If you've read through my blog, you likely know the story behind how I came to writing my books, so I won't bother with this again.
My stories are about a boy named Liam who gets sucked into another world where he meets a boy name Ezra. They have to go on a quest, fight some bad guys and stuff. It's a fun adventure story! My sons are named Liam and Ezra and it was a blast to write the two main characters as boys who share their names. If you know my boys you'll notice some similarities, but... they are also very different from the characters in the book.
These books, however, aren't just an adventure story. They're written to be funny. At least I find them hilarious. I walk around quoting my books all the time and laughing. That's not normal, but that's okay. I don't think I'm quite the same guy today that I was before this whole journey began. I don't mind finding myself funny.
As I've passed the books around to various people for editing and review, I've found that kids really enjoy the books. They love the story and the humor. They love the characters and how odd it all is. One young reader shared the book made her giggle. She had devoured the book in about two days... it's about 65,000 words so that's not bad for a 12 year old. Another young reader read through the chapter titles and declared, "this is going to be good." My sons absolutely loved the story. I've also been encouraged as I've found my adult readers/editors have loved it--even though it is geared at ages 10-13. One of my adult editors shared with me that she could not put the book down and actually started to neglect other things she needed to get done in order to keep reading. Another one of my reviewers shared that she found herself laughing out loud while reading. Another one found herself immersed in the adventure and read the whole book in one sitting. That's some fast reading!
My sons were actually my primary target (before I realized I was going to try to publish the book). I read the book to them (they are ages 8 and 13). My 13 year old is an avid reader, but he found he enjoyed having it read to him. I was pleased to see that they both loved the story and wanted to read more than a chapter every night (I generally read to both of them before bed). When we came to the second book, I found they were up for reading it at any time. I just had to suggest, "Hey, let's read a chapter" and they both came around to listen. It was fun to hear them laugh and to hear them talk about the stories.
I have enjoyed writing these books and I am so excited about getting them out there in print for millions or maybe billions of people to read them. Maybe tens of billions... and that's just in North America! Perhaps one day I'll do some research and find out how many people actually live on the planet, but until then, my goal will be to sell fifteen billion copies so each household in Canada, the US, the UK and Iceland can have one copy each of the book. That should be enough.
Sadly, this book is not for people without a sense of adventure or a sense of humor. There are, oddly enough, people who seem to have been born without a sense of humor. I trust they will not be too offended that a book makes some people laugh.
As I think back to the writing of these first two novels, they were partly for fun and partly therapeutic. I couldn't do an awful lot there for a bit, other than sit in a hospital bed or in my chair at home and type on my laptop. Writing was a way to keep my brain moving, but without having to be too serious or delve into overly deep topics. I assure you, these books are neither serious nor deep.
I wrote the first book with the intention of reading it to my boys for a bedtime story. I was excited to take them on an adventure and give them the opportunity to laugh along the way.
As I sat in the hospital writing the first of the two books, I remember wondering deep down inside if I would survive through the experience and be around to read the book to my sons. I wondered if this would simply be something I was writing to leave behind for them. Something which might help them to remember me by and to remember the stories I used to tell them.
That is a painful and difficult concept to work through. As I struggled with the physical pain and the thoughts of whether or not I would live through it all, I came to an understanding. My faith is important to me and I believe that I can trust God with my life and my direction and my everything. As I lay there, I also came to the point where I realized I could also trust God with my family if I was gone. That was a hard lesson to learn, but I am at peace in the midst of it.
Here I am, however, months later. I'm far from being what I was before all this came about, but I have enjoyed the writing adventure I have started into. I look forward as well to sharing my novel with you when it comes to print. You could be one of the fifteen billion homes to purchase a copy. For those of you who were born without a sense of humor... I know there isn't that many people on the planet. It's closer to 14.9 billion, isn't it? 🙂
I hope, as we near the launch date, to maybe give some more detail. Perhaps I'll even post Chapter One so people can get a bit of an idea of the book. Until then, I hope you enjoy the Self-Publishing on a Budget journey and I hope this is helpful to those who are also on the Self-Publishing Journey!