It started as an offhand comment by my son's 4th grade teacher in October 2013:
"He's a good reader, but there's just not a lot of books to keep them interested."
I thought: Really?
I remember that age. There wasn't a lot to us 10 year old boys: action, excitement, funny parts and spurts of ten second interest in many things. How hard could it be to write a book with those elements?
Thus was born Raimy Rylan and his mission to hunt demons. I didn't get much out of the student conference; he might have passed some test or other, I was busy building a world in my head.
The plan was simple: I'd write a novel for my son's reading level. I had about five months if I wanted to have it ready by summer break. Less than one chapter in, I decided it would be a great idea to present the book to every student in his grade level, along with a little presentation on the importance of reading. Turns out there were about 60 kids in the 4th grade. That sliced another month off my timeline to turn around cover art and printing.
Then Mr. Scope Creep stirred awake. Why not do one book for every year he goes through school, increasing in theme, complexity and scope? That meant I had to plan a story arc out across nine books, nine years and maintain a writing pace I'd never even thought of attempting. This, in addition to any other novels I wanted to write. Apparently I work best under pressure.
At some point you'd think I'd throttle back and reflect on what I was creating for myself, but second guessing has never been a strength of mine. In for a dozen, in for a dime, I always say.
I never hear anyone else say it though.