RIT is setting for grad’s fictional horror story

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Michael Attebery '01 launched an online publishing venture featuring his own fiction.

Jamie Pepper has it all – until early onset Parkinson’s Disease changes his life. Left behind as his friends depart for college, Jamie opts for an experimental procedure that promises a return to normal life – as a freshman at Rochester Institute of Technology.

That’s the opening premise of a novel, On/Off - A Jekyll & Hyde Story, by Michael Attebery ’01 (film and video) being released Nov. 11.

“I wanted to give readers a taste of modern college life, while using the horror novel to examine the old phrase ‘Sound Mind, Sound Body,” says Attebery. “Jamie is dealing with all the problems of a typical college guy, only medication and some rather horrific complications make everything just a little crazier and a whole lot gorier.”

Other than the RIT setting, the thriller is pure fiction, says Attebery, who lives in Seattle with his wife, Stephanie Esmond Attebery ’01 (biomedical photography).

“The story started as my senior thesis, but it got twisted around and I ended up going in a different direction. I went back to it in 2004, put it aside again and wrote another novel.”

The publisher is Cryptic Bindings, an online enterprise Attebery launched in November 2007. In May, he began publishing installments of a still-untitled thriller, gradually attracting a small audience with his gritty, graphic style. “We are getting 65 to 90 visitors a day who are reading the chapters,” Attebery says.

The new book can be purchased as a download or as a paperback through the on-demand publisher Lulu.com, or as a Kindle eBook through Amazon.com.

Attebery started writing and making movies in high school. He decided to launch his online venture to maintain control over his projects. Besides his own projects, Attebery works as managing editor of HighDefDigest.com, an online publication for DVD enthusiasts.

Following the advice of RIT English Professor Ann Coon, Attebery writes every day. “She said the worst mistake a writer can make is self-censorship leading to never writing anything. My other big writing influence of the ‘just try it!’ school of thought was Howard Lester, chair of the School of Film and Animation, who was really the reason I went for RIT’s film program. I chose RIT because it’s hands-on from the first week.”