Upcoming author visits offer career learning opportunities


Aidan Kurt

Parker Peevyhouse's second book is a mystery novel titled "The Echo Room." "#MURDERTRENDING" is a comedic thriller written by Gretchen McNeil. Both authors will be visiting Carlmont on Jan. 24.

Throughout high school, many students seek guidance from adults when deciding their career path.

On Jan. 24, the San Mateo County libraries are sending authors Gretchen McNeil and Parker Peevyhouse to speak at Carlmont as part of the Youth Adult Novelist Convention.

“Students can go and participate as a free event,” said Alice Laine, a librarian at Carlmont. “They get to have one-on-one access to accomplished authors who could give them advice about writing or just talk if they love the books.”

McNeil has written many horror novels, including “#MURDERTRENDING,” which made the Barnes and Noble Best Books of 2018 and was voted to the top of the Young Adults Library Services Association’s 2019 Teens’ Top Ten list. Her books “GET EVEN” and “GET DIRTY” have been made into the upcoming series “Get Even” on BBC and Netflix.

“I write primarily young adult horror and murder mysteries,” McNeil said. “I usually like to mix comedic elements with horror, gore, and suspense.”

Like McNeil, Peevyhouse is the author of accomplished novels. Her book, “Where Futures End,” was named a Best Book For Teens by the New York and Chicago public libraries. Her most recent book, “Strange Exit,” was published on Jan. 14.

Both authors will speak about their books and careers throughout the school day in the Student Union. McNeil will present during periods one and two, while Peevyhouse will be speaking during periods three through six.

“I will be discussing my journey to publication and various careers I’ve had along the way,” McNeil said.

Along with the author’s presentations, students will have an opportunity to ask questions and talk with the authors about writing and publishing.

“I think [the visits] are a good opportunity for students who are interested in writing to get an idea of a possible future,” said Josh Sun, a sophomore.

Students can get a better understanding of what a career path in writing could look like for themselves based on the authors, which are both native to the Bay Area. McNeil grew up in Millbrae and attended Mills High School, and Peevyhouse is a current San Francisco resident.

“It’s really interesting to listen and have that proximity to published authors,” Laine said. “To learn about the publishing and writing processes and be able to ask questions is a good experience.”