Home—W. Hollywood, CA.
Author and screenwriter. Miramax Films, Hollywood, CA, formerly head of creative affairs; Vestron Pictures, Hollywood, former executive. Director and producer of short films, including Kidnap Madonna's Baby, c. 2006.
American Library Association Best Book nomination, 2006, for Hazing Meri Sugarman.
Hazing Meri Sugarman, Simon Pulse (New York, NY), 2006, published as Meri Sugarman, Psycho Queen, Simon & Schuster (London, England), 2006.
Meri Strikes Back, Simon Pulse (New York, NY), 2006.
Dark Cindy, Simon Pulse (New York, NY), 2007.
Author of screenplays, including Planet Deb, Thorn-hill Prep, The Shop Teacher, Fear the Reapers, (with Robert Sugalski) Indecent, and Kidnap Madonna's Baby. Contributor to magazines, including Film in Review and Details.
While growing up, M. Apostolina was always telling stories, sometimes writing them down, sometimes creating plays, and sometimes making short films. Entering the Hollywood film industry after college, he took a job with Miramax Films, where he was responsible for helping screen writers develop their scripts. The film career ended when Apostolina realized that, instead of consulting he wanted to be the one doing the writing. He began with the 2006 young-adult novel Hazing Meri Sugarman, and gained fans who enjoy his humorous novels because of their quirky brand of teen intrigue.
Apostolina's first title for young adults, Hazing Meri Sugarman is a dark and eccentric novel about a college freshman and her initiation into a campus sorority at Rumson University. Cindy Bixby desperately wants to join Alpha Beta Delta, the same sorority her mother pledged to years before. Cindy's hazing experience with Alpha Beta Delta involves a series of humiliating tests dreamed up by beautiful, popular sorority president Meri Sugarman. Cindy endures the indignities, gains Meri's good graces, and ultimately becomes a sister. However, things undergo a drastic change when Meri's ex-boyfriend takes an interest in Cindy, causing the new sorority member to experience Meri's full wrath. In a review for Publishers Weekly, a critic characterized Hazing Meri Sugarman as an ‘offbeat debut’ and concluded that, although the book is a ‘surprising, dark and ultimately uneven novel,… readers will likely find enough amusing and bizarre material’ in Apostolina's story ‘to keep them going."
The relationship between Meri and Cindy plays out over the course of two more novels. In Meri Strikes Back, Cindy is linked arm-in-arm with new boyfriend and enjoying some peace with her friends at Alpha Beta Delta. Then Meri returns, dressed to the nines and out for revenge. Meri's revenge has extended to the entire sorority in Dark Cindy, but when Cindy discovers the diary of the former president, the playing field may be leveled. But is Cindy ready to stoop to the same depths?
Apostolina finds inspiration in ‘everyday life,’ as he explained in an online interview for TeensReadToo.com. ‘Just observing everything around me is enough to inspire me,’ the author added. In a separate interview for Publishers Marketplace online, Apostolina offered advice to young and aspiring writers, noting that ‘the best tip is to always outline your story before you begin writing your novel…. it's good to have a road map, so to speak, of what story you're trying to tell."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Booklist, March 1, 2006, Gillian Engberg, review of Hazing Meri Sugarman, p. 79.
Publishers Weekly, January 16, 2006, review of Hazing Meri Sugarman, p. 66.
School Library Journal, June, 2006, Stephanie L. Petruso, review of Hazing Meri Sugarman, p. 146.
Voice of Youth Advocates, April, 2006, Jennifer Rummel, review of Hazing Meri Sugarman, p. 37; February, 2007, Teri S. Lesesne, review of Dark Cindy, p. 518.
Publishers Marketplace Web site,http://publishersmarketplace.com/ (October 27, 2007), interview with Apostolina.
Simon & Schuster Web site,http://www.simonsays.com/ (October 27, 2007), ‘M. Apostolina."
TeenReadsToo.com Web site,http://www.teensreadtoo.com/ (October 27, 2007), interview with Apostolina.