Friday, March 24, 2006

The Story Behind the Story

Mindburst, the story and novel I'm currently seeking an agent for, began just about two years ago now. I had been working on another novel at the time, which, frankly, wasn't going too well, when I got this idea. What if all the kids in some town were locked away and not allowed to be with their parents?

So began Mindburst.

But not really. Because ultimately, Mindburst is based on something considerably older than two years. In fact, in a way, it goes all the way back to when I was just six. Because that's when my obsession for superheroes began. At first it was episodes of the Superfriends. Then it was watching Wonder Woman, and reruns of Batman. And by the time I was seven, my neighbor and best friend, Shelley Koski, and I decided it was time to create our own superheroes.

And we did, too. Not just special powers and funky names, but whole histories. For several years we grew these superheroes. Then, we branched out, including the "twins" on the other side of my house, and the R-Team was born.

The R-Team was a simple concept. Each person (five of us in total, once Shelley's little sister joined in) picked a name that began with R. (And, for the record, I didn't pick Ryan. I was Rashio!) Then, you picked an age. And whatever age your character was, you then got to pick one power for every five years of age.

The R-Team persisted for years, although when we were tired of R names, we decided to play the M-Team or the S-Team instead. Same concept, different names. We had many high-flying adventures (sometimes literally, as our base of operations was on the twins' swingset).

And it is the R-Team that played a huge influence on Mindburst. I drew many ideas from those childhood games of superheroes. So I have a bunch of kids (locked away, of course...although not all kids, as I originally envisioned) with special powers.

Writing Mindburst was a lot of fun, because it felt as though I were recreating my childhood, but at a whole new level. Sure, I'd look silly running around the yard with a towel pinned around my neck today. But I can certainly fly around in my imagination. And that is where Mindburst persists, today.

1 comment:

Shelley said...

What was my name on the R Team? I don't remember. What I do remember is that my powers included talking to animals, but was it verbal or did I communicate using my mind? Help me remember!
I'm anxious to see what this novel is you've written about. Mindburst, huh? Do you remember the book we started writing? The idea was one of us would write a chapter, then send it to the other, who would write an additional chapter, and then send it back, and so on. That wasn't such a bad idea, ya know? Actually, if you ever have time to ponder on it, being "grown ups" now with spouses and children and plenty of life experiences, it could be quite a fantastic book!
I hope all is going well for you, your wife, and your many children! We are expecting our third this December. God Bless you Ryan, I miss you terribly! ~Your old best friend, Shelley