Author Kevin Vachna is taking his latest book, OBSOLETE: A Teacher’s Tale (of Tomorrow, Today!) on tour — a Virtual Book Tour, that is, with Outskirts Press! Technology has created a wide variety of ways to reach audiences all over the world. All it takes is a little thinking outside the box, and nowadays you can market a self-published book in a variety of affordable and impactful ways. Virtual book tours, for example, are a great way to connect with readers from all corners of the globe, all from the comfort of your own home. Join Kevin Vachna and OBSOLETE: A Teacher’s Tale (of Tomorrow, Today!) as they appear in features and interviews (such as the one below) in the weeks and months ahead!
Luckily for us, Kevin Vachna was kind enough to answer a few questions as the tour was getting started so that we can give you a sneak peek into the mind of the creator of OBSOLETE: A Teacher’s Tale (of Tomorrow, Today!).
OP: Tell us a little bit about OBSOLETE: A Teacher’s Tale (of Tomorrow, Today!). What is it about?
Kevin: Black Mirror meets Dead Poets Society, OBSOLETE is a thrilling adventure set in the not so distant future, where technology is invisibly engrained in every aspect of life, even finding a home inside of us. Crime, Disease, and Poverty are all but extinct. Democracy is decided in real-time with lightning-fast ease. Holographic projections are at everyone’s fingertips, swallowing them into a world of constant entertainment and communication. There’s just one problem: the kids are all becoming hyperactive, disconnected screen-addicts. The America Learns Initiative, a federal program under the Department of Restructure, has a solution: The Success Spheres! Championing the mantra, “Do nothing and learn!” This state of the art technology promises to save the failing school system, its students, and teachers, once and for all. After an unauthorized history lesson, Professor T is reassigned to one of the worst performing schools around. There, unlikely allies and hidden threats lead T to revelations about a conspiracy with sinister roots. What T discovers could threaten to overturn the ALI’s Success Sphere program and the very foundations of society, itself.
OP: Why did you decide to write this story?
Kevin: I wrote and drew this graphic novel after being inspired by what I saw in the schools every day. There were never enough resources and they were always pushing for something that wasn’t in the students’ best interest but their own. And that’s when an over-reliance on technology infected our schools. I watched teachers replaced by screens. Education stagnated and the children suffered most of all. Over the past decade I have been witness to, participant in, and victim of this drastic transformation inside the New York City public school system. They’ve embraced detrimental practices under the guise of technological reform. There are computers in every classroom, but students enter through metal detectors and undergo body-searches. More often than not, teachers are encouraged to use media such as YouTube to entertain and pacify students while passing them through to graduation. Like parts in a machine, these overworked teachers are replaced by younger, cheaper ones. Students graduate into a world in which they are wildly under-prepared to participate let alone prosper. The What-If, nightmare scenario of where this path might lead and the underlying dangers for society are realized in the world and characters of my graphic novel, OBSOLETE.
OP: What types of readers would be interested in this story?
Kevin: Parents, teachers, and students (ages 15+) will benefit from reading this book and will connect with its important lessons and themes. People involved in school and education will connect with this and hopefully re-examine the effects technology has on education and their lives. For high school students and teachers, this book offers confirmation of many unspoken frustrations and fears they may have. The visual nature of this graphic novel creates avenues for reluctant readers to reach places of comprehension and introspection. Additionally, lovers of science fiction and/or dystopian fiction will enjoy this, as well, due to the major conflicts and tensions with technology in this book. Anyone who has attended (or is attending) High School will be interested in this graphic novel. There is some violence, so I wouldn’t want to give it to anyone under 15.
OP: What is special or uniquely personal about your book?
Kevin: As a teacher with over ten years of classroom experience, published author, and frequent media expert on themes involving technology and culture, my life has centered on pedagogy, analysis, and storytelling. I believe the characters and setting are unique among other science fiction books, dystopian fiction books, and graphic novels. The setting of the school is a location most readers will have intimate knowledge of and experience with, despite there not being many dystopian, science fiction stories that take place in school. The characters also are relatable due to their interactions with and dependency on technology like cellphones and computers. In a time of distance learning and increasing screen-time, many individuals (including teachers, students, and parents) are beginning to seriously contemplate the impact of technology in the classroom and on our lives. While technophobia is an emerging mood in fiction, OBSOLETE focuses heavily on these themes and moods in a way I believe has not yet been explored and discussed, prior.
OP: Have you published any other books? Do you plan to publish more?
Kevin: In 2009, at the age of 21, I published a short novel, Summer of the Fall.
OP: How can someone learn more about your book or purchase it?
Kevin: Here is where buyers can find my book:
Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/obsolete-kevin-vachna/1138001370
OP: Thanks for your time, Kevin! We look forward to learning more about you as you visit other bloggers!
Press play to watch the book video for OBSOLETE: A Teacher’s Tale (of Tomorrow, Today!)
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
In the spring of 2009, at the age of 21, Kevin published a short novel, Summer of the Fall, through Outskirts Press. He spent the next few summers editing a second, experimental novel, Not All Vampires Suck Blood and a screen play, titled End of the World. For ten years, Vachna was employed as a high school English teacher at a New York City public school in the Bronx. In 2012, Kevin completed an English Literature MA at Lehman College. In 2016, he received a Masters in School Administration. The completion of Kevin’s latest project OBSOLETE in 2019 came on the footsteps of his exit from the New York City Department of Education. Neither parties elected to comment on any meta-narrative connections between art and life. Currently, Kevin teaches English at a private high school in Westchester, New York and hosts a film discussion show on television.
For more information or to contact the author, visit https://www.outskirtspress.com/obsolete
This author purchased the Media Marketing Blitz marketing option, which allows self-publishing authors to connect with bloggers and harness the power of the blogosphere by taking their book on the “virtual road.” Learn more about this service by visiting your Publishing Center and reviewing the available marketing options.
Are you an author looking for help to market your self-published book?