The Birth of Dylan Thomas

Posted: March 15, 2010 in Uncategorized
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I had an idea back in November for a children’s book series staring Gary Olson. I would tell my youngest son stories about this guy named Gary Olson. I would normally just make it up as I went along, and he loved it. He would often repeat back stories of what Gary Olson did. I told one story about how Gary Olson was not ticklish, and how all the people in the town tried to tickle him. My son would tell people “did you know Gary Olson isn’t ticklish.”

I finished the first draft sometime in January. I was just finishing up my poetry book, and anytime I tried working on it; I was having writers block. I had a list of story ideas five-pageslong. I was unable to produce a complete story. I was riding home from work, when a story idea hit me. I grabbed my recorder and spouted off a story. I typed the story up, and passed it off to my illustrated Tim Bush.

Later that week Bush called me and gently told me the story was horse shit, being the writer I could not believe his criticism. I posted a Facebook message looking for a focus group to get some other opinions. I sent it out to about seven people, and all seven confirmed; the story needed a lot of work.

I was having trouble adjusting the story, everything I thought of would ruin the meaning of the story. I was racking my brain, and I was coming up with nothing. I put it to the side; I thought if I stop trying so hard eventually it would come to me. I thought of telling the story through poetry, I was now interested and motivated to complete.

Two weekends ago I was struck with a creative rush, I hopped on the laptop and I was off. I decided not only would I use poetry form, but I would have it rhyme as well. I finished three pages, but I was constantly interrupted by my kids. I lost the creative juices, so I put it aside.

I was determined to finish the book on Saturday. I started writing right after I had my coffee, and I did not stop until 8pm. I completely altered the story, instead of the character Gary Olson; I used my youngest son’s first and middle name Dylan Thomas. I loved the idea, I felt more motivated using my children as characters. I was able to relate to their individual characteristics. I also love that the main character is also a famous poet. I not only used my youngest, nut I also included my other children.

I finished the second draft, and sent it back out to the focus group. The consensus was positive, everyone seemed to love it. There were suggestions on a few things I should change, there was the ending and the character that was my daughter. I can not change my daughters character, it is an inside joke which the family finds funny. The other suggestions were to change the ending, I am not going to go into detail on this, but I purposely ended the story without confronting the bully.

I just need to format it and pass off to Bush. I hope he can complete the illustrations so I can work on getting this published. I am going to self publish the book, and just market the hell out of it. If I can show the book is selling I will shop the book around to literary agents. If I am able to sign with an agent, It will make it a lot easier getting myself published by bigger named publishers. I am very excited!

  1. Melissa says:

    Wow sounds exciting. Can’t wait to read it!

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