My Beloved Daughter,
I’ve always been a storyteller. As a child, I would tell stories to my friends on the bus while we were on our way to school. When I had free time, I’d handwrite stories, illustrating them with my own, unique (okay, terrible) artwork. I even drew my own comic books about my characters. I had notebooks filled with these stories and comic books about my action team known as Adventure.
By the time that I was in high school, some things had changed. My love of ninja movies had molded these characters from generic fighters into individual martial artists. Jamie, being my main character, became a ninja.
Also, I realized that my artwork just really . . . well, SUCKS.
My junior year of high school, my study hall was fourth hour. My math class, which gave me the majority of my homework, was fifth hour. I just couldn’t bring myself to wait until the next day to finish it, so I generally didn’t have anything to work on in my fourth hour. Your Grandma Pat had bought me a binder that came with a flip-over notebook. I decided to write stories in it.
First of all, I plotted out a more realistic story than what I had written as a child. Flying cars, headquarters that transformed into giant robots, dimensional blasters . . . things like these were all removed. The plot of the first book was still pretty silly, though. The ninja clan that take over Jamie’s school do so because they’ve been hired by a strange cult of cat worshippers (their god was called Morris, after the cat from the 9 Lives commercials) to clear the town so they could build a society there. As I wrote this story, I would allow my friends Terry, Josh, and J.D. read it. They would give me input as I continued the story.
In addition to that story, I wrote two more. The second story was about a ninja summit in Japan where the villain clan, at the time named the Togakura, sought their revenge. In the third story, I created the street gang known as the Renegades. Out of these two stories, I kept some things for my published novels. The beginning fight scene of the second story, where Adventure fights off some men who are trying to rob George’s parents’ home, made it into Book Four . . . heavily changed to where only George fights the men. The beginning fight scene of the third book, where Adventure battles the KKK to save an African-American family who are going to execute them, became the basis of Book Two.
Halfway through my junior year, I became a library assistant during my fourth hour. While working in there, surrounded by all of those books, I mentally worked through plotlines. I continued working in there during my senior year, which was the same year that I finally took a typing class. Once I would get my work done, the librarian, Mrs. MacDowell, would let me practice my typing on the library computer. She even gave me a 3.5 floppy disk to which I could save my writing. It was at this time that I created Yoshi. She started as a female clone of Jamie. I also developed the backstory of the villain clan—still called the Togakura—being enemies of Jamie and Yoshi’s clan.
By the time that I had graduated from high school, I had finished the prologue and the first chapter of the book. But that was only the beginning. As we continue in this blog, I’ll also discuss more of my journey to become a published author.