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Sophomore records journey of freshman year in book

Oct. 25, 2000

Publisher picks up student's chronicle



Last Monday, a Baylor sophomore spoke to a room full of publishers at the sales conference for his first book, Confessions of a College Freshman.

'I'm 19 years old, and I shouldn't be here,' said Zachary Arrington from Houston.

Arrington landed this book deal with Mark Gilroy of Honor Books Publishing when his mother and fellow author, Lael Arrington, took his book proposal to a Christian Booksellers Association convention.

Gilroy made the winning bid over two other interested publishers. Confessions is published under RiverOak Publishing, a branch of Honor Books.

'I am still amazed that people are actually paying me to do this,' Arrington said. 'I'm getting paid for writing.'

Arrington will receive a total of $10,000 before the book even hits the shelves on March 3, 2001, and he will then receive a small percentage of the sales.

Lael Arrington wrote a book about parenting in June 1997 and helped edit Confessions.

'I was amazed at his talent,' she said. 'I had great confidence in his ability to tell humorous stories, which, of course, he did. I knew he was doing a good job, and I didn't want to impose my opinions too strongly on what he was doing.'

Gilroy, executive vice president and publisher for RiverOak Publishing, said he is excited about the book.

'We are optimistic that Confessions of a College Freshman will be a great success,' Gilroy said. 'Not only is the book both helpful and hilarious, but how Zach came to write this book is a great story within itself.'

Arrington wrote his short novel last year to help future freshmen who are anxious about the transition between high school and college. Each chapter records a week of his freshman year and paints a picture of college life.

'This book is a guide for those people wishing to come to college but not quite sure how it's going to be,' Arrington said.

This young author began to document his experiences and adventures the summer before he came to Baylor.

'I wrote a chapter a week,' he said. 'It was hard to keep coming up with new stuff.'

He said it was challenging for him to juggle classes, shows and writing.

'I had 18 hours last semester. That was hard,' he said.

Arrington will miss two weeks of the spring 2001 semester to promote the book.

Titles like Time Management, Auto Theft and General Naughtiness are a few examples of the 31 chapters discussing Arrington's opinions in the book.

'Something I didn't like about [my] freshman year was that I didn't like leaving my friends or having to find a niche for myself, but I liked the adventure of being in a new place,' Arrington said.

'My publicist is the same publicist as I Kissed Dating Goodbye,' Arrington said. 'I'm excited now.'

Christian author Joshua Harris wrote I Kissed Dating Goodbye in 1997.

Arrington grew up an only child in the Houston suburb of Tomball where his father, Jack, is the senior pastor at Tomball Bible Church. In high school, Arrington was involved in basketball, choir and theater.

'The theater path led me to Baylor University, which, according to some sources, has the best theater department, not only in the state, but in the Big 12,' he said.

This young author has only one concern. He still has to take the required English 1304, even though he said he feels he should be exempt from it.

He said, 'I don't play this card very often, but I wrote a book. Shouldn't that count for something?'