Jeramey Kraatz, TCU alumnus, read from his debut novel, “The Cloak Society,” Wednesday evening in Moudy South as a part of the Live Oak Reading Series.
“The Cloak Society” is a grade-school level book about a 12-year-old boy born into a family of supervillains who befriends a superhero.
“I’m a huge comic book nerd so this is right up my alley,” Kraatz said.
Charlotte Hogg, current TCU professor who taught Kraatz in 2006, opened the event with a short introduction for the author. Hogg gave a brief biography and listed some of the awards Kraatz has received for his writing.
Kraatz studied advertising and English while attending the university. He later graduated from the Master of Fine Arts program at Columbia University, where he studied non-fiction writing. He interned at Marvel while in graduate school and now works in the animation industry in Grapevine, Texas.
Before Kraatz began reading from his novel, he spoke about how TCU helped him get to where he is today. He recounts a meeting he had with Hogg to discuss his midterm portfolio.
“At the end of the meeting we were talking about what I wanted to do with my life and she looked at me and said, ‘You can be a capital 'w' writer.’.” Kraatz said that something switched in his brain after that comment and he ended up adding English as his second major.
Kraatz is signed to HarperCollins Publishers for two more books. “The Cloak Society” is the first book in his trilogy. According to Kraatz, the second book will be published next fall and the third book in the fall of 2014.
“To get a three book deal is amazing for a guy who is just finishing up the MFA program,” Brad Lucas, English department chair, said.
Kraatz’s spoke to an audience of about 40 students, professors and family members.
Students found his talk beneficial and his story inspirational.
“I’m really set on teaching,” said Elizabeth Stoltenberg, a junior English major. “His talk helped me decide what I should be looking for in books I want to teach.”
Katie Walker, senior writing major, said that Kraatz’s success story was very encouraging to her as a writer. “You don’t hear a lot about people getting published on their first try, but here is someone who did just that.”