Welcome! Themeperks Press offers fiction and nonfiction books by Steve Alcorn, ranging from young adult novels and children’s books to mystery, Romance, books about writing, and books about theme parks.
Under this Books Menu, readers will find background information about how I came to write each book. I’ve also collected resources for aspiring authors, parents and teachers.
The Teaching menu provides blogs, newsletters, class lists, and information on personal appearances and consultation.
I’ve also collected resources for aspiring authors, parents and teachers:
Writers can explore textbooks, classes, and resources I’ve recommended to students since I first began teaching writing seminars and online classes back in 2002.
Parents will find inspiration for reading to their children, and a list of the many, many books I read to my own daughter.
Teachers will find study resources to accompany my Young Adult novels.
You’ll also find some personal information about me and my other interests beyond writing.
Thanks for visiting! I hope you enjoy exploring this site.
Keep scrolling for descriptions of all my books, or use the pull-down menu bar above for more detail about the inspiration behind each book.
Books about Writing
How to Fix Your Novel:
Simple Techniques to Improve Your Manuscript and Get It Published
Have you started a novel, only to get part way into the manuscript and find yourself stuck? Or do you have an idea for a novel, but aren’t sure where to begin? Have you completed a first draft, but feel it doesn’t quite have the luster of professional writing?
In this lively and fun-to-read guide, Steve Alcorn shows you the remedies you need to achieve success.
Step by step, you’ll breathe life into old manuscripts, create new novels that read like bestsellers, and put the spark back into your writing life. Topics include:
- Story Structure
- Character Building
- Writing Big
- Beginnings and Endings
- Getting Published
If you’re looking for a great companion to my writing courses, you’ll enjoy How to Fix Your Novel. It covers all the topics from my classes, and makes a wonderful reference, with test drives, work sheets and resource lists.
Whether you’re a first time novelist still planning your story, or an experienced author looking for ways to bring your fiction to life, How to Fix Your Novel is the ideal prescription.
Write Your Life Story:
Brainstorm, Write and Publish Your Autobiography
This fun and exciting guide shows you how to write an autobiography or biography that will bring your story to life.It begins by introducing you to all the different forms a life story can take, from journals to blogs to magazine articles to complete memoirs.
Then it helps you organize your story into either chronological, thematic or anecdotal form.
You’ll receive a powerful set of writing tools, and learn how to use story structure, viewpoint, dialogue and settings to make your story clear and vivid.
A comprehensive collection of writing prompts helps you collect and organize the events that shaped a life.
Finally, you’ll learn exactly how to get your book published and into the hands of your readers. Whether you want to share your story with the public or just your family, this book gives you all you need to create a wonderful gift for future generations.
Adapting Novel to Screenplay:
Everything In Its Path
When Steve Alcorn, the author of the novel Everything In Its Path, decided to adapt his story for the big screen, he turned to screenwriter Dani Alcorn for guidance.
Nineteen drafts later, what emerged was a screenplay with depth, conflict and historical significance, but one very different from the novel. Characters had aged, a love story had been added, and the fates of the players had changed.
This reference incorporates the original text of the novel, plus two versions of the script, along with notes on the development process and reasoning behind the changes.
Also included are the marketing tools used for the screenplay, including synopsis, loglines and query letters. It’s a complete reference for authors who want to adapt their novel to a screenplay and pitch it to an agent.
For Young Adults
A Matter of Justice
A novel inspired by Steve’s real-life daughter, Dani
Dani Deucer is a precocious twelve-year-old girl who wants to be a detective. She and her sister Stephanie are spending the summer in Three Rivers, California when Dani meets hobo Mott Simon.
At first Dani is afraid of Mott because he’s different – he spends most of his time digging up the town’s flowerbeds! But when Mott is accused of murder Dani sets out to prove that sometimes first impressions can be wrong.
Like Harper Lee’s classic To Kill A Mockingbird, A Matter of Justice is a young girl’s exploration of what it means to be different. It’s also an exciting mystery that will keep readers guessing to the last page.
Everything In Its Path
A novel based upon the true story of the Saint Francis Dam disaster
Just after midnight on March 13, 1928 the recently constructed St. Francis Dam gave way, releasing a 160-foot-high wall of water down San Francisquito Canyon. The torrent swept huge pieces of the dam, some weighing ten thousand tons, more than a half mile downstream. Four hours later the water thundered into the Pacific Ocean after erasing nearly everything in its 50-mile path. By morning more than five hundred people were dead or missing. It was the worst American civil engineering disaster of the twentieth century.
