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How Many Origin Stories Does It Take to Screw in a Lightbulb?

As I near the end of the first draft of my first novel, it seemed like a good time to look back at where it all began. And because I can’t make anything easy or simple, there are two answers.

I’ll start with my decision to go back to writing creatively. I say “creatively” because my professional life is weighed down with writing. Web copy. Blog posts. Social posts. Ads of all kinds. Copy for designs. White papers.

You get it.

When you co-run a digital marketing company, you write a lot. Or maybe that’s just me. Is that what we’ve been doing wrong all these years?


My decision to return to writing. It’s my son’s fault, really. Over the past year or so, he finally graduated to Lemony Snicket and Harry Potter and Rick Riordan. He started recommending books and podcasts to me, including the utterly fantastic Stealing from Wizards series from R.A. Consell. (Both of my children are addicted. They listen to the podcast (aka audiobook) nonstop, and mom and dad might kind of love it as well.)

And then, one night, while reading aloud to him from the first Magnus Chase book, I had an epiphany: I could do this. I could write books for kids his age. The kind of books that had made me stay up all night reading. That dealt with the kinds of topics and themes that would speak to him. At least I hoped.

More than that, (and here’s where the second “where it all began” answer comes in) I thought I saw a way to repurpose the idea from an old pilot script I’d written with my wife a decade earlier and turn it into a Harry Potter-like YA series.

(There are many things wrong with that last sentence. I know better now… but only a little.)

So my little book about a girl who desperately needs to know that the things she does are going to matter — then learns for certain they’ll matter when her future self appears and drops the bomb that she’s going to become the leader of humanity (among other bombs) started both in my 9-year-old’s bedroom a year ago and during a brainstorming session at a Mexican restaurant the year before he was born.

Because that’s how writing works.

The end is nigh. Hopefully in time for Futurescapes!

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