On March 20, if you were to walk into the auditorium, you may have been surprised by what you saw and heard. Bouncing around onstage was Allan Wolf, an author from Asheville. Wolf performed some of his poems and gave encouraging life lessons to the high schoolers gathered there. It was truly a unique experience.
Recently, Wolf released Who Killed Christopher Goodman? a mystery novel based on a true story from his childhood. During the assembly, he explained to the audience about his high school friend, Ed, a student well known and liked who was mysteriously murdered his junior year. Wolf modeled Chris Goodman, the main character, after his friend, and many other characters after his real-life high school friends and teachers.
Along with promoting his new book, Wolf recited his poetry in a theatrical manner and shared life lessons. Of those, he taught a lesson through the metaphorical use of maple syrup. First, he held up a small bottle of syrup and posed a question to the audience: How much sap do you think it takes to make this much syrup? Answering his own question, he then held up a large bottle of clear maple sap, about 20 times the size of the bottle of syrup. The syrup represents the small amount of success that the world recognises and the huge bottle of sap speaks for the hard work that is necessary to create that success. Wolf likes to apply this lesson to his writing process. “I collect sap, I’m going out and I’m having experiences and I kind of stir things up,” said Wolf about his inspiration for his novels.
Even as a child, Wolf knew he was destined to be an author. “I think, truth be told, I just happen to be a writer. I could be anything else, I could be like a cake decorator; there is something about creating, the act of creation that is innate in me, and I know it is innate in a lot of people. It’s an urge, an itch, I think…I was an itchy child, even when I was writing on my walls, I didn’t even realize I was writing,” said Wolf. You can tell he is truly passionate about his writing and performing just through first impression.
In addition to his writing profession, Wolf travels around and speaks to students from elementary school-age through high school. “I write mostly for high school kids, most of my shows…are for younger kids, kindergarten through eighth grade. I don’t do as many presentations for high school kids…but when I meet high school kids, it’s my way of touching base and realizing when I write for young adults, I’m doing so because I have an opportunity to…go back and relive my life…, but I have to write it for young people who aren’t my age, otherwise, it doesn’t mean anything. It’s not useful to you. So it’s my way of helping my readers [young adults] to get through some of the stuff I went through with maybe a little less trouble,” said Wolf.
Hopefully, Wolf continues to travel, write and spread knowledge and wonderful stories to students. For more information about Allan Wolf or his writings, visit his website.