Everything In Its Path tells the story of Santa Paula archaeologist Randall Thompson and his daughter Kate, who are excavating a Chumash Indian site in San Francisquito Canyon. As the dig progresses Randall is puzzled by remains buried beneath a layer of silt.
Meanwhile, Kate explores the town of Castaic Junction and the dam’s powerhouse, getting to know the real-life residents. Then she makes an alarming discovery: the dam is leaking!
Intertwined with Kate and Randall’s story is that of the prehistoric Chumash settlement they are unearthing. Tribe member Singing Bird is tormented by dreams of water and her village being swept away.
But leader Lone Wolf belittles her premonitions and threatens her if she speaks out. As storm clouds gather, Singing Bird must decide whether to submit to Lone Wolf or try to save the tribe from the awful event she foresees.
Across the centuries the two girls’ fates are drawn together, culminating in a remarkable discovery as they struggle to save their loved ones from a force that will sweep away Everything In Its Path.
Alligators, Boats, Castles and Dinosaurs! Explore Orlando’s attractions alphabetically from A to Zoo!
Molly Builds a Theme Park
When the circus packs up for the season, the animals quickly grow bored. But Molly Monkey organizes them to build the theme park of her dreams. Together they accomplish their goal, and then discover the joy of sharing with others.
Romance and Mystery
Ring of Diamonds
A mystery/suspense/adventure/romance by Steve Alcorn and Sharon Brindal writing as Sharon Stevens
Jessica Farrell, a successful young architect living in London, has used her career to put her romantic past – and guilt about her parents’ deaths – behind her. But then a mysterious note arrives, and she is reluctantly drawn into intrigue, adventure, and the arms of Edward Drummond, her former lover.
To rescue Edward’s kidnapped child they must solve the puzzle inscribed within Jessica’s ring – a puzzle created by Edward’s late uncle as the ultimate snare for the diamond mining industrialist who ruined his life. But the trap has also caught Jessica, who finds herself forced to face her feelings about Edward and her own past.
Fast-paced action propels the story across England, Scotland and South Africa, as the pursuers become the pursued. One by one, the secrets of the past are unveiled, culminating in a nail-biting climax.
Books about Theme Parks
Theme Park Design:
Behind the Scenes with an Engineer
Have you ever gone to a theme park and wondered, “How did they do that?” At last there’s a book that shows you.
Theme Park Design reveals the secrets behind some of the world’s greatest attractions. Take a peek behind the scenes, with a theme park engineer. Aimed at theme park enthusiasts, the book features behind the scenes information based upon author Steve Alcorn’s 35 years designing attractions.
The story follows the development of an attraction from “Blue Sky” design to opening day. Along the way it reveals the engineering tricks used to build many fan favorite rides. “This book shows you the secrets behind the magic,” says Alcorn.
Theme Park Design explores ride control, mechanics, audio, video, lighting, special effects, animated figures, art direction, and much more, with insider commentary.
The author illuminates the fast-paced world of theme park design through tales of calamity and triumph, sprinkled with many humorous anecdotes. He also offers career tips on becoming an Imagineer. A must-read for every theme park enthusiast!
Building a Better Mouse:
The Story of the Electronic Imagineers Who Built EPCOT
On October 1, 1982, The Walt Disney Company opened its EPCOT Center to the world, heralding changes that would take the Disney property in Florida from a mere theme park to a world-class resort destination.
Authors Steve Alcorn and David Green were there, as employees of Disney’s WED Imagineering, and they capture the design and building of what is now called simply Epcot in Building a Better Mouse.
Released to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the opening, Building a Better Mouse tells the tale of the “hundreds of mostly young, mostly bright and all embarrassingly idealistic people” who worked on Epcot, and gives a unique insider’s perspective on what it was like to be in the trenches as a Disney Imagineer in the early 1980s, from pixie dusting – when new employees are indoctrinated into all things Disney – through the craziness of the engineering design process, right up until the last frantic dash to opening day.
This updated 30th anniversary edition includes a selection of the authors’ behind-the-scenes construction photos.
It is a breathtaking, breezy, E-ticket ride of a book, required reading for both hard-core Disneyphiles and people interested in the business side of themed entertainment.