on my life experiences as a freshman in high school trying to handle my abusive mom, run cross country/track, and be a normal teenager. My troubling days of getting bullied at school and at home lead to some interesting conflicts throughout the book. I realize the only way out of my situation is by working hard and being dedicated so I can earn a college scholarship and move as far away as possible.
I started this book 30 years ago while taking college writing classes and once finished I hired an editor to try and get it published. There was no interest and at all and I gave up on my writing career from the bad experience that occurred.
One of the things I am most passionate about is coaching cross country, track and youth football and baseball. I have helped many young athletes achieve their goals of receiving a college scholarship and winning several championships along the way.
I remember the first real book that I read and enjoyed was The Outsiders. It was full of action and I could relate to the “greasers” being poor myself, and not having much of a family life except for my brother and some close friends.
I also like reading Tom Clancy and John Grisham as a young adult so much that I took pre-law classes and interviewed for the FBI and CIA after college.
Being a teacher and a coach for almost 30 years I think writers do a very poor job in this area. I can only give you a handful of stories that I felt really hit the education field properly. Most are so out of reach that I get upset with the non-sense that is put from pen to paper, that I can not even finish what I am reading or watching.
Running cross country and track are among the fastest growing high school sports across the nation according to NFHS and running a 5K has tripled in participation. I am writing this letter to introduce my book for young adults, PUNK FRESHMAN, an inspirational journey of a motivated athlete, which is 69,000 words.
This unique book is a cross between the books, Darius & Twig and Hillbilly Elegy. This adventure is about a teenage boy, Steve Jones, in his freshman year in high school back in the 1980’s. You travel with him as he overcomes his obstacles at home, school and on the track. Steve grows up in a home where his mother verbally and physically abuses him and his brothers since he was five years old. This tension forces his dad to leave soon after, and things get a lot worse for them in the years that follow.
Once getting kicked off his Pop-Warner football team and not getting drafted in the upcoming Little League season, Steve had very few options left. Running became not only something that he was good at, but would ultimately save his life, giving him the tools necessary to escape from poverty and the abusive hands of his mother. Over his freshman year, Steve prospers into a top athlete that has a chip on his shoulder.
My name is Scott Pestka, and this story is based on my true life experiences. Running for over 40 years, I received a Division One scholarship, coached several high school teams to State Championships, and almost qualified for the Olympics in the marathon. I taught high school over 25 years and in this timespan and I have gathered experiences to help me fulfill writing this book. So during the pandemic I rewrote the book I started 30 years ago.
Phoenix, Arizona, Early 1980’s
“Here comes the axe.” He said with his Doritos stained teeth as his lips curled up into a wide grin as he slammed his fist into my side. I couldn’t catch my breath and I thought my ribs might be broken as I took a sharp breath in pain that forced me to crumple down to the floor. I looked up at Alex, who calls himself “Axe” with an acne covered face and his stench of cigarettes as I watched him pull his leg back to land another blow. I curled up as best as I could to absorb the impact. “You have to know your limits, freshman. I run these lockers and you need to check with me before you step in.” I was lifted up and slammed hard against the freshman locker compound, almost horizontal with the ground. I fell, gasping for air, “If you want to come into these lockers then you need to pay up.”
I shoved my hand in my pocket as though I was looking for some loose change, knowing that there would be none. My fingers brushed up against my orange lunch ticket. The ticket would get me my free that day, and if I gave it to Axe I wouldn’t eat until after practice later that evening.
“These are the underclassmen lockers, seniors are over there.” I said pointing across the way. Shadow Mountain High School had three different locker compounds, a larger one for the freshmen and sophomores, one for the juniors and another for the seniors. The school did this so problems like this would not occur. I guess Axe did not get this memo.
“If I want these to be my lockers then they will be my lockers. I will take what I want when I want.” Axe said looking down at me. He looked bigger than his six feet stature from where I laid on the ground. He was a leftover hippy kid with his long greased back hair, cut-up jeans and t-shirt to try and make him look tough. Axe, along with his gang all basically looked the same and they were better known as the “druggies” on campus. Anything kids needed in that area, mainly pot, Axe could provide.
I like writing about my life and the troubles that I have endured. I would like to write a sequel to this book and explain my situation and how I got out of it.
Here are some best practices for reaching out to a potential CP:
- Include the link to your own CP Match profile! You can find it on your Dashboard. Don't have one yet? What are you waiting for? Anyone with a WriteOnCon.org account can make one!
- Introduce yourself a little, and say what appealed to you about their listing.
- Respect what's listed here in their profile. They took the time to fill it out, and they've included this information for a reason. Don't send a message about a book they specifically say is a Hard No, for example.
- Offer to swap a small sample of your works, so you can see if you're really compatible. First chapters are a good starting place.
- If one party no longer wants to continue the interaction, it's nobody's fault. Sometimes finding the right CP takes time.
Happy writing and CPing!