That was the day I first put pen to paper to create what would become The Four-Year-Old Guardian. Back then, it was titled The Guardianship of the Monsidian Orb…yeah, pretty icky, huh?
I originally conceived of the idea in a hospital in March of 2006 (I recall the month because I was waiting to meet my new niece). I let the idea bounce around in my wee little noggin as I tend to do before committing myself to a project. At this point, I had the general idea of the series and knew it would span five books. I had jotted down character bios (fun facts: Nick’s name was originally Nick Stravinsky and Myles was called Milton) and had several major plot points down (several of which are coming up in book three *wink, wink*), but a lot of it was still up in the ether. I knew about the Orb and the Guardian, but so much was still unknown.
At the time, I was a driver and I spent a lot of my breaks reading. I reached a point where I decided my time would be better served working on my own books (I’d been out of practice for some time, since I quit my writing group when I got hired on at this job). So I bought a notebook and a pack of pens, with the intention of doing a detailed outline. As I stared at the page, wondering how I wanted to structure it, I made an executive decision.
Why not just start writing?
My previous books had all been conceived through the use of a keyboard, so writing by hand was a new experience to me. As the slower alternative, it changed the way my mental process worked, not to mention served to cramp my hands. I didn’t honestly expect much from that rough draft, but I ended up very pleased with the results. As situations came up I didn’t previously think through, I ad-libbed (Why is Wendy running by herself? BAM! Melody is born and thus, so is her relationship with Myles).
Two months later (I believe I previously stated it was written in a month, but my notebook disproved that memory), I had written The End and was moving on to work on Bravado/Dramatique. At this point, I had the characters and world well-established and had built a good foundation for what the series would become. A few new people added themselves to the cast. Jake was originally just a Snake Demon they fought until my wife suggested he be a student. I had already written the back story of Jeff Robert’s death, and used the name Jake for his brother as a sort of placeholder joke until I could go back and change it (anybody remember the wrestler, Jake the Snake Roberts?). The name stuck and I never looked back.
On 9/19/97, I sat down to write for the same reason I’ve always written: because it’s my passion. I never once dreamed I would be able to share the characters and stories locked in my brain with the world. Now I’ve published four books I’m rather proud of, I’m 45% done with Together Alone, the third book in the series, and I’ve got a good start on Unseen Things II, The Shadow Within. 2013 is looking to be a big year for me. I can only imagine where I’ll be at five years from now.
Thanks for your support and allowing me to celebrate this rather self-indulgent occasion.