“That to speak out against economic and social injustice is to speak to the prophetic vision of Christ’s affirming love for everyone. That Christ is, indeed, alive within all of us and that the church must be actively involved in progressive change from environmental stewardship and civil rights to marriage equality…It is, Donnie. It’s the cross that we must carry with us.” - Donald's Cross by Joseph Todd Emerson
The culture wars have descended and have disturbed the comfortable and privileged residents of Pernoit County, Virginia. Caught in the midst of this conflict is Donald Ross, the eldest son of Dr. Eric Ross, the Senior Minister at Grace Progressive Church. Donnie has two things on his mind as he enters the summer between his Junior and Senior years at Logan High School, finding a job and improving his baseball swing. He never intends on becoming an avid volunteer to defeat his state’s anti-gay marriage referendum. Yet, after being entrusted with a secret from his favorite teacher and receiving a personal revelation from God, Donnie ventures upon his quest to heed the call of the Prophet Isaiah to “seek justice.” Click to Read more from Amazon Book Description.
"This deeply engrossing novel challenges the reader to examine fundamental notions of fairness and question how far would you be prepared to go in furtherance of your own moral convictions. Yet Donnies moral coming of age remains thoroughly entertaining throughout. The closing is subtly powerful leaving the reader anxiously awaiting the next outing by this talented new novelist. By steve adcox Amazon Reviews
About the Author:
"Joseph T. Emerson was awarded the doctor of education degree at the 185th commencement of The George Washington University on The Mall in Washington, D.C. Emerson graduated from Tabb High School and holds both a B.A. and a M.A.T. from Christopher Newport University." *Daily Press
Dr. Joseph Emerson is a career educator. His research interests include the politics of education, adolescent political socialization, and the role of religious faith has in cultivating personal leadership capacities. His previously published work includes a doctoral dissertation on educational interest groups, a policy paper on reframing school board governance, and a critical review of the literature on teachers’ unions. A portion of his dissertation's second chapter is currently being used as a template by the National Council of Professors of Educational Administration to assist members in lobbying members of the United States Congress. Donald’s Cross, Dr. Emerson’s first novel, is available as an e-book. “The Unlikely Hero,” an anti-bullying short story won third place in a national competition sponsored by Writer’s Digest. He currently teaches AP Psychology, Introduction to Psychology, and Sociology in Newport News, Virginia. *Joseph Todd Emerson
What inspired “Donald’s Cross?”:
Before I started writing this novel, I was strictly a writer of non-fiction. I had just successfully defended my dissertation on educational interest groups when one of my former students quipped that needed to explain my findings to a broader, non-academic audience. I was already feeling the “withdrawals” of not writing on a daily basis, and thought maybe, just maybe, I had a novel buried deep within me. Virginia had just passed a referendum banning same-sex marriage in our constitution. So, during a brisk walk I contemplated what would be most uncommon individual who would stand in favor of “bending the arc of justice.” “Donald’s Cross” emerged from that intersection of my former student’s advisement, my own personal experience in politics, and the desire I had to continue writing.
How long have you been writing?:
I did a tremendous amount of writing working on my various degrees. I enjoyed reading fiction, yet was so focused on my personal research agenda that writing fiction was never really something I thought I could achieve. Since writing “Donald’s Cross,” I spend most of my time writing fiction, including a few short stories. I’ve completed a few items, including a possible sequel to “Donald’s Cross,” that are currently being vetted.
Links to other works by Joseph Todd Emerson:
I’m pleased that a portion of my dissertation’s second chapter was once used as a possible template for members of the National Council for Professors of Educational Administration to lobby members of the United States Congress. A link to that chapter can be found here: Reformers or Roadblocks: Educational Interest Groups and State Policy Formation, Click to ACCESS FULL MANUSCRIPT or anyone interested in reading the whole dissertation can also access it via Dissertations Abstracts International. The UMI number for that document is: 3249376.
“The Unlikely Hero,” by Joseph Todd Emerson is a short story that won third place in the mainstream/literary category of the 82ND ANNUAL WRITER’S DIGEST WRITING COMPETITION WINNERS can be found in the May/June 2013 issue of “Separate Worlds” by logging onto: http://www.speculativefictionstories.com.