Haunted Family Trees is About You!
We’ve merged fiction and photography to re-invent the art of storytelling. It’s a literary first! Six unique thrillers explore psychopaths – from the boss with a killer instinct to the serial killer who dines on his victims. We call it the Broken Book series. Each book is filled with photo insights that bring you deeper into the story. Read any or all of these books, in ebook or print, about different kinds of psychopaths and their prey – the good, the bad, and the ugly.
Check out our blog to discover the latest research about haunted family trees and psychopaths. Take a quiz to see how well you can spot a psychopath or read the Bizarre Last Words of Death Row Inmates With A Sense of Humor. Join Photo Insights and receive a thought-provoking photo in your email once a week. Check out the website photo gallery. Or just hang out here and see what happens next.
You never know.
Meet the Authors
Dr. Jeri Fink, Author and Photographer
I was eight years old.
Faces were penny candy – endless shapes and flavors. Colors throbbed in rhythmic neon lights. My world was a rush of stories written in black-and-white composition books.
There were so many ways to see things. The Oak outside my window was big and powerful – or shaky, like a typical New York City tree. I could take a sliver of black charcoal and make the same tree magically come alive on paper. My characters moved through plots more animated than the people next door. I aimed my camera and shot images that no one else noticed.
They called me a free spirit.
I wanted to share, but most of my friends were in different spaces. We went to college and they talked about business, teaching, and making money. I wanted to know about art, lucid dreaming, and the human spirit. We grew up, got jobs, and evolved into families. There were spouses and children; Little League and PTA. I had my family, a home in the suburbs, and a family room painted purple. When everyone dined on backyard barbeque, I preferred Chinese noodles. I stashed chocolate fudge brownie ice cream to weather blizzards, and talked about books no one read at the neighborhood dinner parties.
I never quite fit.
I went back to school and became a Family Therapist to help people negotiate their lives. I worked with everyone from “normal” to psychopath. My friends thought I was crazy.
Oddly, I was always ahead of my time. I played on the internet before most people had ever heard the word. I developed, along with a group of far-reaching thinkers, the idea of psychotechnology – the psychology of technology. My nonfiction book, Cyberseduction,was written long before eHarmony and match.com went viral. Donna Paltrowitz and I worked with kids on books where children became a voice in their own literature. We called the series The Gizmo Books. Gizmo and his “sister” Coco were Labradoodles – an Australian breed which most people at the time, including the vet, never knew existed.
Instead of simply growing up, my eight year old evolved. In the twenty-five books I’ve written since then – nonfiction, children’s, and adult fiction – I’m still an author with faces, colors, and stories fueling my imagination.
The Broken Book series is a culmination of who I am – the voices of those who entered my mind and heart; the people who pass me on different paths, with their own haunted family trees; and the photos that tell their stories.
Welcome to my world.
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Donna Paltrowitz, Author
It was a school writing contest for the best autobiography, and mine came in first. I was in the sixth grade and had no clue about writing. The words flowed effortlessly from my head to the pen. The teacher described my essay as an intricate process rich with ideas, humor, and the desire to connect with others.
Years later, I graduated from college, worked as a teacher in Brooklyn, N.Y. and realized that teaching children to express themselves wasn’t the seamless process that I had envisioned. This was a different generation with needs that required new techniques and resources. Spending my days in the classroom with children, and nights earning a Master’s Degree in reading, I discovered the latest, most effective techniques to make the entire room smile.
I became a reading specialist. My ideas flowed into developing tools to motivate struggling readers. Focusing on real experiences that kids encountered in their schools, streets, and homes, I created a humorous reading series for children with limited reading vocabularies. Along with my husband Stuart, also a New York City teacher, we wrote the I Hate To Read Series – 24 books with music, rhymes, and smiles – long before rap and Miss Piggy became a hit.
We connected with children throughout the country and the English-speaking world. Subsequently, we wrote the Work World Series for teenagers trying to make sense of their lives. When schools finally wired up, we designed Computer Crossroads and Mystery Mazes— software series that engaged young people in reading, laughing, and making fun choices.
Watching my own three children grow up, I realized that reading connections continually evolve. While teachers and administrators tried to lead children to relevant topics, kids were more interested in what their peers were saying. Children connected when they were given a voice. Dr. Jeri Fink, my friend, neighbor, and a LI family therapist agreed that children should have the chance to bring their own literature to life. Together we brought children’s issues, words, and artwork alive in The Gizmo Books. We visited classrooms with Gizmo, a 100 pound therapy dog and his “sister,” Coco. The Labradoodles came from Australia, driving their messages to connect children, parents, grandparents, and schools half way around the world.
Meanings of words shift with the passage of time while the human need to connect remains unchanged. What was once called interacting with friends, neighbors, and colleagues, is now social networking—sharing our messages, bonding with others in the world, and helping us all to feel warm and fuzzy on the inside. Both the teacher and child inside me continue to seek new pathways into the present, as well as the past. That is the heart of The Broken Book Series-stories rich with ideas, photos, and the desire to connect with others. Whether child or adult, our families bind us to the good, the bad, and the ugly of our histories. Wander through these adult novels for an insightful connection to the haunted family trees that make us who we are.
Visit us at www.hauntedfamilytrees.com
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