The first time I remember writing a story, I was early in elementary school. We were given creative freedom as long as we wrote a full page. By the time I was done, mine was pushing 15 pages. It started as any ordinary story would, with a monkey living in a city enjoying his banana. As the story progressed, we found the banana was magic and the monkey was special. Whenever kaiju type monsters would attack, the banana let the monkey grow to the size of a skyscraper, the monkey would use the banana as a sword to fight off the invaders and save his city. I loved my story, my teacher loved it, my mom? Not so much. She loved the beginning of the story where the monkey was ordinary, but I loved the fantasy of making the monkey special. That story is what made me want to write.
As an adult it took me years to figure out what it was I wanted to write. I settled on telling the tale of my imaginary world and friends from my childhood. I had an intense imagination and I escaped into it frequently. That world, people, realms, and special beings I created as a child are shared in Hezekiah. That should also answer the question I'm most asked after people read this story, 'How did you come up with the creatures and characters?'. These were my imaginary friends, human and non-human. Vrail was my constant companion through most of my childhood, even though no one else could see her. She was as plain as day to me. I miss her.
I didn't really have friends growing up, not real friends at least. The people I created helped me through some very difficult times in my life. I guess it was my subconscious at work, but I never sought to guide them. I'd talk to them, tell them my problems, hopes, and dreams, and they'd comfort me or encourage me whenever needed.
All this is to say that this story and everyone in it are very close to my heart. It's difficult to share a story like this, knowing others may not be as fond of it as I am. Knowing that, I've felt a need over the past few years to write my world into existence. Maybe I needed my friends again, maybe I thought others could use them as well. Who's to say?
These days I spend my time in Minnesota, but I haven't given up on my goal of living in a small cabin in the woods somewhere. Since taking my first steps in writing the initial book in Hez's adventures, I find myself once again sending my mind to the dry, cracked earth place, trying to reconnect with what once brought me strength, courage, acceptance, and creativity.