I’ve been writing for a long time. Years, over twenty, to be exact. In that time, I’ve written dozens of short stories and independently published one novel. Throughout that time, my mother had been telling me to write a kids’ book and each time I’d scoff and brush that idea off. Books for kids wasn’t something I was ever interested in. I’ve always liked, if not adult, then more complex types of stories. I thought of kids’ stories and my mind drifted to the classics like Winnie The Pooh, or Where the Wild Things Are. Or I’d have images of Disney films past and present dancing in my head. The point is I never thought I’d have it in me to write a book a kid could or even want to read. Which brings me to now.
A few years ago I had a vivid dream about a girl in a red shirt and blue overalls. She had funny colored eyes and golden brown curly hair. She was smart and a bit of a smart ass, but in a good way. I recognized her as my daughter in the dream and when I awoke from it I felt an overwhelming sadness, as if she were an actual living, breathing thing that had been taken from me. Her face had seared itself into my mind. Even now I can see her as clear as ever as if she were just in front of me. The image of the daughter that never was and everything she had been stayed with me though I never understood why. A few years after that, Fiona Apple released her remake of Pure Imagination, and the first time I heard that song something clicked inside me. Images poured forth from some unknown vial of, well, imagination. I was inspired, for the first time in a long time to write something longer than a few pages since my first novel. And the protagonist of this story, the girl that still haunted me from that dream of long ago. I saw different creatures residing in an even different world. It was the classic stranger in a strange land tale, akin to the Wizard of Oz or Narnia.
So at the end of May of last year, I started on my first “kids’” novel which will be the first of three installments. It took the entire summer to write it, even longer to edit it down. Learning from my first novel, I had someone else (a friend and English nerd, and I mean that lovingly) pour over the story and let them edit the fine details down. Then have another friend deal with the cover art. It took a long time but in the end I think it was worth it.
So my second novel is out. And I’m proud of it, very much so. I’m proud of all my works I’ve ever done artistically. My first book, Lilith, is something I stand behind wholeheartedly, but it’s also something I’m not entirely happy with looking back on it. This book, I’m truly happy with from top to bottom. That being said, here’s where the shameless self—promotion comes in. If anyone who reads this blog feels so inclined, then you can find my latest book at the link below. It’s been a long road getting it from that first night of typing to where it’s at now, but well worth the time to do it.