An Otherwise Perfect Plan: A Novel of Mystery, Love, and of Chocolate That Defies Description

An Otherwise Perfect Plan is a laugh out loud YA Novel, narrated by the quirky Gwen Pendergrass, a sophomore in high school, who infuses this contemporary coming-of-age story with sarcasm, hyperbole, and wild flights of fancy—including a paleolithic “Shark Tank” with the builders of Stonehenge—all as she tries to make sense of her life with a single mom working two soul-crushing jobs, dysfunctional high school teachers, and her own wild emotions which seem to have a mind of their own.

Her riffs on life, modern society, and the virtues of several kinds of chocolate take us on a journey of discovery as she and her best friend Peter unravel the mystery of who her father actually was, along with the mysteries of her own emotions, ultimately reminding us that the journey very often IS the destination.


It had always been just Gwen and her Mom, and Gwen had always been mostly fine with that. Until, that is, she learned how much her mom had given up in order to raise her alone. When a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity comes along for her mom to reinvent herself and get her life back on the track she’s been on prior to Gwen’s unplanned birth, Gwen becomes determined to find her father and give back to her Mom the life she’d always planned for herself.

With nothing more than a Las Vegas photo-booth film strip of her Mom and the guy she’s always been told was her dad to go on, she finds help in the most unlikely of places, a bored private detective whose office is a Jewish Delicatessen, a Vice Principal whose secret Demotivational Poster features a Star Wars Storm Trouper sitting dejected in a bar with the title FAILURE: Those were the droids you were looking for, and of course, her best friend Peter, who introduces her to the novel idea of sending a postcard.

At times poignant, heartbreaking and joyously absurd, Gwen’s story is ultimately about a young woman trying to understand her past, her present, and how it and the people in it will all fit together in the future she’s creating.

Meet Ken Schafer

Ken Schafer started his professional writing career as a screenwriter, working for companies as diverse as Disney, Paramount and ABC, and on projects ranging from a prequel to “Sleeping Beauty” to “Star Trek: The Next Generation,” and ABC Night at the Movies.

His passion for all kinds of writing, and the enthusiasm of his daughter for all things word-related, inspired him to branch out to children’s books–including his forthcoming “A… is for Ahhhhhhh!” A Halloween Alphabeastiary”, and “The Cow who Conquered the Moon”–along with both adult historical/Fantasy novels, and his first YA Novel: “An Otherwise Perfect Plan: A Novel of Mystery, Love, and of Chocolate that Defies Description.” This latter novel would probably never have been finished had not his daughter–who was reading it as a nightly serial while it was being written–continually demanded “MORE PAGES.”

He is repped by Anne McDermott at AM Management and can usually be found in San Diego along with his wife, and a Schrödinger’s number of cats. Follow him here, and/or at his imprint: