Pacific Beach engineer turned author publishes his debut novel

Pacific Beach resident Craig Pratsch is on a mission to spread the word about his debut novel, a sci-fi-meets-criminal-justice story called “The Treatment: Khalifa, Aiko, Elise, Avogadro.”

“A couple of years ago, I started saying ‘I’m either going to do something with it or I’m going to shelve it for life,'” Pratsch said, explaining what kickstarted his transition from engineer to self-published author.

Pratsch’s journey to becoming an auteur began when he quit his job as an engineer and moved to Los Angeles to pursue filmmaking and screenwriting. Attracted by the storytelling and creative skills of the writers, Pratsch threw himself into putting his hobby to good use.

While in Los Angeles, Pratsch received a year-long screenwriting certificate from UCLA, something he calls his formal writing education. He was then confronted with the harsh reality of the film industry and quickly understood how difficult success can be in the world of cinema.

“I’ve tried writing television and film in Los Angeles, but it’s tough,” Pratsch said.

Around this time, some former engineering colleagues offered him a job in Japan, which he accepted.

“This derailed my entire writing and film career, but it was an amazing experience and I lived there for a year,” Pratsch said.

Several years later he moved to San Diego and shifted his focus to novel writing, something Pratsch said he hoped would allow for more creativity than traditional screenwriting.

“I kind of put the movie script on the back burner and started working on a novel because I think you get to explore a lot more than you can in the movie,” Pratsch said.

The cover of Craig Pratsch's book,

The cover of Craig Pratsch’s book, “The Treatment: Khalifa, Aiko, Elise, Avogadro”.


“The Treatment” is Pratsch’s first published book. It follows a sci-fi and dystopian theme, mixed with criminal justice ideas.

“They always say science fiction tells the truth,” Pratsch said, noting his love of the relevance science fiction novels have even years after they’re written.

The timeless yet rigorously realistic concepts and themes in many well-known science fiction novels and the balance between creativity and fact is something that has always stood out for Pratsch.

“Writers throughout have commented on the happenings of the day, those concepts have always really interested me, and their social commentary has always been timely and timely,” Pratsch said.

Around 2013, Pratsch officially began outlining “The Treatment”. He made his loose ideas, character plots, and complex storyline float among friends. Ultimately he had a solid basis for the novel.

“The theme of the book, if I may sum it up, is getting tired of unintended consequences,” Pratsch said, hinting at the mysterious plots behind the book.

The novel details a world where criminals are sentenced to state-mandated drugs instead of brick-and-mortar prison cells. The concept ties into the themes described by Pratsch as a reflection of the criminal reality of our society with a dystopian twist.

“Science fiction is a lens on the times and criminal justice is very timely,” he said. “I’ve read a lot of criminal justice books and thought, how can I tell a story that relates to our reality?”

Once Pratsch was confident in the novel’s foundation, he took it to a publisher who helped him tailor the storylines and develop the characters and plot to a deeper level.

“It has always been a building process; I don’t take criticism to heart and I know the editing process is always trying to make it better,” Pratsch said.

Because writing is a hobby, rather than his career, Pratsch decided to self-publish it on Amazon last July. The feedback has been nothing but positive, with rave reviews from the public and Amazon customers.

With twists and turns, themes of law, crime, medicine and altered reality, Pratsch said he was confident “The Treatment” has something for all readers.

“The Treatment: Khalifa, Aiko, Elise, Avogadro” is available on Amazon as a paperback for $9.99. A Kindle version costs $2.99 ​​or is free with a Kindle Unlimited subscription.

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