UT Alumnus, Award-winning Mystery Writer, to Speak on Oct. 1

KNOXVILLE – UT alumnus Chris Grabenstein, an acclaimed writer of adult and children’s books, will visit the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, on Oct. 1 for a lecture and book signing.

The event, sponsored by the Center for Children’s and Young Adult Literature, will be at 7 p.m. in the Frank H. McClung Museum auditorium, at 1327 Circle Park Drive. The UT Office of Alumni Affairs will sponsor a short reception during the book signing after the lecture. Carpe Librum Booksellers will have copies of Grabenstein’s adult and young adult titles for purchase.

Also during the event, the Office of Alumni Affairs will present Grabenstein — a 1977 graduate of the College of Communication and Information — with an Accomplished Alumni Award.

Prior to his career as a mystery writer, Grabenstein worked as a comedian in New York City with an improvisational comedy troupe. He also wrote for Jim Henson’s Muppets and co-wrote the popular holiday film “The Christmas Gift.” He had a long and successful career in advertising where he wrote commercials for televisions and radio.

His writing career started with his first adult thriller “Tilt a Whirl,” winner of the Anthony Award for Best First Mystery.

While he continues to write popular suspense novels for adults, Grabenstein recently has published two critically acclaimed mysteries for young adults. “The Crossroads,” a spooky ghost story about a tree possessed by a vengeful spirit, was released in August 2008. It won the Agatha Award for best children’s/young adult mystery and has been nominated for an Anthony. “The Crossroads” was listed as a Children’s Choice by the Children’s Book Council/International Reading Association. Grabenstein’s novel has been optioned to Hollywood for a possible feature film.

His second Zack and Judy mystery, “The Hanging Hill,” was released in August, and the third book in the series is due out in 2010.

Grabenstein wrote a humorous description of his path to publication in the winter 2006 issue of Tennessee Alumnus (http://pr.tennessee.edu/alumnus/alumarticle.asp?id=660).

To learn more about Grabenstein, visit his Web page at http://www.chrisgrabenstein.com.

The Center for Children’s and Young Adult Literature is sponsored by the School of Information Sciences in the College of Communication and Information, and works to promote the use of literature in the education and lives of children and young adults by providing workshops for teachers and librarians, and by sponsoring talks by authors and illustrators. To learn more about the center, see http://www.sis.utk.edu/ccyal.

Co-sponsors of the event include the Knox County Library, Oak Ridge City Schools, Maryville City Schools and Webb School of Knoxville.

C O N T A C T :

Amy Blakely, (865-974-5034, amy.blakely@tennessee.edu)

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