When I found out I was going to be a father back in 2007, something about the way I wanted to live my life changed. For the better, I’m proud to say. I won’t get into the details of what came next, suffice to say I gave up sports and a vanity driven social life altogether and stepped up to the daddy plate swinging the best I could.
My daughter’s six now, my son five, and both are as smart and well behaved as one could hope. It’s because of them that I got back into school and busted my tail at work, getting promotion after promotion so that I could put food on the table and Skylanders on the shelf. Well, I have my bachelors now, and I make good money, but I’m not content. Not yet. And honestly, I don’t think I ever will be.
You see, family makes me happy; writing… makes me happy. I don’t think anyone looks at me, what with my tattoos and cocky demeanor, and thinks I’d lose sleep over wanting to contribute to the greater good, but I do. Very much so. Sometimes, I’ll admit, I get lost in the pessimistic views of where humanity is heading, but I haven’t given up on it. I want to contribute to it. I want to be apart of its happier, more positive side. When historians look back at this time period, I want to be a part of the mosaic that depicts now as a positive era in human history. But in the very least, I want my life to be meaningful enough that it makes my family happy long after I’m gone. And I’ll use my writing as a catalyst for that.
I wasted lots of time wondering how I could use my writing to help. I say wasted, because if truth be told, I always knew how I could, I just never realized it. I used to read to both my daughter and my son when they were still in their mother’s belly. As I read, and I’d feel them jostling around at the sound of my voice, I’d think, it’d be nice to one day write my own personalized story to read to them. Maybe we could even create a story together. I could do the writing, and they could do the artwork.
In August of 2013, I thought this again. Only this time, I thought, Well, why can’t I? And the answer was simple: I could.
I’d like to say I sat up all night toiling away to create a good idea, or that a good idea came to me in a dream, but honestly, it came to me quite simply. I like dogs, my kids like dogs. I like space, my kids like space. From there I thought, how about I put a dog in space, but make him larger than life, so large that it’s troublesome for the main character (who I fashioned after my son) to play with him? But if he’s going to be that big, I thought, what would he play with? Well, dogs love to play fetch, and dogs love to play fetch with… balls!!
Boom. Just like that, the idea of playing with planets as if they were balls came to me. And just like that, my first children’s book, The Imaginaut, was born.