David-Matthew Barnes is the bestselling author of seventeen novels, three collections of poetry, seven short stories, and more than seventy stage plays that have been performed in three languages in twelve countries. He writes in multiple genres, primarily young adult, romance, thriller, and horror. He often writes gothic and contemporary romance novels as Wren Valerian. Five of his stage plays have received off-off Broadway productions.
As a film producer, he has helped bring fifty films to the screen including many independent films, horror movies, and international films.
He has been selected for three Sundance Collab screenwriting workshops. He was named a finalist for the Sundance Institute YouTube New Voices Lab.
To date, he has written eight produced screenplays. He is a graduate of the Professional Program in Screenwriting at UCLA.
He is a member of Contemporary Romance Writers (CRW), Disney's D23, the Dramatists Guild, International Thriller Writers (ITW), the National Writers Union, Rainbow Romance Writers, Romance Writers of America (RWA) and the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI).
He lives in Sacramento, California.
After getting into trouble at her high school in Chicago, seventeen-year-old Leah Cassels moves to a small seaside town in California to live with her father. Leah's efforts to leave her past behind are put to the test by new friends Monica and Sabina, two popular girls who seem to have it all. While secretly dreaming of becoming the new star of an underwater mermaid show at a local theme park, Leah lands a part-time job at the park's snack bar where she meets Ray Junior. As their new friendship begins to grow, Leah comes to the realization that there's more to him than meets the eye. Encouraged by Ray Junior to stand on her own, Leah tries to distance herself from Monica and Sabina, unaware of the consequences for doing so.