“He’s been writing since he was teeny tiny,” said 32-year-old Geremy Howard’s mother, Linda Gossett. Howard was selected this weekend as one of the first three contestants for the new reality show “The Write Stuff,” to air on the CW network starting June 6.

Born and raised in Orange, Howard, a 1994 graduate from West Orange-Stark, now lives in Katy with his wife of 13 years, Deborah, and his three children Claudia, 11; Gage, 6; and Morgan Anne, 1.

“I don’t know what I’m getting myself into,” said Howard, but he’s ready. “This is one of those, leap first, then look, things.” Writing has been his passion since early on.

It was always his dream to become a writer, but “you get caught up in life,” he said. Once you get married and have kids, you have bills to pay and sometimes dreams get put on hold.

“He always had notebooks with him… he wrote every time he had a chance,” said mom. Learning new words every day, he has spent years honing his craft.

“I’ve taken classes; entered contests,” said Howard, but he’s never managed to get published. “I’m hoping this is my shot.”

He found out about the competition when his mother read the article in The Record. “I never throw away a paper until I’ve read it, so sometimes it could be a week old or more,” said Gossett. But she read the paper on Friday, with the auditions scheduled for Saturday.

“I suggested she e-mail it to him,” said Gossett’s husband, Claude.

“I’m excited,” said Howard about being chosen. “It’s quite an opportunity.”

Howard is exactly the kind of contestant they are looking for, a diamond in the rough. “He’s got TV written all over him,” said Cyrus A. Webb, co-creator and host of “The Write Stuff.”

At first the judges weren’t sure because he delivered his essay in a monotone, deadpan manner. “I only have two tones; monotone and real mad,” he said, but his writing is good. He loves horror and science fiction; his style of writing is dark in nature with a dry underlying sense of humor. Reading his first Stephen King novel at the age of 6 or 7, “I was hooked, crazy junky, to the point my mother cut me off. It was a Stephen King intervention,” his essay read.

Loosening up once the judges started asking questions is what got Howard’s foot in the door.

He will be joined by two other contestants, Tommie Townsley from Sulphur, La., and Shanedria Ridley of Houston.

Townsley has written four children’s books she has self-published, while Ridley writes educational books, poetry and has a novel under her belt. All of her books are self-published as well.

While they may have more polish than Howard, Webb feels they will also have a great learning opportunity acquiring knowledge of the other aspects of writing; networking, publicity, distribution, etc.
Every task will cover a side of the publishing industry so that even those that don’t make it all the way to the end will still grow tremendously in their connection with the show.

What do Howard’s castmates think of their opportunity?

“I want to motivate children through mass media… show America the many strategies I’ve created for children and adults alike, to read and become better communicators,” said Ridley, a self-proclaimed “edutainer.”

“I’m just so excited…being from a small town… to come here and do this has been an absolute dream,” said Townsley. “I’m on a journey and look forward to what’s going to happen.”

If interested, there are still seven opportunities to audition in person with Atlanta being this week’s location. The closest audition will be in Metairie, La., Feb. 7. Go to http://thewritestufftv.webs.com/writestuffauditions.htm for more information.

About Penny LeLeux

Penny has worked at The Record Newspapers since 2006. A member of the editorial staff, she has "done everything but print it." Most frequently she writes entertainment reviews and human interest stories, with a little paranormal thrown in from time to time.She has been a lifelong member of the Orangefield community.