Nick Creech, one of our popular writers for older children and young adults, has several longer length books on out site. His book A Way with Dragons (formerly Here Be Dragons) is in our top 10 list and has been for some time with over 500,000 downloads.
Here’s what Nick has to say about why he writes:
It’s a question I can’t answer. I can only say, I can’t not. Writing is a disease. You can’t be happy when you’re not doing it, and you certainly can’t be happy when you are. It is probably the hardest work I know and absolutely the most frustrating. The only time that I personally ever get any enjoyment from it is when I can finally type the two best words in the English language, The End.
How does a book start? With me it always begins with a name. Beekle Henry popped into my head about the time my eldest son was born.Where Beekle Henry came from, I have no idea, just as I have very little idea where Gideon came from, Dr Gideon Creech being an authentic genius of highest rank in the cyber world and nothing whatsoever to do with me. These days he has to speak very slowly and carefully if I’m to understand a word of anything he says.
Three-P was a little different. I was working on my boat one evening out in the bay when a couple of Little Penguins came honking past. I wondered, idly, why people had suddenly stopped calling them fairy penguins and with the word “fairy” the names Titania and Oberon automatically presented themselves, and then it was just a short step to Pengelly Perceval Puddle and Mickleburrow. That’s always the best part and the easiest, the beginnings of an idea. Turning that into something that might work, however, can only be described as self-inflicted torture.
Cash and Cary, the Welsh twins in A Way With Dragons, came into being just as a little joke that amused me. Then I started to wonder why they were called that and what their real names might be. Bad mistake. It took me months of middling agony to find out.
The Blob, the Frog, the DOG and the Girl, which is the latest book of mine that Danielle has posted on her very excellent web site, was a natural as I knew the names already. Telling their story, however, nearly drove me mad, even if I could draw most of it from real life.
It was the same with other, longer books for older readers I have written, all available here http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_1?url=search-alias%3Ddigital-text&field-keywords=Nick+creech
I was thinking about anti-gravity when Hasdrubal D. Macgilliguddy announced his presence and off we went to Galiconia on a space odyssey. It was a huge relief to finish some 210,000 words later, give or take, and if my advice is worth anything, pick a name that’s easy to spell. Even now, I have to check to make sure I’ve got it right and no wonder I reduced him down to simple Mac as soon as possible.
I did follow this principle with Annabella Crabtree, a name that is easy to spell and flows off the tongue delightfully but after three books and some 750 pages I can tell you that I was nevertheless heartily sick of it. I guess you’d call the trilogy historical fantasy, embracing, as it does the Roman conquest of Gaul, the Arabian Nights, the Assassins of Hassan-i Sabbāh, and the mediaeval crusades, all of which might be fun to read about – I do hope so after all that effort – but which was the bane of my life for three long years.
At the moment, I don’t have a good name which means in turn that I don’t have a good project. You might think this would be a great relief, but you’d be wrong. I’m utterly miserable.
Editor: We’ve got some of Nick’s actual Young Adult Books coming soon, I’ll be looking forward to seeing them.