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Fred Venturini

Born: 1980 in Chicago, Illinois
Pen Name: None

Connection to Illinois: Venturini was born in the Chicago area, but moved to Southern Illinois in his pre-K years. Hes lived in a variety of small towns, including Vernon, Patoka, Salem, Carlyle, and Aviston. He is a 1998 graduate of Patoka High School, and a 2002 graduate of MacMurray College in Jacksonville, where he earned a B. S. in English. The Samaritan, Venturini's debut novel, is about a boy who grows up in Vernon Hills, only to learn he can regenerate his organs and limbs. Set strongly with the downstate feel that Illinois offers, The Samaritan features a multitude of fictional and real Illinois towns.

Biography: Fred Venturini grew up in Patoka, Illinois, where he survived being lit on fire by a bully, a neck-breaking car accident, and being chewed up by a pit bull. His short fiction has appeared in places like River Styx, The Death Panel, Sick Things, Johnny America, Booked Anthology, Noir at the Bar 2, and Necrotic Tissue. He is also a two-time Chuck Palahniuk anthology finalist. He earned his MFA from Lindenwood University in 2009, and in early 2011, his debut novel The Samaritan was released by Blank Slate Press.


Primary Literary Genre(s): Fiction; Science Fiction

Primary Audience(s): Adult readers


Selected Titles

The escape of light /
ISBN: 1684423929 OCLC: 1088602777

Teenage burn survivor Wilder Tate faces the challenges of high school but in the aftermath of tragedy he discovers the capacity to forgive and empathize, learning the importance of healing from the inside out.

The heart does not grow back :
ISBN: 1250052211 OCLC: 882738635

"Dale Sampson is used to being a nonperson at his small-town Midwestern high school, picking up the scraps of his charismatic lothario of a best friend, Mack. He comforts himself with the certainty that his stellar academic record and brains will bring him the adulation that evaded him in high school. But when an unthinkable catastrophe tears away the one girl he ever had a chance with, his life takes a bizarre turn as he discovers an inexplicable power: he can regenerate his organs and limbs. When a chance encounter brings him face to face with a girl from his past, he decides that he must use his gift to save her from a violent husband and dismal future. His quest takes him to the glitz and greed of Hollywood, and into the crosshairs of shadowy forces bent on using and abusing his gift. Can Dale use his power to redeem himself and those he loves, or will the one thing that finally makes him special be his demise? The Heart Does Not Grow Back is a darkly comic, starkly original take on the superhero tale, introducing an exceptional new literary voice in Fred Venturini"--

The samaritan /
ISBN: 0982880618 OCLC: 717514496

Blank Slate Press, Saint Louis, MO : ©2010.

Dale Sampson is small town geek who lives in the shadow of his best friend, the high school baseball star. It takes him years to even gather the courage to actually talk to a girl. Just when he thinks there's a glimmer of hope for his love life, he loses everything. When Dale runs into the twin sister of the girl he loved and lost, he finds his calling--he will become a samaritan. Determined to rescue her from a violent marriage, and redeem himself in the process, he decides to use the only "weapon" he has. His weapon, the inexplicable ability to regenerate injured body parts, leads him to fame and fortune as the star of a blockbuster TV reality show where he learns that being The Samaritan is a heartbreaking affair. Especially when the one person you want to save doesn't want saving.

To dust you shall return /
ISBN: 1684426340 OCLC: 1226074169

"A town ruled by evil. A man ruled by darkness. Only one can survive. Curtis Quinn is a Chicago mob legend with a price on his head and a particular set of skills. Beth Jarvis is a plucky teenager unwrapping the secrets of her hometown, Harlow, where no one is allowed to leave and a mysterious ceremony awaits her on her eighteenth birthday. What Beth doesn't know is the truth about her sister, Kate, who escaped over a decade ago and has evaded the town's sinister ruler, known only as the Mayor, and his High Servants, Scouts, and Disciples that rule the town, making her a local legend-and Curtis doesn't know that the girl he's fallen in love with, a woman he has called his wife for the better part of ten years, is Kate, and she's running from a threat far greater than the mobsters who want to kill him. When Kate disappears, Curtis follows the clues to Harlow, where he poses as the school janitor to investigate. When Beth tries to escape Harlow and the disgusting fate that awaits her, Curtis finds himself unraveling a mystery that leads to an impossible and terrifying conclusion-that the Mayor of Harlow is more than just a man, and the hardest target he's ever tried to kill"--