(Volume II: Alan St. Jean Bio Trilogy)
How did you become a writer?
My path to writing was quite unusual. I had no intention of being an author and there were no illusions of getting published. I wrote the book, Aidan of Oren, The Journey Begins, when I turned 40. Some call it a mid life crisis (I smile to myself as I write this) - but the truth is, I've always been a story teller. For the better part of my life, I've been surrounded by kids...telling them stories to thrill, and yes, to scare them a little. I wanted to put something in print so that I'd at least have record of it and maybe my kids would one day read it. When the story was finished, I called publishing houses to figure out how I could print it. A small publisher in New York called 'Moo Press' quickly became interested in my story and published it. Honestly, I was as surprised as anyone.
Who is your biggest literary influence?
CS Lewis. He wrote for the right reasons, to leave something behind for his children and his grandchildren. His stories carried with them lessons for his children that were meant to teach them about life and to help them grow and mature.
When is your best time to write?
It varies. Sometimes in the wee hours of the morning, sometimes late at night, sometimes during the middle of the day. Inspiration hits when inspiration hits. If I were to be honest, inspiration really hits when deadlines become ominous. There is no fuel for inspiration like that of a tight deadline.
Why are you a writer?
First, I’ve found that writing is like breathing for the soul. It’s good medicine, regardless of whether or not what I write will be published. Also, I want to teach, and I want to leave something behind after I’m gone, something of value. But most of all, I write with the hope that my words can make a positive difference in the life of a child.
There is no higher calling.
What is Oren Village?
Ah, that's a great question. Someone has definitely done their homework. Oren Village is my publishing company...a company with a single purpose: To write and design the very best books and music for children and adults.
But, what WAS Oren Village?
Although I write this with the full understanding that boys may very well laugh at me, Oren Village was…well, it was originally a Doll Company.
Few people know that I wrote Aidan of Oren as part of a doll company I founded in 2004. I created dolls of each character: Aidan, Lilly, McKenzie, even Damon the dragon and packaged them in really cool medieval boxes that looked like an ancient book. Unfortunately, the company did not survive through difficult economic times, only 500 of each doll was produced. Although some may call it a failure, I am so proud of the beautiful product we created from nothing; a product we developed and took to market all within one year! What a crazy year that was... Also, I am so very proud of the team of individuals that helped bring Aidan, Lilly, McKenzie and Damon to life, especially the incredible doll sculptor Maryanne Oldenburg. What fun we had! I believe one day they will become very sought after...I hope the people that bought them take very good care of them.